USC Defeats No. 18 Oregon, 5-4, In 10 Innings
April 24, 2010
EUGENE, Ore. - Mike O'Neill went 4-for-6, including the go-ahead run in the 10th inning Saturday, as the USC Trojans defeated the No. 18 Oregon Ducks, 5-4 in 10 innings, to even the Pac-10 Conference series. Chris Mezger (4-0) threw two scoreless innings in relief to earn the win.
Ricky Oropesa went 2-for-5 with two doubles and three RBI for the Trojans (17-21, 3-11), who snapped a school-record eight-game conference losing streak. USC rallied from a 2-0 deficit with a run in the third and seventh innings before a wild finish to the game. Trojan right-hander Ben Mount got the no-decision despite allowing just four hits in seven innings with two runs (both unearned).
O'Neill hit a one-out single in the ninth and Joe De Pinto followed with a hard ground ball to short that KC Serna could not come up with as the infield single put runners at first and third. Oropesa then launched an RBI double to right for the 3-2 lead and Matt Foat followed by hitting a hard grounder off a drawn-in infield, bouncing it off Serna's glove into center for the 4-2 score.
Chad Smith, who relieved Mount in the eighth, opened the Oregon (26-13, 7-7) ninth by hitting Steven Packard and Jack Marder with pitches, later walking Dylan Gavin to load the bases with no outs. Mezger then entered, uncorking a wild pitch against J.J. Altobelli to cut the lead to one. Altobelli was then intentionally walked to load the bases, but Mezger got Curtis Raulinaitis to ground into a 4-6-3 double play as Marder scored the tying run. Serna was intentionally walked and with the winning run at third, Mezger induced a fly ball from Marcus Piazzisi with left fielder Garret Houts making a one-handed grab on the run near the left field foul line.
With two outs in the 10th against Oregon closer Drew Gagnier, Alex Glenn drew a walk and then stole second. Gagnier then threw a wild pitch to Ryan Bast on ball four as Glenn advanced to third. O'Neill then hit a grounder that just got underneath Danny Pulfer's glove at second with Bast being thrown out at third by Packard from right field. Eddie Rodriguez walked in the bottom of the 10th, followed by Packard's single to left for runners at first and second, but Mezger responded by striking out Marder and getting Gavin to fly out to center for the final out.
The series concludes tomorrow at noon and will be broadcast live on usctrojans.com.
Notes: USC won its first extra-inning game in three tries this season...the Trojans are 11-10 on the road this season...this was Mike O'Neill's first four-hit game of the season (he went 5-for-5 in one game last season)...Chris Mezger is now 4-0 on the season with a 2.17 ERA for the Trojans...Ricky Oropesa continues to lead the Trojans in the triple crown categories and is now hitting .338 with 11 home runs and 39 RBI.
USC 001-000-102-1---5-13-1 UO 110-000-002-0---4-5-0