Trojans Drop Soggy Contest With Cougars 9-7
March 31, 2012
PULLMAN, Wash. --The USC baseball team lost a rain soaked contest to Washington State 9-7 this afternoon at Bailey-Brayton Field. The Trojans fall to 16-9 (3-5) while the Cougars improve to 13-11 (3-5) overall.
Washington State opened Saturday's game with a bang tagging Ben Mount with four runs in the first inning. Tommy Richards tripled to right on a high pop-up that was lost in the sun and fell out of the reach of Garret Houts. Taylor Ard laced a single up the middle to Bring Richards across and begin the scoring frenzy for the Cougars. Derek Jones followed with his seventh home run of the year, a two-run shot to left center. Ian Sagdal later added an RBI single to put the Trojans in a 4-0 hole early on.
Trailing 5-0 in the third, USC jumped back into the game with three runs on four hits. Jake Hernandez continued to swing a hot bat as he knocked in Houts with single up the middle to get USC on the board. With two on Kevin Roundtree delivered a two-run single up the middle to score Adam Landecker and Hernandez cutting the lead to 5-3.
It was a scary moment in the bottom of the third as Patrick Claussen hammered a hard liner off the leg of Mount who remained down for several minutes before being helped off the field.
Junior Matt Munson would come on in relief for USC and toss an impressive 3.2 scoreless innings while battling the days challenging elements.
Dante Flores brought the Trojans within one run with a double to left to score James Roberts who had doubled to start the inning. Landecker notched the third double of the inning as he went the other way and peppered the right field wall to score Flores and tie the game 5-5. Hernandez then belted a laser up the middle to score Landecker and give USC the 6-5 lead.
With a wind chill factor of 34 degrees and steady rain falling, the Cougars loaded the bases with two out in the fifth but Munson was able to work out of the jam getting Richards to pop out to shortstop.
Brandon Garcia entered the game in the seventh with runners in scoring position. P.J. Jones reached on an infield single to first that scored Sagdal from third to even the game again at 6-6. Garcia was hit with the loss and falls to 1-3.
In the eighth, Cougars' reliever Ty Jackson (1-0) intentionally walked Foat to get to Hernandez, a decision they would come to regret. Hernandez delivered yet again as he singled through he left side to score Houts from second and give the Trojans a 7-6 lead.
The wet turf proved to be a factor in the bottom of the inning as a routine grounder to Flores at second turned disastrous when his throw to first sailed wide and Derek Jones scored the tying run from second. With the bases loaded, P.J. Jones lined a single to left to bring in the go ahead run. Jason Monda then singled off the right field wall to plate another as the Cougars took a 9-7 lead heading into the ninth and held on for the win.
Hernandez went 3-for-4 with three RBI's to lead the Trojans offense while Roundtree, Swick and Roberts all had multi-hit games as well.
USC closes the series with Washington State tomorrow at 11 a.m. at Bailey-Brayton Field.