Defensive Miscues Lead Wake Forest to 5-4 Victory Over No. 21 USC|
Feb. 27, 2016
LOS ANGELES – A three-error top of the ninth inning did in the No. 21 Trojans, as they fell 5-4 to visiting Wake Forest on Saturday afternoon at Dedeaux Field.
The Trojans (3-3) fought back from a 4-0 deficit to tie the game 4-4 in the bottom of the sixth, but a sloppy top of the ninth with three defensive errors gave Wake Forest (5-1) the eventual game-winning run.
Along with the uncharacteristic defensive miscues, the Trojans also stranded 14 base runners in the loss.
Trojan starter Bernardo Flores (Baldwin Park, Calif./Baldwin Park HS) was solid in his second start of the season, with just one tough third inning where he gave up four runs. He threw six complete innings, striking out four and walking just one with eight hits in the no-decision.
Down 4-0, the Trojans chipped away at the lead, answering back in the bottom of the third with two runs as Jeremy Martinez (Fountain Valley, Calif./Mater Dei HS) delivered with a two RBI double.
With the score 4-2, the Trojans pulled within one in the bottom of the fifth inning, as Frankie Rios (Lakewood, Calif./Long Beach Poly HS) drew a bases-loaded walk from Demon Deacon reliever Chris Farish.
Then with the score 4-3 Demon Deacons, Adalberto Carrillo (Santa Ana, Calif./Tustin HS) delivered his second home run of the week, a solo shot to left field to tie the game at 4-4. Carrillo led the team at the plate, going 3-for-4.
Reliever Joe Navilhon (Brentwood, Calif./Chabot College) struck out the side in the seventh and put up another zero in the eighth before running into trouble in the top of the ninth. A bunt attempt by Jonathan Pryor to lead off the top of the ninth turned into two bases as Navilhon lost grip on the throw and air mailed it over the head of the first baseman. The next Demon Deacon sac bunt attempt was fielded cleanly by Carrillo at third, but first baseman Dillon Paulson (Encinitas, Calif./Rancho Santa Fe Christian HS) couldn’t hold onto the throw and everyone was safe. With runners on the corners, Coach Hubbs went to the bullpen for senior Brooks Kriske (Palm Desert, Calif./Palm Desert HS). Kriske got the first out on a pop out in foul territory down the third base line and everyone stayed put. With runners on the corners and one down, Martinez attempted the back pick to try to get the runner at 3rd and the throw was off, getting away from Carrillo to allow the runner to score. Kriske shut down the Demon Deacs for the rest of the inning, with some help from AJ Ramirez (Phoenix, Ariz./Bakersfield Christian HS), who gunned down the third out at home. Trojans headed to the bottom of the ninth down 5-4.
AJ Ramirez (Phoenix, Ariz./Bakersfield Christian HS) led off the inning with a single to left field against reliever Donnie Sellers. Rios laid down the sac bunt to advance Ramirez to 2nd. Pinch hitter Kyle Davis (Garden Grove, Calif./Pacifica HS) entered, but swung first pitch and flew out to right field for the second out of the inning. Carrillo, looking for his fourth hit of the day hit a dying fly ball to center field, but the Deacs’ center fielder Stuart Fairchild was able to come in on it for the final out.
The rubber match of the series is set for 1 p.m. PT on Sunday at Dedeaux Field.