USC Rallies To Finish Pac-10 Sweep Over Oregon State, 6-5
May 18, 2008
LOS ANGELES - Sophomore Hector Rabago's (Riverside/Poly HS) two-out RBI single in the bottom of the ninth Sunday gave the USC Trojans the 6-5 win against the two-time defending national champion Oregon State Beavers. The Trojans completed the Pac-10 Conference series sweep against the Beavers as USC completed its greatest comeback of the season from a 5-0 deficit and won its season-high fifth straight game.
Rabago finished the day with a 2-for-3 and three RBI performance. He also made a spectacular play at short, in place of the injured Grant Green, in the top of the eighth with two outs and a runner at third.
USC (27-26, 10-11) is now in position for a possible NCAA Tournament berth and will need a series win or sweep next weekend at Washington State.
Oregon State (25-23, 11-13) was swept in a three-game series for the first time this season and is currently eighth in the Pac-10 standings.
Anthony Vasquez threw three no-hit innings to earn the win after throwing two scoreless innings in Saturday's win to earn a save.
Kevin Rhoderick (0-1) suffered his first loss of the season for the Beavers after walking three batters in two innings and allowing a run on one hit.
OSU scored with two outs in the first after USC starter Brad Boxberger struck out the first two batters. Boxberger then hit Ryan Ortiz with a pitch and gave up a single to John Wallace which moved Ortiz to third. Daniel Robertson then singled to left for the first run.
Drew George walked to lead off the OSU second and Jordan Lennerton hammered a two-run homer to right that bounced off the light tower for a 3-0 Beavers lead. Robertson tripled in the third to bring home John Wallace and later scored on George's RBI sacrifice fly for the 5-0 advantage.
Greg Peavey cruised for the Beavers, allowing just two hits in five innings before getting into trouble in the sixth.
Derek Perren and Keith Castillo singled to knock out Peavey. Blake Keitzman then walked Vasquez to load the bases. Mike O'Neill then hit an RBI fielder's choice to score Perren. With two outs and a full count, Rabago laced a two-run double down the left field line which cut the lead to 5-3. Robert Stock then blooped an RBI single to center for a one-run deficit. USC loaded the bases, but Green grounded out to end the inning.
Vasquez singled in the seventh with two outs and with a 2-0 count to O'Neill, an appealed check swing was called a ball and in the process, Oregon State head coach Pat Casey was ejected from the game. O'Neill walked before Rhoderick entered the game. A walk to Rabago loaded the bases and his first pitch to Stock hit him to force in the tying run.
In the OSU eighth and two outs with pinch runner Garrett Nash at third, Ortiz hit a slow roller in the hole that Rabago scooped up and fired a strike to get Ortiz and hold the Beavers scoreless.
In the bottom of the ninth, Joe De Pinto walked and advanced to third on Vasquez's sacrifice and O'Neill's ground out. With a 1-1 count, Rabago laced a line drive to center for the game winner.
USC travels to Washington State next weekend, Friday-Sunday (May 23-25). Friday's game starts at 5:30 p.m. with a 2 p.m. start on Saturday and noon start on Sunday. All three games will be broadcast live on usctrojans.com.
Note: Seven USC seniors (along with eight Oregon State seniors) were honored in the final home game of the season at Dedeaux Field: Taylor Grigsby, Mike Roskopf, Brendan Kotler, Will Rice, Sebastian Salinas, Derek Perren and Roberto Lopez.
OSU 122-000-000---5-7-1 USC 000-004-101---6-8-1