Trojans Unable to Mount Comeback, Fall 6-4 to Holy Cross in Game Two|
March 11, 2017
LOS ANGELES -- The Trojans were unable to mount a comeback on Saturday afternoon, falling to visiting Holy Cross 6-4 in game two of the series at Dedeaux Field.
The Trojans (9-5) rallied from six down to pull within two and had the potential game-winning run at the plate in the bottom of the ninth, but they were unable to complete a comeback for the second-straight day.
At the plate the Trojans were led by Corey Dempster (South Pasadena, Calif./Loyola HS) and Brandon Perez (Newport Beach, Calif./Mater Dei HS), as they each had two hits on the day. Holy Cross (2-9) put up one run in the first and added three in the fourth and two in the fifth off starter Brad Wegman (Temecula, Calif./Great Oak HS) as they found holes with multiple seeing-eye singles and bloopers.
The Trojans answered with three in the bottom of the fifth inning, chasing Crusader starter Brendan King, who went on to earn his first win of the season in the game. Christian Moya (Diamond Bar, Calif./South Hills HS) was hit by the pitch to lead off the inning and Dempster and Matthew Acosta (Chino Hills, Calif./Ayala HS) each followed with singles, Acosta driving in the first run of the game. After Frankie Rios (Lakewood, Calif./Long Beach Poly HS) was hit by the pitch to load the bases, starter King was lifted for reliever George Capen. Lars Nootbaar (El Segundo, Calif./El Segundo HS) brought home a second run on a fielder's choice, and Adalberto Carrillo (Santa Ana, Calif./Tustin HS) delivered a sac fly to plate the third run of the inning, pulling the Trojans within three.
Reliever Connor Lunn (Carlsbad, Calif./Cathedral Catholic HS), who entered in the fifth, was solid after walking in the sixth run of the day for the Crusaders, putting up zeroes over the next three frames to keep the Trojans in the game. He allowed only two hits and walked three while striking out two.
The Trojans added one more run in the eighth inning on a pinch-hit RBI single from Austin Russ (Valencia, Calif./Hart HS), pulling the Trojans within two. However, a potential big inning with two on and just one down was erased by a Moya inning-ending double play.
Over the final four frames of the day the Trojans left four batters on base, three in scoring position and two in the bottom of the ninth.
Reliever Solomon Bates (Victorville, Calif./Oak Hills HS) struck out the side in the ninth to keep the Trojans within two.
In the bottom of the ninth the Trojans had the rally mounting against the Crusaders' Capen, getting the leadoff man on in Dempster, advancing him to second on a passed ball. After two fly outs, Nootbaar drew a walk to put runners on the corners with two out, bringing the potential go-ahead run to the plate in Carrillo. He hit into a game-ending fielder's choice, as Nootbaar was cut down at second for the final out.
The Trojans and Crusaders are back in action on Sunday, March 12 at 1 p.m. PT at Dedeaux Field in the rubber match of the series.