Trojans Unable to Hold on, Fall 5-2 at Washington State in Series Opener
May 2, 2014
PULLMAN, Wash. - The USC baseball team was unable to hold onto an early 2-0 lead, as Washington State starting pitcher Joe Pistorese shut down the Trojan offense down the stretch, and the Trojans fell 5-2 in game one of the Pac-12 series at Bailey-Brayton Field on Friday evening.
The Trojan offense got things going early against the lefty Pistorese, as Kevin Swick (La Canada, Calif./Loyola HS) got things started in the top of the first with a single to left field. Garrett Stubbs (Del Mar, Calif./Torrey Pines HS) drew a four pitch walk to put two on with no out. Jeremy Martinez (Fountain Valley, Calif./Mater Dei HS) delivered the sac bunt to put runners on 2nd and 3rd with just one out. That brought up the reigning Pac-12 Player of the Week, Jake Hernandez (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif./Los Osos HS), who singled through the left side with two strikes to bring in both runners and put the Trojans up 2-0.
After that inning, the Trojan offense was held to just three more hits through the final eight frames. Pistorese retired 23 of 26 batters until he was pulled with two down in the top of the ninth inning after allowing a two-out double to Hernandez. Cougars closer Ian Hamilton entered to record the final out of the game and solidify his team single-season record 12th save.
Trojan starter Wyatt Strahan (Villa Park, Calif./Villa Park HS), who had been stellar in his last three starts, saw his scoreless inning streak end at 21.1 innings, as the Cougars scored two in the second inning. He did not have his sharpest stuff on the night, going 6.1 innings, allowing 5 runs (four earned) on nine hits, while walking five and striking out four.
The 2-2 score held until the bottom of the seventh inning, as the Cougars put up three runs on three hits. A leadoff triple by Collin Slaybaugh, who went 2-for-3 on the day, set the tone in the inning. Nick Tanielu drove in one run with a double, while PJ Jones brought home two on a single up the middle.
The Trojans will look to even up the series tomorrow (Saturday) at 2 p.m. PT at Bailey-Brayton Field.