Trojans Fall 5-2 to No. 8 UCLA on Senior Day
May 19, 2013
LOS ANGELES - On USC's Senior Day, as Nick Berhel, Adam Landecker, Matt Munson and Greg Zebrack took to Dedeaux Field for the last time in their Trojan career, the team tallied a game-best 12 hits, but eventually fell 5-2 to No. 8 UCLA on Sunday afternoon.
Senior infielder Landecker (Calabasas, Calif./Calabasas HS) made the most of his last game at home, as he led the team with a 4-for-5 day, while also scoring one of the Trojan runs. Freshman Blake Lacey (Clovis, Calif./Clovis HS) also had a multi-hit day, going 2-for-3.
Freshman starter Kyle Twomey (Placentia, Calif./El Dorado HS) went six innings, allowing five runs (only four earned) on eight hits, while striking out three in the loss. Fellow freshman Brent Wheatley (Villa Park, Calif./Orange Lutheran HS) threw three hitless innings in relief, allowing the Trojans to stay close.
For the third-straight game, the Trojans got on the board first over the Bruins, striking in the bottom of the first inning. With one out, Landecker laced a ball down the left field line, and James Roberts (Cupertino, Calif./Archbishop Mitty HS) followed with a double of his own to plate Landecker and put the Trojans ahead 1-0.
In the third inning, the Bruins got on the board, as a lead off hit-by-pitch, a walk and a wild pitch allowed a single from Kevin Kramer with one out to plate two runs and put the Trojans down, 2-1.
After a sacrifice fly plated another run for the Bruins in the top of the fifth, the Trojans immediately answered, plating a run of their own. Timmy Robinson (Huntington Beach, Calif./Ocean View HS) led off the inning with a single, and with one out, he went first to third on a single from Landecker. That set the stage for Roberts to deliver an RBI fielder's choice to pull the Trojans within one, 3-2.
In the sixth inning, with runners on the corners and one out, the Trojan defense made a strong play, as Landecker came home with a chopper to cut down the runner at the plate and get the second out. However, the next batter, Pat Valaika hit a triple to right field to plate two runs and put the Bruins ahead, 5-2.
The Trojans had excellent opportunities to push runs across, starting in the bottom of the sixth, but runners were stranded at first and second. In the eighth inning, the Trojans had the bases loaded with two outs and go-ahead run at the plate, but the Bruins brought in their lights-out closer, David Berg to face Trojan pinch hitter Dante Flores (Norwalk, Calif./St. John Bosco HS). Flores had a nice at-bat and hit a sharp grounder to the left side, but Bruin shortstop Valaika again made an outstanding play going to his right to snag the ball deep in the hole and record the out at third to end the Trojan threat.
In the ninth, a two-out single by Landecker, his fourth hit of the day kept the inning alive, but the Trojans were unable to extend the rally.
The Trojans will head out to the road for the final four games of the season, as they travel to UC Irvine on Tuesday for a 6:30 p.m. start, before heading to face the Arizona Wildcats in a three-game series beginning Friday.