Hernandez Drives in Eventual Game-Winning Run as Trojans Take Care of Long Beach State, 4-3
April 2, 2014
LOS ANGELES- Senior first baseman Jake Hernandez came through with the eventual game-winning hit in the bottom of the eighth inning to propel the USC baseball team to a 4-3 victory over visiting Long Beach State on Tuesday evening at Dedeaux Field.
Hernandez (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif./Los Osos HS) stepped to the plate in the bottom of the eighth inning with the game deadlocked at 3-3 with one out and Timmy Robinson (Huntington Beach, Calif./Ocean View HS) on first after a single. The senior picked a good time for his first hit of the day, stroking one into the left-center field gap to plate Robinson from first for the go-ahead run.
In the bottom of the seventh inning, the Trojans evened things up with a huge two-out, two-strike single to right field from catcher Garrett Stubbs (Del Mar, Calif./Torrey Pines HS).
The Dirtbags got on the board first in the top of the third inning with the help of two errors. The Trojans answered in the bottom half of the inning, as designated hitter Jeremy Martinez (Fountain Valley, Calif./Mater Dei HS) reached on a single, stole second base, advanced to third on an error by the second baseman who was unable to corral the throw from the catcher on the stolen base and eventually crossed the plate on a wild pitch from Dirtbags starter Ryan Millison.
The Trojans took a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the fifth inning as a bases-loaded walk brought home the run.
The Dirtbags answered in the top of the sixth inning, as walks, a wild pitch and one error came back to haunt the Trojans. They plated two runs to take a momentary 3-2 lead.
The Trojans got a strong start out of sophomore Brent Wheatley (Villa Park, Calif./Orange Lutheran HS) went 5-1 innings, allowing three unearned runs on three hits, while walking two and striking out two more. Senior James Guillen (Covina, Calif./Damien HS) took the win as he entered in relief of Marc Huberman (Los Angeles, Calif./Hamilton HS), who threw a sold 2.1 innings of scoreless relief. Guillen got the final out in the top of the eighth to end the Dirtbags scoring threat. Junior Wyatt Strahan (Villa Park, Calif./Villa Park HS) went 1-2-3 in the top of the ninth for his first save of the year.
The Trojans will head back out on the road this weekend, traveling to Arizona State for a three-game conference set. Game one is set for Friday at 6:30 p.m. PT.