Trojan Winning Streak Snapped with 6-2 Loss to UC Irvine
April 29, 2014
LOS ANGELES - The USC baseball team saw their nine-game winning streak snapped by the visiting UC Irvine Anteaters by a score of 6-2 at Dedeaux Field on Tuesday evening.
The No. 24 Trojans out hit the Anteaters 10 to 9, but left 11 runners on base in the midweek loss.
Blake Lacey (Clovis, Calif./Clovis HS), who made his first career start as a left fielder, was 3-for-4 on the day and drove in what was at the time the game-tying run in the sixth inning. The reigning Pac-12 Player of the Week, Jake Hernandez (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif./Los Osos HS) also continued his hot hitting, going 2-for-4 at the plate with one run scored.
Trojan starter Brooks Kriske (Palm Desert, Calif./Palm Desert HS) was able to pitch out of trouble in the first and second innings, but the Anteaters got on the board in the top of the third inning, after a lead off double by Grant Palmer. He was sac bunted to third and came around to score on a single by designated hitter Jonathan Munoz to put the score at 1-0.
In the bottom of the sixth, the Trojans were able to tie things up with a two-out rally. Hernandez singled and then Timmy Robinson (Huntington Beach, Calif./Ocean View HS) reached on a throwing error by the Anteater shortstop to extend the inning. That allowed Lacey to double down the left field line to bring home Hernandez and tie the score, 1-1.
However, the Anteaters answered right back in the top of the seventh inning, off Trojan relievers Jeff Paschke (Santa Barbara, Calif./Santa Barbara HS) and James Guillen (Covina, Calif./Damien HS). A series of miscues also didn't help the Trojans, as a missed tag on a double steal put runners in scoring position and a throwing error by the Trojans' shortstop, that would have been the second out extended the inning. When the dust settled, the Anteaters scored four runs on three hits to take a 5-1 lead.
In the eighth the Trojans had a leadoff single by catcher Garrett Stubbs (Del Mar, Calif./Torrey Pines HS), but that was erased by a double play. The Trojans mounted a two-out rally with a single from Hernandez and a double by Robinson, but they were stranded after new Anteater reliever Jimmy Litchfield was able to secure a groundout to end the inning.
The Anteaters got on the board again in the top of the ninth, taking advantage of a Trojan error by pitcher Nigel Nootbaar (El Segundo, Calif./El Segundo HS) to put the score at 6-1.
In the bottom of the ninth, the Trojans looked to come through with a late rally. With two outs, pinch hitter David Edson (Las Vegas, Nev./Faith Lutheran HS) delivered his first collegiate hit, a well-hit single to right centerfield. He then came around to score on a double by Kevin Swick (La Canada, Calif./Loyola HS) to put the score at 6-2. That was all the comeback the Trojans had, as they fell 6-2.
The Trojans will regroup and head back out on the road this weekend, traveling to Washington State for a three-game Pac-12 series starting on Friday, May 2.