Trojans Perform Late-Inning Heroics Again, But Fall 10-9 in 11 Innings at Arizona State
April 6, 2014
TEMPE, Ariz.- USC baseball with another late-innings comeback, tying things up with four runs in the ninth inning, but the team eventually fell in 11 innings to Arizona State, 10-9 on Saturday evening.
The Trojans tallied nine runs on an impressive 17 hits in the loss. Six different Trojans had multi-hit days at the plate, while Jeremy Martinez (Fountain Valley, Calif./Mater Dei HS) drove in three of the Trojans nine runs.
The Trojans saw themselves in an early 3-0 hole in the bottom of the first inning, as the Sun Devils busted out with six-straight singles as three runs came around to score to start the bottom of the first inning.
The Trojans pulled within one in the top of the fifth inning, as they led off the inning with back-to-back singles from Dante Flores (Norwalk, Calif./St. John Bosco HS) and Kevin Swick (La Canada, Calif./Loyola HS). Then with one out, Jeremy Martinez (Fountain Valley, Calif./Mater Dei HS) singled to left field on a 3-1 pitch to plate Flores and advance Swick to second. The Trojans then plated another run after a fielder's choice from AJ Ramirez (Bakersfield, Calif./Bakersfield Christian HS) and an error on the throw by the shortstop to first allowed Swick to come home.
However, the Sun Devils answered with three more runs of their own in the bottom of the third inning against reliever Kyle Twomey (Placentia, Calif./El Dorado HS). After starter Bob Wheatley (Villa Park, Calif./Orange Lutheran HS) allowed a lead off double to Trever Allen, he was pulled in favor of Twomey. After back-to-back walks to load the bases, Twomey got a strikeout swinging, but RJ Ybarra delivered a bases clearing double to put the Sun Devils ahead, 6-3.
Despite walking those first two hitters he faced in the third, Twomey settled in and threw 3.2 innings, not allowing any more runs and holding the Sun Devils to just two hits from the fourth through five and two-thirds innings. He finished with four strikeouts.
In the top of the sixth inning, the Trojans pulled within one run, as Blake Lacey (Clovis, Calif./Clovis HS) led off the inning with a double. Vahn Bozoian (Chino Hills, Calif./Ayala HS) singled to put runners on the corners for the Trojans. Flores singled to plate the runner from third and put two on. Against new Sun Devil pitcher Eric Melbostad with one out, Garrett Stubbs (Del Mar, Calif./Torrey Pines HS) singled to load the bases for Martinez, who delivered a two-RBI single to put the score at 6-5 Sun Devils. After a fielder's choice by AJ Ramirez (Bakersfield, Calif./Bakersfield Christian HS) put runners on the corners with 2 down, the Trojans sent the runners, but Stubbs was thrown out at the plate to end the inning. The Trojans had a bases loaded opportunity in the top of the seventh inning, but they were unable to plate a run.
In the bottom of the seventh inning, the Sun Devils capitalized on their scoring opportunity, putting up three runs with two outs. RJ Ybarra plated a run on a double and then two came around to score on a Drew Stankiewicz triple and then he scored himself on an error by Trojan second baseman.
The Trojans came through in the top of the ninth inning the Trojans batted around as they scored four runs to tie things up in the inning. Jake Hernandez (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif./Los Osos HS) started the Trojan rally with a single, followed by singles from Lacey and Bozoian to load the bases with no outs. Flores delivered a sac fly to plate a run for the Trojans. That prompted a Sun Devil pitching change, as Jordan Aboites was lifted for Sun Devil flame-throwing closer Ryan Burr. Burr hit the first Trojan hitter he faced, Kevin Swick (La Canada, Calif./Loyola HS) to load the bases. Garrett Stubbs (Del Mar, Calif./Torrey Pines HS) singled through the right side for an RBI and the Trojans were within two, 9-7. After Martinez flied out for the second out, AJ Ramirez (Bakersfield, Calif./Bakersfield Christian HS) drew a walk to pull the Trojans within one. Timmy Robinson (Huntington Beach, Calif./Ocean View HS) drew another walk to load the bases and tie the game, 9-9. The Trojans had the bases loaded, but Burr was able to get the strikeout to end the inning. Kyle Davis (Garden Grove, Calif./Pacifica HS) entered in the bottom of the ninth and put up a zero to send the game into extra innings.
The Trojans had a baserunner in the 10th and 11th innings, but were unable to plate any runs.
In the bottom of the 11th, the Trojans got into trouble, with back-to-back singles to start the inning. After intentionally walking the bases loaded, the Trojans brought in five infielders, as Ramirez came in from right field, as there was a force at every base, including home. The Trojans got what they wanted, as Jake Peevyhouse reached on a fielder's choice and Ramirez threw the runner out at home. With one out, RJ Ybarra, who had already driven in four runs on the day for the Sun Devils, delivered a sac fly to left field to plate the game-winning run from third.
The Trojans and Sun Devils will meet in game three of the series set for 12:30 p.m. PT on Sunday at Packard Stadium.