Trojans Take Game One of Series at Washington, 5-4
March 22, 2013
SEATTLE - USC baseball got on the board early and was able to hang on to a 5-4 victory in game one of a three-game Pac-12 series at Washington on Friday evening.
The Trojans (9-13, 2-2 Pac-12) wasted no time getting on the board, plating a run in the top of the first, three more in the top of the second and one in the seventh inning behind a 3-for-5 night with 2 RBIs for James Roberts (Cupertino, Calif./Archbishop Mitty) and a 2 RBIs, 2-for-4 night for Blake Lacey (Clovis, Calif./Clovis HS).
Junior lefty Bob Wheatley (Villa Park, Calif./Orange Lutheran HS) held the Huskies (4-16, 0-4 Pac-12) at bay in his longest outing of the season, going eight complete innings, allowing two earned runs on 12 hits, while striking out five and walking three.
In the top of the first, leadoff hitter Bobby Stahel (Needles, Calif./Palos Verdes HS) worked a walk and he went first to third on a one-out single from Blake Lacey (Clovis, Calif./Clovis HS). James Roberts (Cupertino, Calif./Archbishop Mitty HS) scored Stahel on an RBI groundout to put the Trojans up, 1-0.
In the top of the second, after a one-out single from Jake Hernandez (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif./Los Osos HS), he advance 90 feet on a stolen base. The Trojans then mounted a two-out rally, as Stahel walked, Adam Landecker (Calabasas, Calif./Calabasas HS) knocked one of his three hits of the day to load the bases. Lacey then singled down the right field line to score two more runs and put the Trojans up, 3-0. Roberts then singled to the shortstop to drive in the fourth run of the day. After an error by Husky starter Nick Palewicz loaded the bases, he was pulled for reliever Tyler Davis who got the final out to end the inning.
Davis was solid for the Huskies, allowing only one run on five hits through 7.1 innings of work. He struck out seven while walking just one.
The Huskies got on the board with one run in the third, but Wheatley settled in and minimized the damage.
In the Trojans' half of the seventh, with runners at second and third, the Huskies intentionally walked Greg Zebrack (Northridge, Calif./UPenn) with one out. That came back to haunt them, as pinch hitter Conner Sullivan (Orange, Calif./Orange Lutheran HS) was hit by the first pitch to score a run and put the Trojans up, 5-1.
The Huskies added a run in the bottom of the eighth, which was Wheatley's final inning to make things 5-2 heading into the final frame.
In the bottom of the ninth, Nigel Nootbaar (El Segundo, Calif./El Segundo HS) entered to close things out. The Huskies made things interesting, scoring two runs on a double down the right field line from Alex Smith to pull within one, 5-4. Nootbaar got the final batter to ground out to him on his first pitch, preserving the win and his third save of the year.
The Trojans and Huskies will face off in game two of the series at 2 p.m. PT on Saturday at Husky Ballpark.