Trojans Defeat Long Beach State in Walk-Off Fashion in 11 Innings, 4-3|
Feb. 22, 2017
LOS ANGELES -- The Trojans defeated visiting Long Beach State in exciting 11-inning walk-off fashion 4-3 on Tuesday evening at Dedeaux Field.
Senior Frankie Rios (Lakewood, Calif./Long Beach Poly HS) came through in a big way, with the bases loaded and two down in the 11th inning to come up with a two-strike single to left center to plate the game-winning run.
The Trojans (4-0) fought back from a 2-0 deficit in the eighth inning and then a 3-2 ninth-inning deficit to defeat visiting Long Beach State (1-3) in the team's first extra-inning contest of the season. Trojan starter Mason Perryman (Bakersfield, Calif./Bakersfield HS) went four complete innings, striking out a career-high five batters, but allowing two runs on five hits in his first outing of the season. Dirtbag starter John Castro was strong for the Dirtbags and kept the Trojans off-balanced through seven innings, scattering six hits with six strikeouts.
In the eighth inning, the Trojans got to Dirtbag reliever Connor Riley, as senior Corey Dempster (South Pasadena, Calif./Loyola HS) entered for his first appearance of the year and singled to left-center on the first pitch he's seen in 2017. He was lifted for pinch runner Tyler Pritchard (Lake Elsinore, Calif./Temescal Valley HS). With one down he took second on a wild pitch. Then with two down, the Dirtbags went to the bullpen for Zak Baayoun. The first batter he faced was Lars Nootbaar (El Segundo, Calif./El Segundo HS), who deposited a 1-1 pitch to right field for his second home run of the season, this time a big two-run bomb to tie the ballgame.
Trojan reliever Quentin Longrie (Mission Viejo, Calif./JSerra HS) threw three complete innings in relief of Perryman, working out of some jams, allowing just one hit, three walks and a career-high five strikeouts. Freshman Chris Clarke (Westlake Village, Calif./Newbury Park HS) was outstanding in one solid inning of work, allowing just one hit with two strikeouts.
Freshman Austin Manning (Oakdale, Calif./Oakdale HS) threw the final three frames of the game. He bounced back after giving up a one-out Brock Lundquist double, having the runner advance to third on a wild pitch and then allowing the then go-ahead run on a sac fly by Luke Rasmussen.
The Trojans came through in a big way in the bottom of the ninth inning, however, taking advantages of the Dirtbags' miscues. With one on after a Brady Shockey (Mission Viejo, Calif./JSerra HS) leadoff single, the Trojans managed runners on the corners with two outs after a sac bunt, a groundout and a pinch hit single by Dillon Paulson (Encinitas, Calif./Rancho Santa Fe HS). Pinch runner John Thomas (Los Angeles/Harvard-Westlake HS) was pinch running at first, attempted to take second and the Dirtbags' catcher threw down to second with no one covering, and the ball sailed into the outfield letting the tying run score.
Then in the 11th inning the Trojans ended up with bases loaded and nobody out after the leadoff batter Brandon Perez (Newport Beach, Calif./Mater Dei HS) reached on a fielding error by the center fielder. Then a pickoff attempt at first went past the first baseman on an error by the pitcher Chris Rivera. The next two batters were intentionally walked to load the bases with nobody out. The Dirtbags almost got out of the inning after getting two strikeouts and had Rios down to his last strike before his game-winning single to left center scored Perez from third.
The Trojans return to Dedeaux Field tomorrow (Wednesday, Feb. 22) to host the NC Dinos in an exhibition game at 6:30 p.m. PT.