No. 25 Trojans Suffer First Loss Of Season In 3-2 Walk-Off Fashion At No. 24 UC Santa Barbara|
March 3, 2015
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - The No. 25 USC baseball team suffered their first loss of the season in heart-breaking walk-off fashion, 3- 2 to No. 24 UC Santa Barbara in the bottom of the ninth inning on Tuesday afternoon at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium.
The Trojans (12-1) had an outstanding start from junior Tyler Gilbert (Felton, Calif./Santa Barbara City College), who threw six complete innings, striking out a career-high 11 batters while allowing only one run on three hits with no walks. He pitched in dominating fashion, striking out six of the nine Gaucho (9-3) batters his first time through the lineup.
The game was a pitcher's duel between Gilbert and Gaucho starter Domenic Mazza, who kept the Trojans off-balance, striking out eight through 7.2 inning, scattering five hits and two Trojan runs.
The Trojans got on the board first in the top of the first inning, as Bobby Stahel (Needles, Calif./Palos Verdes HS) led off the game with a triple to right center field. With one down, Jeremy Martinez (Fountain Valley, Calif./Mater Dei HS) delivered the sac fly RBI to plate Stahel and give the Trojans the 1-0 lead.
The pitcher's duel between Gilbert and Mazza ensued through the following three innings, until the Gauchos got on the board in the bottom of the fourth inning on a sac fly RBI from Campbell Wear to tied the game up 1-1.
In the top of the sixth inning the Trojans took the lead back as Stahel was the catalyst for the two-out rally with a double. Garrett Stubbs (Del Mar, Calif./Torrey Pines HS) singled with a perfectly-placed bloop single over the second baseman's head to plate Stahel.
The Gauchos answered in the bottom of the seventh inning against reliever Alex Chavarria (Indlo, Calif./Coachella HS), as an error came back to haunt the Trojans.
After a lead off single, a miscue on a sac bunt attempt allowed all Gaucho runners to be safe. With two on and nobody out, Chavarria bared down and was able to record two strikeouts. However, with two down, pinch hitter Billy Frederick delivered an RBI single to tie the game up 1-1.
Then in the bottom of the ninth inning, the Trojans saw the seventh inning replicated almost exactly against reliever Marc Huberman (Los Angeles, Calif./Hamilton HS). After a lead off single, Huberman bobbled the sac bunt attempt and both runners were safe. A sac bunt then advanced the runners 90 feet to 2nd and 3rd with 1 down. An intentional walk loaded the bases and Huberman got a big second out on a strikeout. The Trojans brought in closer Kyle Davis (Garden Grove, Calif./Pacifica HS), who gave up the game-winning single to right center field to pinch hitter Dalton Kelly.
The Trojans will regroup as they still have a big weekend ahead of them. The team will face off against No. 7 TCU on Friday at 6 p.m. at Dedeaux Field.