Big Inning Dooms Trojans in 9-4 Loss to Pepperdine
March 12, 2013
LOS ANGELES - The USC baseball team went back and forth with visiting Pepperdine in the early innings but was unable to answer the Waves' five-run sixth inning and fell 9-4 Tuesday night at Dedeaux Field.
The Trojans used six pitchers on the day, receiving quality innings from a number of members of the staff, including starter Brent Wheatley (Villa Park, Calif./Orange Lutheran), who went the first two, giving up only one unearned run. He was relieved by Marc Huberman (Los Angeles/Hamilton HS ), who gave the Trojans a pair of scoreless innings before running into trouble in the third. At the back end of the game, Brooks Kriske (Palm Desert, Calif. /Palm Desert HS ) and Nigel Nootbaar (El Segundo, Calif./El Segundo HS) combined for 2.2 scoreless innings.
The Waves jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the top of the second inning, but the Trojans (7-9) answered back with a pair in the bottom half of the frame. Kevin Swick (La Canada, Calif./Loyola HS) and Blake Lacey (Clovis, Calif./Clovis HS) hit back-to-back singles to lead off the innings and both came around to score on an RBI single from Andre Ramirez (Bakersfield, Calif./Bakersfield Christian HS) that the Pepperdine right fielder mishandled, giving the Trojans a 2-1 lead. Lacey and Ramirez finished the day with two hits apiece.
The Trojans extended the lead in their half of the fourth, when Lacey hit a two-out single and came around to score on a double from James Roberts (Cupertino, Calif./Archbishop Mitty HS), putting the team up 3-1.
The Waves pulled to within a run by plating two in the fifth but took the lead for good in the sixth with a five-run outburst highlighted by catcher Kolten Yamaguchi's two-run home run--one of two he hit on the night. Pepperdine tacked on an insurance run in the seventh, growing its lead to 9-3.
The Trojans picked up another run in the eighth to make it 9-4, as Bobby Stahel (Needles, Calif./Palos Verdes HS) was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning and came around to score on a groundout and a couple wild pitches, but that would be as close as they would get.
The team looks to regroup before opening conference play Friday night at 6 p.m. with a visit from the Oregon Ducks.