Trojans Drop 2-1 Heartbreaker to No. 8 UCLA
May 17, 2013
LOS ANGELES -USC took an early 1-0 lead in the first inning and kept things close at 1-1 until the top of the ninth, when No. 8 UCLA plated the go ahead run on an error and the Trojans were unable to score in the bottom of the inning, falling 2-1 to the Bruins on Friday evening at Dedeaux Field.
The Trojan pitching staff was solid in the game, headed by junior starter Bob Wheatley (Villa Park, Calif./Orange Lutheran HS), who went seven complete innings and allowed only one run on seven hits, while striking out four. His younger brother, freshman righty Brent Wheatley (Villa Park, Calif./Orange Lutheran HS) entered in relief in the eighth and went 1.2 innings, allowing one unearned run on one hit, while striking out four. Freshman lefty Marc Huberman (Los Angeles, Calif./Hamilton HS) also did his job, getting two ground balls and recording the final out of the top of the ninth.
The Trojans struck first of the Bruins' ace Adam Plutko, taking an early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning. Adam Landecker (Calabasas, Calif./Calabasas HS) doubled down the left field line to put a runner in scoring position with one out. James Roberts (Cupertino, Calif./Archbishop Mitty HS) followed with a double to left field to score Landecker and put the Trojans up, 1-0. Greg Zebrack (Northridge, Calif./UPenn) reached on an error to keep the rally going, but the Trojans were unable to plate another run in the inning.
In the bottom of the second the Trojans had a prime opportunity to get on the board again, as Timmy Robinson (Huntington Beach, Calif./Ocean View HS) legged out a triple with one out. Then with two outs, Garrett Stubbs (Del Mar, Calif./Torrey Pines HS) worked a walk to put runners at the corners, but they were left stranded.
The Bruins tied things up with two outs in the fourth inning, as Cody Regis hit a slow grounder to second base and everyone was safe.
The Trojans had runners at second and third with two outs in the fifth inning, and again had two on with runners at first and second with two out in the seventh but could not push the run across. Overall in the game the Trojans stranded nine baserunners.
In the top of the ninth the Bruins broke the deadlock. After a one-out walk, Brian Carroll hit a two-out single to put runners at first and second. Huberman entered in relief of Brent Wheatley, and induced a ground ball to the second baseman, but he lost his footing and was unable to make the play at first for the final out. The go ahead run would score and runners would advance to second and third on an errant throw. The damage was done, however, and the Bruins took the 2-1 lead.
UCLA's closer David Berg entered and retired the side in the bottom of the ninth for his 14th save of the year.
The Trojans and Bruins will return to Dedeaux Field for game two of the series set for 2 p.m. PT on Saturday.