Jan. 30, 1998

    USC Trounces Long Beach State, 16-4

    The Trojans Hit Five Home Runs

    LOS ANGELES- No. 5-ranked USC pounded out 16 runs on 14 hits (including 5 home runs) and pre-season All-American senior righthander Seth Etherton pitched 6 scoreless innings as the Trojans defeated Long Beach State, 16-4, Friday afternoon in the season-opener at USC's Dedeaux Field. Etherton, who returned to USC for his senior season after turning down a contract offer from the St. Louis Cardinals last summer, scattered 5 hits and walked one while striking out 6 to capture the victory (1-0). Junior lefthander Mike Gallo (0-1) started and took the loss for the 49ers.

    USC jumped out to a 4-0 lead, getting one run in the first inning and 3 in the second inning. With 2 outs in the fourth inning, the Trojans exploded for 5 runs--getting back-to-back-to-back home runs from third baseman Morgan Ensberg (a 2-run shot), right fielder Brad Ticehurst (solo) and DH Jason Lane (solo). Outfielder Greg Hanoian hit a solo shot in the fifth to give the Trojans a 10-0 lead.

    USC added 6 more runs in the 8th inning, highlighted by a 3-run home run by senior Jeff DePippo.

    Long Beach State picked up 4 runs in the seventh--after Etherton left the game--off of 3 Trojan pitchers (Brian Vieira, Rik Currier and Mike Weibling). DH Lane pitched a scoreless eighth inning and freshman Shaun Kramer struck out the side in the ninth to finish the game for the Trojans. USC is now 39-9-1 in season-opening games (dating back to 1950). USC and Long Beach State will battle again on Saturday at Blair Field at 1:05 p.m.

    Long Beach  000-000-400 - 4-9-1
    USC         130-510-06X - 16-14-0

    Mike Gallo, Jeff Leuenberger (3) Max Trembley (6), Dennis Kordich (6), Mike Garcia (7), Shannin Veronie (8), Daryl Grant (8) and Kennedy, Hill (6)

    Seth Etherton, Brian Vieira (7), Rik Currier (7), Mike Weibling (7), Jason Lane (8), Kramer (9) and Munson, DePippo (6)

    WP - Etherton (1-0)
    LP - Gallo (0-1)

    HR - USC -- Ensberg (1), Ticehurst (1), Lane (1), Hanoian (1), DePippo (1)

    2B - Rachels (USC), Tichehurst (USC)