Complete Team Effort Propels USC Past No. 1 Oregon State 4-2
May 23, 2014
LOS ANGELES - The USC baseball team got it done on the mound and at the plate tonight as they defeated the No. 1-ranked Oregon State Beavers 4-2 in game one of the three-game Pac-12 series at Dedeaux Field on Friday evening.
The Trojans got a solid start from sophomore righty Brent Wheatley (Villa Park, Calif./Orange Lutheran HS), who threw six complete innings, allowing only two runs on five hits, while striking out four and walking three in the no-decision. Sophomore lefty reliever Marc Huberman (Los Angeles, Calif./Hamilton HS) followed and earned his first win of the year as he threw 1.1 innings of shutout baseball. Sophomore closer Kyle Davis (Garden Grove, Calif./Pacifica HS) finished off the stellar team pitching effort with three strikeouts in 1.2 innings for his team-leading ninth save of the year.
At the plate, the Trojans were led by freshman Frankie Rios (Lakewood, Calif./Long Beach Poly HS), who went 2-for-4, driving in the Trojans' first two runs in the fourth inning with his first career triple. Fellow freshman Jeremy Martinez (Huntington Beach, Calif./Mater Dei HS) came through with a big two-out, two-strike single in the seventh inning for the Trojans' fourth run of the game, while sophomore Timmy Robinson (Huntington Beach, Calif./Ocean View HS) drove in the go-ahead run in the seventh with an RBI sac fly. Omar Cotto Lozada (San Juan, Puerto Rico/The Bonneville School) also played a big part in the Trojan offense, going 2-for-4 with one run scored.
The Beavers got on the board in the top of the first as a wild pitch allowed the runner to score from third. Wheatley settled in and was able to minimize the damage and get out of the inning. They added another run in the top of the third inning after a lead off triple by Trever Morrison and a sac fly from Jeff Hendrix put the Beavers up 2-0.
In the bottom of the fourth inning the Trojans took advantage of an extra out given on an error by the shortstop that allowed AJ Ramirez (Bakersfield, Calif./Bakersfield HS) to reach with two outs. Cotto Lozada then singled to put to on. Next Rios came through with his first-career triple to drive in both runs and tie the game with one swing during the two-out rally.
The Trojans got to the Beavers' relievers in the seventh inning. Rios led off the inning against reliever Brandon Jackson with a single to right field. Reggie Southall (Gardena, Calif./Serra HS) executed the slash for a single to right field, putting two on with no outs. Senior Kevin Swick (La Canada, Calif./Loyola HS) laid down a perfect sac bunt to advance the runners to second and third. The Beavers went back to their bullpen, this time bringing in Jake Thompson. Robinson came through with the go-ahead and eventual game-winning run on a sac fly RBI and Martinez then delivered a two-strike single up the middle to put the Trojans ahead, 4-2.
Huberman and Davis shut the door on the Beavers through the final two frames. The Beavers made it interesting as they had runners on the corners in the ninth inning. After a one-out single by pinch hitter Michael Howard, a wild pitch advanced him to second despite a strikeout for the second out of the inning. Davis then recorded a strikeout of Hendrix, but he reached on a passed ball and Howard advanced to third. That gave the Beavers a second life with two down, two on, but Davis recorded his fourth out of the inning, a strikeout of Caleb Hamilton to end the game.
The Trojans and Beavers will meet in game two of the series at 4 p.m. PT on Saturday at Dedeaux Field. The game will be televised live on the Pac-12 Networks.