Furious Comeback Bid Falls Short for Trojans with 7-6 Loss to Washington State
May 10, 2013
LOS ANGELES - The Trojans made things interesting Friday night, scoring two runs in the eighth and another two in the ninth, but were unable to complete the comeback, leaving runners on the corners in the ninth as they fell 7-6 to the visiting Washington State Cougars at Dedeaux Field.
The Trojans took an early 1-0 lead on an RBI groundout by Dante Flores (Norwalk, Calif./St. John Bosco HS) in the bottom of the first, but in the top of the third the Cougars tied things up, 1-1. That score held until the fifth inning.
In the fifth inning, starter Bob Wheatley (Villa Park, Calif./Orange Lutheran HS) gave up four runs on six hits as the Cougars began to build their lead, 5-1. In the top of the sixth they added two more to push their lead to 7-1. Wheatley was chased after giving up back-to-back hits and a run in the top of the sixth. Freshman lefty Marc Huberman (Los Angeles, Calif./Hamilton HS) enters and minimizes the damage, but allows the seventh run to score on a wild pitch. Wheatley, who entered the game with a team-low 1.96 ERA, finished with an uncharacteristic line, as he gave up seven runs on 12 hits, while walking one and striking out three in his fourth loss of the year.
The Trojans got back on the board in the bottom of the sixth inning, as Greg Zebrack (Northridge, Calif./UPenn) delivered a two-out double to score Bobby Stahel (Needles, Calif./Palos Verdes HS) and put the score at 7-2, Cougars.
A combination of Huberman, Shane Gonzales (Temecula, Calif./Great Oak HS) and Matt Munson (Irvine, Calif./Saddleback College) put up zeros for the Trojans in the seventh, eighth and ninth innings to keep the Trojans within striking distance.
In the bottom of the eighth, Adam Landecker (Calabasas, Calif./Calabasas HS), who had three of the Trojans' six hits on the day, tripled with one out to plate a run. He was then driven in by Flores' second RBI ground out of the day. The Trojans headed to the ninth inning, trailing, 7-4.
The Trojans showed fight in the bottom of the ninth, against the Cougars' closer, J.D. Leckenby. James Roberts (Cupertino, Calif./Archbishop Mitty HS) started off the inning with an infield single. Garrett Stubbs (Del Mar, Calif./Torrey Pines HS) then drew a four-pitch walk. Kevin Swick (La Canada, Calif./Loyola HS) grounded into a double play, but the Trojans had a runner at third. Then back-to-back Trojans were hit by the pitch to load the bases for the hot-hitting Landecker. The senior singled to right field to score two runs and pull the Trojans within one, 7-6. With runners on the corners, the Cougars went to their bullpen, to bring in a lefty, Richie Ochoa to face the Trojans' left-handed hitting Flores. The Trojans then countered with right-handed pinch hitter AJ Ramirez (Bakersfield, Calif./Bakersfield Christian HS). Ramirez had the count at 3-0, before Ochoa drew it full at 3-2. Ramirez hit a slow grounder to third to make it a close play at first, but the Cougars recorded the out to end the game.
The Trojans and Cougars return to the diamond on Saturday at 7 p.m. for game two of the Pac-12 series.