Baseball Loses Marathon to UCLA, 18-17

    April 25, 1998

    LOS ANGELES - The No. 5 USC baseball team overcame one huge deficit but couldn't do it a second time and lost to UCLA, 18-17, in a Pacific-10 Conference Southern Division game on Saturday afternoon at Dedeaux Field. The game lasted four hours and 21 minutes and also had a 15-minute delay when an umpire was injured.

    The Trojans trailed 8-0 early in the game but came back to take a 10-9 lead after five innings. UCLA scored eight runs in the top of the sixth and had an 18-13 lead entering the bottom of the ninth. USC scored four runs, all with two out, and had the bases loaded when the final batter was retired.

    USC fell to 34-13 overall and 18-8 in the Six-Pac. UCLA improved to 19-29, 11-18.

    The Bruins were led by freshman 3B Garrett Atkins, who went 4-for-6 with five RBI and extended his school-record hitting streak to 32 games. Six different Trojans had two hits each, including senior 2B Wes Rachels, who had three RBI.

    A two-run home run by junior CF Eric Valent, the Pac-10's career home run leader with 65, got the Bruins started in the top of the first. The Trojans used four pitchers in the first three innings.

    The Trojans started their first comeback in the bottom of the third, scoring three runs, including a two-run home run by junior 1B Robb Gorr. The Trojans scored three more runs in the fourth and Rachels' RBI single capped a four-run fifth inning that gave the Trojans a 10-9 lead.

    But in the top of the sixth, UCLA junior C Jason Green led off with a solo home run, and the Bruins scored eight runs on seven hits to go ahead 17-10.

    Entering the bottom of the ninth, it was 18-13. With two runners on and two out, freshman SS Seth Davidson had an RBI single, prompting the Bruins to bring in freshman LHP Bobby Roe. An error scored the second run, consecutive hit-by-pitches brought home the third run and a wild pitch made it 18-17. After an intentional walk to Rachels loaded the bases, junior pinch-hitter Dominic Correa grounded out to first base to end the game.

    USC and UCLA finish their three-game series at Jackie Robinson Stadium in Westwood at 1 p.m. on Sunday.

    UCLA 341-018-001 --- 18-19-2

    USC 003-340-304 --- 17-15-1

    Carter, Brandt (4), Thielemann (5), Cislak (7), Roe (9) and Green.

    Currier, Immel (2), Kramer (2), Weibling (3), Penney (6), Flores (6) and DePippo.

    WP -- Thielemann (1-1) LP -- Weibling (2-1) SV -- Roe (5)

    HR: USC -- Gorr (10); UCLA -- Valent (26), Green (3).