No. 15 USC Offense Comes Alive In Big Team 12-3 Victory Over No. 13 UC Santa Barbara|
May 30, 2015
LOS ANGELES - The No. 15 Trojan offense came alive against No. 13 UC Santa Barbara, as the Trojans blasted 12 runs on 15 hits to stay alive in the NCAA Lake Elsinore Regional on Saturday afternoon.
The Trojans (38-20) got production up and down the lineup, taking a 1-0 lead in the third inning and never looking back. Eight of the nine Trojan hitters in the lineup had at least one hit on the day, with AJ Ramirez (Bakersfield, Calif./Bakersfield Christian HS) with three RBI and Garrett Stubbs (Del Mar, Calif./Torrey Pines HS) and Blake Lacey (Clovis, Calif./Clovis HS) with two RBI apiece.
Starter Kyle Twomey (Placentia, Calif./El Dorado HS) keyed the win for the Trojans with a strong start, going 7.1 innings, allowing just three runs on seven hits, while walking three and striking out three.
Stubbs got the Trojans on the board first in the top of the third with an RBI double. Jeremy Martinez (Fountain Valley, Calif./Mater Dei HS) drove in the Trojans' second run in the fifth inning, which was important as the Gauchos (40-17-1) got on the board in the bottom half of the inning.
The Trojans added two more to push their lead to 4-1 in the seventh with Bobby Stahel (Needles, Calif./Palos Verdes HS) with an RBI double and Stubbs with his second RBI of the day as starter Justin Jacome saw his day end after 6.1 innings of work.
The Trojans then added one more in the top of the eighth after the Gauchos catch Flores off third, but catcher Campbell Wear's throw to third sails over the third baseman's head and Flores comes around to score, 5-1.
The Gauchos make things interesting in the bottom of the eighth. With one out, the Gauchos started to square up Twomey, and after a single by Cameron Newell and an RBI double by Robby Nesovic, Twomey's day was over. Righty reliever Brooks Kriske (Palm Desert, Calif./Palm Desert HS) entered and allowed an RBI single to Paddy O'Brien. Left-hander Marc Huberman (Los Angeles, Calif./Hamilton HS) entered and struggled with his command, walking one to give the Gauchos two runners. He got a fly out for the second out of the day, but then walked another Gaucho to load the bases. After going 2-0 to pinch hitter Billy Fredrick, Coach Hubbs went back to the pen and brought in Tyler Gilbert (Felton, Calif./Santa Barbara City College). The moment was not too big for the moment, and after going 3-2 to Fredrick, he came through with an outstanding fastball that Fredrick swung through to end the inning.
The Trojan offense then came alive in the ninth inning, scoring seven runs off Gaucho reliever Shane Bieber as the Trojans batted around to push their lead to a comfortable 12-3. Twice the Gauchos intentionally walked batters to get to more favorable matchups and the Trojans made them pay, as Lacey came through with a two RBI double and Ramirez had a bases-clearing double to help put the game out of reach.
Gilbert retired the side in order in the bottom of the ninth for his second save of the year.
The Trojans continue on in the regional and will play at 3 p.m. tomorrow (Sunday) against the loser of tonight's Virginia/San Diego State matchup at The Diamond. The game will be televised live on ESPN3.