Trojans Drop First Conference Game of the Season to No. 16 Oregon, 5-2
March 15, 2013
LOS ANGELES - The USC baseball team dropped the first game of Pac-12 play, 5-2, to visiting No. 16 Oregon Friday evening at Dedeaux Field.
The Trojans (7-10) hung with the Ducks (14-5) through the first five innings, taking a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the fourth from an RBI single from James Roberts (Cupertino, Calif./Archbishop Mitty HS) and an RBI ground out from Blake Lacey (Clovis, Calif./Clovis HS) but were unable to hold on in the latter innings.
Trojan starter Bob Wheatley (Villa Park, Calif./Orange Lutheran HS) took the loss, going 6.0 innings, allowing three runs (two earned) on nine hits, while striking out four. The junior pitched out of jams in the first four innings, only allowing one run over that stretch, as the Ducks plated an unearned run in the top of the third inning, before touching him up for two runs in the top of the sixth.
The Trojans' got to the Ducks' starter Jake Reed in the bottom of the fourth inning, as Adam Landecker (Calabasas, Calif./Calabasas HS) drew a one-out walk. Kevin Swick (La Canada, Calif./Loyola HS) doubled to right field to put runners on second and third. Lacey plated the first Trojan run on an RBI groundout to tie the game, 1-1. Roberts followed with an RBI single to right center to score Swick and give the Trojans their first lead of the day, 2-1.
The lead would not hold for the Trojans, however, as the Ducks followed with two runs in the top of the sixth off Wheatley, and then added runs against the Trojan bullpen in the seventh and the eighth.
The Trojans threatened in the bottom of the eighth, loading the bases with no outs, and getting into the Duck bullpen. However, a 1-2-3 double play cut down the runner at home and at first and put baserunners at second and third, two outs. Landecker was hit by the pitch to load the bases again, but a strikeout ended the inning.
Ducks' closer Jimmie Sherfy entered in the bottom of the ninth to close out the game for his sixth save of the year.
The Trojans will look to even up the series tomorrow (Saturday), as they host the Ducks at 2 p.m. in the second game of the series.