Five-Run Eighth Aids No. 20/21 USC's 11-8 Win At Stanford
March 9, 2007
PALO ALTO, Calif. - The No. 20/21 USC Trojans used a five-run eighth inning to break a 6-6 tie Friday in an 11-8 victory against the host Stanford Cardinal in a nonconference game at Sunken Diamond. The Trojans hammered out a season-high 21 hits and have won seven of their last nine games. The 21 hits were the most by a Trojan squad since Feb. 23, 2002, when USC had 26 hits at UCLA.
USC (14-8) also handed Stanford (10-6) its first loss at home in 10 games this season.
Sophomore right fielder Michael Torres (Santa Ana/Mater Dei HS) went 4-for-5 at the plate with two RBI while freshmen Robert Stock and Grant Green and sophomore Nick Buss had three hits each for the Trojans. Senior Paul Koss (Orange/Orange Lutheran HS) started the ninth for USC and earned his ninth save of the season. Koss now has 29 saves in his career.
Trojan starter Ryan Cook went 6 1/3 innings, allowing five runs (three earned) on eight hits with two walks and three strikeouts while Stanford's Jeffery Inman gave up five runs on 11 hits in 4 1/3 innings of work.
Joey August had a 3-for-5 night for the Cardinal while Sean Ratliff went 2-for-4 with a home run and two RBI.
Torres led off the USC second with his first hit, later advancing to second on an Inman wild pitch. Freshman left fielder Mike O'Neill, making his first collegiate start, hit an RBI double off the fence in left to score Torres. Inman was called for a balk, which sent O'Neill to third and Buss followed with an RBI single to right to give USC the early 2-0 lead.
The Cardinal loaded the bases in the second off an August single, a walk to Brian Juhl and an error charged to USC Torres when he couldn't handle a Brent Milleville fly ball on the run. Shortstop Cord Phelps lifted an RBI sacrifice fly to center for Stanford's first run, but Cook came back as Ryan Seawell grounded into the 5-4-3 double play.
USC took a 5-1 lead in the fourth after leading off the inning with three straight singles, capped by Hector Estrella's RBI single to right. O'Neill grounded into a double play, but Stock scored the second run for the Trojans. Buss hit an infield single and later scored when Green hammered an RBI double to right center.
Stanford responded with two runs in the bottom of the inning for a 5-3 USC advantage, but fireworks prevailed at the end of the inning. The Cardinal had the bases loaded and on a 1-2 pitch from Cook, designated hitter Brendan Domaracki checked his swing and was called out on strikes. He was later ejected for arguing with home plate umpire Steve Mattingly.
In the seventh inning, USC added another run before Stanford tied the game with three runs on a two-run homer by Ratliff and Michael Taylor's solo home run to center.
Buss singled to lead off the eighth as the Trojans batted around and used six hits to generate the five-run inning. Green singled to put runners at first and second. J.J. Owen then hit a ground ball to short, but Phelps could not get the ball out of his glove to load the bases and was charged with Stanford's fourth error on the evening. Lucas Duda lifted an RBI sacrifice fly to score Buss and Torres followed with a two-run double to break the game open for the Trojans.
The series continues tomorrow with a 1 p.m. start with the finale on Sunday (March 11), also at 1 p.m. Both games will be broadcast live on usctrojans.com.
USC 020-300-150---11-21-2 STAN 010-200-320---8-14-4