Trojans Fall in Close 2-1 Contest to No. 22 Notre Dame|
March 9, 2013
LOS ANGELES - Despite striking first in the bottom of the second and holding an early 1-0 lead through the first five frames, the Trojans were topped by the visiting No. 22 Notre Dame Fighting Irish on Saturday afternoon at Dedeaux Field.
The Trojans (7-7) were hampered by missed opportunities, as they stranded six runners, five of those in scoring position. In the bottom half of the ninth came the Trojans' opportunity to tie or take the lead, as they had the tying run on third and the winning run at first, but they were unable to push a run across, as an attempted safety squeeze bunt was popped up to the pitcher and the runner was doubled off third to end the game.
The Trojans were helped by a strong start from righthander Wyatt Strahan (Villa Park, Calif./Villa Park HS) who threw six complete innings of one-run ball, while striking out four and only walking one.
The Trojans struck in the bottom of the second, as a one-out double from second baseman Blake Lacey (Clovis, Calif./Clovis HS) started the rally. Designated hitter Jake Hernandez (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif./Los Osos HS) advanced Lacey 90 feet to third base with a groundout to the shortstop. That set things up for the No. 9 hitter, Conner Sullivan (Orange, Calif./Orange Lutheran HS) to come up with a big two-out RBI single up the middle to drive in the Trojans' lone run of the day and put the team up, 1-0.
A solo shot from Notre Dame's (9-3) Eric Jagielo tied the game up in the top of the sixth inning, 1-1.
Senior righthander Matt Munson (Irvine, Calif./Saddleback College/Northwood HS) threw 1.1 innings of solid relief, striking out the side in the top of the seventh.
The Irish struck again in the top of the eighth, as Sean Adler (Northridge, Calif./Sierra Canyon HS) walked Ryan Bull, the first batter he faced in the inning, after Munson got the first out. That walk came back to haunt the Trojans, as Bull went first to third on a single from the next hitter, Jagielo. First baseman Trey Mancini delivered a sacrifice fly to score Bull from third and give the Irish their first lead of the day, 2-1.
That set up the bottom of the ninth, where James Roberts (Cupertino, Calif./Archbishop Mitty went first to third on a single by Lacey to put runners on the corners for USC with one out. However, the Trojans were unable to capitalize in the final frame.
Lacey led the way for the Trojans at the plate on the day, going 3-for-4 and scoring the team's one run.
The Trojans will finish up the weekend and the Dodgertown Classic in a nonconference matchup at crosstown rival, No. 7 UCLA on Sunday at 3 p.m.