No. 22 USC Drops Back-And-Forth Contest With No. 20 Mississippi State 8-7|
March 5, 2016
LOS ANGELES, Calif. – The No. 22 Trojans dropped a see-saw battle to No. 20 Mississippi State 8-7 at Dedeaux Field on Saturday afternoon.
The Trojans (6-4) had the game-tying run 90 feet away with less than two outs in the bottom of the ninth, but were unable to bring the run home.
Timmy Robinson (Huntington Beach, Calif./Ocean View HS) and Jeremy Martinez (Fountain Valley, Calif./Mater Dei HS) each had home runs in the game, Robinson’s a three-run shot, while Martinez’s was a solo home run. Both went out to left field. Robinson led the team with four RBI on the day.
After AJ Ramirez (Phoenix, Ariz./Bakersfield Christian HS) got the Trojans on the board first with a double in the bottom of the first, the Bulldogs tagged up starter Bernardo Flores (Baldwin Park, Calif./Baldwin Park HS) for three runs on four hits in the top of the second inning as he didn’t get out of the inning, only going 1.1 innings before it turned into a staff day. Reliever Mason Perryman (Bakersfield, Calif./Bakersfield HS) entered to record the final two outs of the inning without any further damage.
The Trojans answered right back, however, as David Oppenheim (Mercer Island, Calif./College of the Canyons) continued his hot-hitting with an RBI single and Robinson drove home the three-run shot to take back the lead, 5-3.
However, the Bulldogs answered with four of their own in the top of the fourth, including a three-run home run from Jack Kruger to push ahead 7-5.
Reliever Andrew Wright (San Diego, Calif./Cathedral Catholic HS) saw his first action of 2016, entering in relief for Perryman in the fourth inning to record the final out of the inning. Overall Wright threw 2.1 innings, allowing one run on four hits with one walk.
The Trojans pulled within one with a solo home run by Martinez in the bottom of the fifth inning, 7-6. The Bulldogs again answered with an RBI groundout by Kruger against Wright to push ahead 8-6. That ended up becoming a key run, as the Trojans added one in the bottom of the ninth on wild pitch.
The Trojan rally started with pinch hitters Dillon Paulson (Encinitas, Calif./Santa Fe Christian HS) and David Edson (Las Vegas, Nev./Faith Lutheran HS) drew back-to-back walks. Another pinch hitter Corey Dempster (South Pasadena, Calif./Loyola HS) laid down the sac bunt against new reliever Kale Breaux. One run then came around to score on a wild pitch and the game-tying run was 90 feet away. However, the Trojans were unable to bring it home, as Lars Nootbaar (El Segundo, Calif./El Segundo HS) struck out and Oppenheim hit the ball hard back up the middle, but Breaux fielded his position well and was able to throw to first for the final out.
The Trojans will conclude the Dodger Stadium College Baseball Classic on Sunday at 3 p.m. PT at Dodger Stadium. The game will be televised live on Pac-12 Networks.