Trojans Put Up Seven Runs in Top of Ninth; Complete Sweep With Impressive 7-4 Victory Over Rival UCLA
April 26, 2014
LOS ANGELES - The USC baseball team delivered in the ninth inning, tallying seven runs on seven hits to come from behind to defeat crosstown rival UCLA 7-4 on Saturday afternoon, sweeping the Pac-12 series for the first time since 2005.
The Trojans trailed 4-0 through the first eight frames, as the Bruins held the Trojans to just four hits. However, in the top of the ninth, the Trojans got their bats going against Bruin reliever Nick Kern and never looked back, touching up three different Bruin pitchers for seven runs on seven hits to take the 7-4 lead.
Blake Lacey (Clovis, Calif./Clovis HS) led off the inning with a single to start the Trojan rally. Omar Cotto Lozada (San Juan, Puerto Rico/The Bonneville School) followed with a single of his own, as did pinch hitter Turner Clouse (Fountain Valley, Calif./Fountain Valley HS), to load the bases with no outs. Reggie Southall (Gardena, Calif./Serra HS) drew a bases-loaded walk to give the Trojans their first run, making the score 4-1. Kevin Swick (La Canada, Calif./Loyola HS) singled to left field to plate the next run and keep the line moving. With the score 4-2, the Bruins went back to their bullpen, bringing in lefty Max Schuh to face the left-handed hitting Garrett Stubbs (Del Mar, Calif./Torrey Pines HS) walked on four pitches to bring home the third run of the inning and pull the Trojans within one. After another pitching change by the Bruins brought in righty Grant Dyer, Jeremy Martinez (Fountain Valley, Calif./Mater Dei HS) singled to tie the game, 4-4 and keep the bases loaded. The hot-hitting Jake Hernandez (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif./Los Osos HS) was next, singling to left field to bring home the eventual game-winning run and put the score at 5-4. After the Bruins got their first out of the inning on a strikeout, they were able to record a second out on a suicide squeeze attempt by the Trojans that did not work, as the runner was tagged out trying to come home from third.
Lacey, who led off the inning, was able to deposit the 3-2 pitch with runners on second and third and two outs into center field, scoring two insurance runs to put the Trojans up 7-4, as he advanced to second on the throw home. Dyer was able to induce a fly out to end the inning, but the damage was done, as the Trojans took their 7-4 lead to the bottom half of the inning.
Trojan closer Kyle Davis (Garden Grove, Calif./Pacifica HS), who entered in the seventh inning, cleaned up in the bottom of the ninth, retiring the side in order to record the win, throwing three no-hit innings against the Bruins. He faced the minimum amount of hitters, retiring nine Bruins in order.
The Bruins got on the board first in the third inning, as they got to Trojan starter Bob Wheatley (Villa Park, Calif./Orange Lutheran HS). With one out, Ty Moore doubled down the left field line. Wheatley then walked the dangerous Shane Zeile to put two on. Kevin Williams came through for the Bruins to deliver a huge double to right center, plating two. He was thrown out at third trying to extend the hit into a triple. Wheatley would record the final out of the inning without any further damage, but the Bruins took a 2-0 lead.
The Bruins add two more runs in the fifth inning on three hits. Zeile and Williams both drive in runs, with Zeile hitting an RBI single and Williams an RBI double. Williams drove in three of their four runs on the day.
Trojans have now won nine-straight games and have swept two-straight Pac-12 series. USC will return to Dedeaux Field to host UC Irvine on Tuesday, April 29 at 6 p.m., before heading back out on the road, travelling to Washington State for a three-game Pac-12 series set starting on Friday, May 2.