USC Drops Home Finale 14-9
May 23, 2012
LOS ANGELES-- Freshman Dante Flores went 2-for-3 with a grand slam and five RBI's but it wasn't enough to propel USC to victory as they lost an offense packed contest with UC Riverside 14-9 in the final home game of the season at Dedeaux Field Wednesday night. The Trojans fall to 23-29 while the Highlanders improve to 22-29 on the season.
USC opened the game with authority as Flores crushed a first inning grand slam off the score board in right field to give the Trojans a 4-0 cushion.
In the third, Riverside's Eddie Young Homered to right off starter Matt Munson who had held the Highlanders hitless for 2 2/3 innings.
Munson, one of the Trojans most effective relievers, was making the first start of his career and went 3 2/3 innings allowing four runs on five hits.
Riverside inched closer in the fourth as they tacked on another run on a sac-fly by Kyle Boudreau before another run scored on a well-executed double steal to cut the lead to 4-3. The Highlanders battled all the way back as they tied the game on a RBI single to center by Alex Rubanowitz to chase Munson from the game. Brandon Garcia entered to strike out Bart Steponovich to end the inning.
James Roberts singled to open the Trojans fourth and advanced to third after a sac-bunt from Flores and a stolen base. J.R. Aguirre then knocked him in with a hard single to right to reclaim the lead for USC 5-4.
After two walks in the fifth, Garcia would depart for Brad Douthit who would walk his first batter as well. David Andriese then delivered a RBI single to center followed by a two-run double by Boudreau in a disastrous inning for USC.
The Trojans loaded the bases in the fifth with two out, but their rally was squashed as Aguirre was struck in the shoulder but called out for leaning into the pitch.
In the top of the sixth, after a walk to Young, USC head coach Frank Cruz had seen enough and was ejected after a lengthy discussion with the home plate umpire. The Highlanders would load the bases and stretch the lead after a two-run single by Clayton Prestige to go up 9-5. Riverside added another on a RBI single by Andriese to get to double digits.
Trailing 13-6 in the seventh, USC put together six hits with RBI's from Flores, Aguirre, Swick and Roundtree to cut the lead to 13-9. The Trojans would get no closer as they failed to score in the final two frames.
Roberts went 3-for-5 to raise his average to .303 while Roundtree, Houts and Flores also had multi-hit games.
USC returns to action Friday at 6 p.m. as they close the season with a road series at No. 9 UCLA.