Trojans Complete Sweep of Oakland with Rainy 7-3 Victory|
Feb. 22, 2015
LOS ANGELES - The USC Trojans are off to their best start since 1988, as a 7-3 victory over Oakland to secure the sweep over the visiting Golden Grizzlies on Sunday afternoon in a rainy affair at Dedeaux Field puts the team at 8-0 on the season.
In a game that had a two hour and 20 minute rain delay in the bottom of the eighth inning, the Trojans (8-0) held together behind the hot-hitting of Garrett Stubbs (Del Mar, Calif./Torrey Pines HS) and AJ Ramirez (Phoenix, Ariz./Bakersfield Christian HS), who were 3-for-5 and 2-for-5 from the plate, respectively. Ramirez hammered home his first home run of the season (second of his career) in the game. Freshman righty Mitch Hart (Granite Bay, Calif./Granite Bay HS) made his first collegiate start, going six complete innings, allowing two runs on five hits with four strikeouts, tallying his first win of the season. Hart and the Trojans fought back from a 2-0 deficit in the second inning to pull out the win.
Down 2-0 heading into the bottom of the second inning, the Trojans answered with four runs of their own, taking advantage of two Golden Grizzly errors. Dante Flores (Norwalk, Calif./St. John Bosco HS) led off the inning with a walk. Blake Lacey (Clovis, Calif./Clovis HS) then reached on an error by the shortstop. David Oppenheim (Mercer Island, Wash./College of the Canyons) laid down the sac bunt to advance the runners to second and third. Reggie Southall (Inglewood, Calif./Serra HS) reached on an error by the second baseman, bringing home two runs to tie the game. Bobby Stahel (Needles, Calif./Palos Verdes HS) the came through with a single to put two on for USC. After Southall stole third, AJ Ramirez (Phoenix, Ariz./Bakersfield Christian HS) grounded out to the third baseman to bring home another run. Stubbs then singled home the final run of the game to put USC up 4-2.
Ramirez led off the bottom of the fourth inning with a solo homer, his first of the season to make the score 5-2 Trojans. Flores then singled with runners on first and second to plate the second run of the inning and put the score at 6-2. Stahel added a sac fly in the fifth inning to put the Trojans up 7-2.
Mason Perryman (Bakersfield, Calif./Bakersfield HS) entered in relief of Hart in seventh inning, throwing 1.2 innings, allowing one run on four hits with two strikeouts.
Jeff Paschke (Santa Barbara, Calif./Santa Barbara HS) entered in relief in the top of the eighth inning with one on and two out. Despite giving up a single, the sophomore came back to strikeout Pagano to end the threat in the top of the eighth.
With the bottom of the eighth inning about to get underway, the rain started coming down at Dedeaux Field and we entered a rain delay.
Two hours and twenty minutes later the teams got back underway, finishing up the final inning, with Paschke returning in the top of the ninth inning to put away the Golden Grizzlies and solidify the win.
The last time the Trojans started a season better than 8-0 was in 1988 when they started 15-0.
The Trojans head out for a quick trip to Fresno State on Tuesday. First pitch is set for 6:35 p.m. PT.