USC Pitches Way To 4-3 Win At No. 14 Oregon State|
April 17, 2009
CORVALLIS, Ore. - USC junior Robert Stock (Westlake Village/Agoura HS), who started the game at catcher, came in as a reliever in the eighth and held off the tying run Friday as the USC Trojans opened a Pac-10 Conference series with the 4-3 win over the No. 14 Oregon State Beavers. Stock got his fourth save of the season with the tying run at second and again in the ninth with a runner at third, striking out Adalberto Santos to close out the win.
USC improved to 18-16 overall and 8-5 in Pac-10 play, just a half game behind Oregon State (22-8, 7-3) for second place in the conference. The Trojans also handed the Beavers their first home loss in 11 games this season.
Junior righty Brad Boxberger (Tustin/Foothill HS) had another strong start for the Trojans, improving to 3-3, with 7 1/3 innings. He allowed three runs on seven hits with three walks and six strikeouts.
Grant Green singled in the first and scored the first run when Ricky Oropesa hit a slow roller up the middle. Green broke on the pitch and scored easily. Mike O'Neill singled in the third and moved to third on Green's double. Oropesa was intentionally walked to load the bases, but OSU starter Tyler Waldron hit Anthony Vasquez on his first pitch to force in the run. Stock then hit a ground ball, but the Beavers were unable to turn the double play as USC made it a 3-0 lead.
Things got chippy in the USC half of the fourth after Brandon Garcia hit a leadoff homer. Waldron's first pitch following the home run was too close for comfort in Alex Sherrod's mind. Sherrod had some words for Waldron as warnings were issued to both benches.
Boxberger held the Beavers scoreless through six innings until the seventh. OSU got its first leadoff hitter aboard when Stefen Romero doubled to left. John Wallace then used a bunt single to put runners at the corners, followed by Koa Kahalehoe's RBI double to center. Michael Miller walked to load the bases, but Boxberger induced a double play from pinch hitter Brett Casey as the Beavers' second run scored. Joey Wong then singled home Kahalehoe, but Boxberger struck out Santos looking to maintain the one-run advantage.
After Ortiz hit a one-out double in the eighth, Stock came in and walked Wallace before striking out Kahalehoe on a full count to strand the tying run at second. Miller walked to lead off the ninth, but Casey could not advance the runner as he popped up his bunt attempt to catcher Hector Rabago, who came in for Stock after the switch. Wong then hit a grounder back to Stock, who threw to first for the second out. Miller then advanced to third on a Stock wild pitch before the game ended on the Santos strikeout.
The USC-Oregon State series continues tomorrow at 2 p.m. with the finale at noon on Sunday (April 19). Both games will be broadcast live on usctrojans.com.
USC 102-100-000---4-5-2 OSU 000-000-300---3-7-0