The Power Of Eight Aids USC In Wild 13-9 Win
COMPTON, Calif. - The USC Trojans scored eight times in the eighth inning Saturday to defeat the Southern Jaguars, 13-9, in action at the MLB Urban Invitational. The Trojans took advantage of Jaguar pitching, which allowed seven walks in the USC eight, including three with the bases loaded. Both teams allowed a combined 20 walks with Southern accounting for 14 walks on the evening.
Senior third baseman Roberto Lopez (La Mesa/Rancho Bernardo HS) went 4-for-5 with two doubles and three RBI for the Trojans (5-2) while sophomore shortstop Hector Rabago (Riverside/Poly HS) also had three RBI, including a two-run home run.
Victor Franklin went 2-for-5 for Southern (0-3) with a double and three RBI while Calvin Anderson and Brad McDavid had three hits each.
After Nick Buss led off the top of the first with a walk, freshman second baseman Joe De Pinto doubled home Buss with the base hit off the fence in left. Lopez followed with a double with De Pinto advancing to third, followed by Robert Stock's RBI sacrifice fly to left. With the 2-0 lead, Rabago capped the four-run inning with his third home run of the season to left field.
With an out in the bottom of the first, Southern left fielder Victor Franklin reached on a fielding error by Mike Roskopf. Franklin would score Southern's first run of the game after consecutive infield singles from Juan Mujica, Anderson and McDavid.
Roskopf looked to add another run in the third for USC with a line drive hit to center field. SU's Juan Mujica had the ball in his glove, but it rolled out after his glove hit the ground and an RBI single was credited to Roskopf. After Rabago took one pitch from Richard, the call was reversed for the final out of the inning as USC head coach Chad Kreuter was ejected after the call.
Southern took the momentum in the fourth with four runs. Jesse Olivar plated McDavid with an RBI single to left with Michael Gavion later scoring on a wild pitch by Trojan starter Kevin Couture. Franklin then belted a two-run double to center as the Jaguars took the lead for the first time.
Lopez tied the game in the fifth with an RBI sacrifice fly, but Southern responded with three runs in the sixth. Franklin, Mujica and Anderson all recorded an RBI to take the 8-5 lead.
Pinch hitter Mac Sullivan and Mike O'Neill both walked to begin the Trojan eighth and a ground ball hit by Anthony Vasquez was booted by Gavion at second to load the bases. Buss' sacrifice fly scored the first of eight runs as the next five Trojan batters reached base with four via the walk. Vasquez later hit a two-run single to cap the Trojans' scoring for a 13-8 advantage.
Anderson hammered his first homer of the season to lead off the SU ninth with a four-bagger to deep center. McDavid singled to center and after Ryan Lambert struck out looking, the Jaguars were able to put more heat on the Trojans. Michael Thomas hit a chopper to third that Lopez fielded and threw to second base, but De Pinto bobbled the ball to put runners at first and second with one out. DeMario Ellis ended the game after hitting a ground ball to short where Rabago retired Ellis at first and Derek Perren threw a perfect strike to De Pinto, tagging Thomas, for the backwards double play.
Notes: Tonight's game was broadcast live nationally on ESPN2...this was the first-ever meeting between USC and Southern...freshman right-hander Ryan Cabral has not allowed a run in five innings this season...Hector Rabago and Roberto Lopez have 11 hits so far this season and are batting .440...junior right-hander Ryan Cook made his second straight relief appearance in as many days, throwing two innings with a run, no walks and three strikeouts.
USC 400-010-080---13-10-3 SU 100-403-001---9-11-2