Trojans Drop 10-Inning Heartbreaker at Washington State 4-3
May 3, 2014
PULLMAN, Wash. - The Trojans fought back to tie the game 3-3 in the top of the ninth inning, but were unable to plate the go-ahead run, eventually falling 4-3 in 10-innings to Washington State 4-3 in game two of the series on Saturday afternoon at Bailey-Brayton Field.
Despite out-hitting the Cougars nine to eight, they left six runners on base, including stranding runners in scoring position in the first three frames.
The Trojans were down 1-0 after the first inning, as the Cougars took advantage of a walk from starter Brent Wheatley (Villa Park, Calif./Orange Lutheran HS), as that runner came around to score one back-to-back singles. He was able to minimize the damage, stranding two runners on base.
Wheatley ended up taking the no-decision after the Trojans tied things up in the ninth. He went six complete, allowing three runs on five hits, while striking out one and walking four.
The Trojans were finally able to cash in their runners in scoring position in the fourth inning with a two-out rally. Blake Lacey (Clovis, Calif./Clovis HS) singled through the left side with one out, and a sac bunt advanced him to third. With two outs, Bobby Stahel (Needles, Calif./Palos Verdes HS) singled to right field to tie the game up 1-1, and he advanced to second on the throw. AJ Ramirez (Bakersfield, Calif./Bakersfield Christian HS) continued the two-out rally with a single to right centerfield, plating Stahel to give the Trojans with 2-1 lead.
In the fifth inning, however, the Cougars answered with two more runs to take the 3-2 lead. A hit-by-pitch hurt the Trojans, as the runner eventually came home on an infield single to tie the game 2-2. Yale Rosen then doubled to left center to plate the third run of the day for the Cougars. An intentional walk to the dangerous Nick Tanielu worked, as the next batter flied out in foul territory to end the threat.
In the back-and-forth game, the Trojans were down 3-2 heading into the top of the ninth inning, but were able to get to Cougars' closer Ian Hamilton, as Jake Hernandez (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif./Los Osos HS) singled up the middle to lead off the inning. Lacey, who was 2-for-3 on the day, laid down the sac bunt to advance pinch runner Frankie Rios (Lakewood, Calif./Long Beach Poly HS) to second. Timmy Robinson (Huntington Beach, Calif./Ocean View HS) came through with a huge double to score Rios and tie the game 3-3. Robinson advanced to second on a passed ball, putting what would have been the go-ahead run 90-feet away with just one out. However, the Cougars were able to get two huge strikeouts to end the inning and the Trojans headed to extra innings for the eighth time this season.
After reliever Kyle Twomey (Placentia, Calif./El Dorado HS) threw two shutout innings in the seventh and eighth to keep the Trojans in the game, Trojan closer Kyle Davis (Garden Grove, Calif./Pacifica HS) entered with the score tied in the bottom of the ninth, retiring the Cougars in order to head to extras.
In the top of the 10th, the Trojans got a runner on with two outs, as Garrett Stubbs (Del Mar, Calif./Torrey Pines HS) came through with an infield single. However, the team was unable to make anything happen, and we headed to the bottom half of the inning.
In the bottom of the 10th, Tanielu came through with a leadoff single vs. Davis. After a sac bunt advanced the runner to second and gave the Trojans their first out, Davis got a big strikeout to sit down two Cougars. The Trojans elected to intentionally walk Ian Sagdal to get to first baseman Patrick McGrath, who was hitting just .153 entering the at-bat. He was able to connect on a bloop single that dropped in shallow right field, plating the game-winning run from second.
The Trojans will look to avoid the series sweep tomorrow (Sunday) at 12 p.m. PT at Bailey-Brayton Field.