Trojans Unable to Come Up with Big Hit, Fall 5-4 to Visting UConn|
March 15, 2016
LOS ANGELES – Despite holding a lead for much of the game, the Trojans were unable to come up with the big hit with the bases loaded, down 5-4 to visiting UConn, falling by the same score on Tuesday evening at Dedeaux Field.
After giving up three-runs on a bases-loaded triple in the eighth inning to the Huskies’ Willy Yahn, the Trojans (7-8) had base runners in the bottom of the eighth and ninth, but were unable to plate the game-tying run.
The Trojans had a 4-2 lead through seven frames, led by David Oppenheim (Mercer Island, Wash./College of the Canyons), who picked up his hot hitting right where he left off, going 3-for-3 with one RBI and one walk.
On a staff pitching day, the Trojans saw starter Mason Perryman (Bakersfield, Calif./Bakersfield HS) go three-complete innings of three-hit, one run baseball. CJ Stubbs (Del Mar, Calif./Torrey Pines HS) added another 1.2 innings, allowing one run on three hits before giving way to Andrew Wright (San Diego, Calif./Cathedral Catholic HS) who did not allow a run in 1.1 innings of work.
The Trojans ran into some trouble in the top of the eighth inning, however. Up 4-2, with Jeff Paschke (Santa Barbara, Calif./Santa Barbara HS) in for his second-inning of work, the lead off base runner for the Huskies (9-6) reached on a fielding error by the Trojan shortstop and the next batter was hit by the pitch.
With two on, the Trojans went back to the bullpen for Joe Navilhon (Brentwood, Calif./Chabot College), who got a big strikeout, before walking the next batter to load the bases. He gave way to Brooks Kriske (Palm Desert, Calif./Palm Desert HS), who got a big second out on a strikeout of Zac Susi. With two down, however, he gave up a double to Troy Stefanski that left fielder Oppenheim couldn’t cut off, rolling to the wall in left center to score three. Stefanski was thrown out at third trying to leg out the triple, but the damage was done as the Trojans trailed 5-4.
In the eighth inning the Trojans had the leadoff man, Timmy Robinson (Huntington Beach, Calif./Ocean View HS), aboard with a single, down 5-4, but ran themselves out of the opportunity as Robinson was doubled off first on an AJ Ramirez (Phoenix, Ariz./Bakersfield Christian HS) infield pop up.
Then in the ninth inning against Husky closer Randy Polonia, the Trojans mounted a rally as lead off pinch hitter David Edson (Las Vegas, Nev./Faith Lutheran HS) led off the inning with a single through the left side. The attempted sac bunt by Reggie Southall (Inglewood, Calif./Serra HS) was not executed, as Edson was cut down at 2nd base, Southall reaching on the fielder’s choice. Frankie Rios (Lakewood, Calif./Long Beach Poly HS) came through with a bloop single to give USC two base runners. Both advanced on a balk to put two in scoring position for the Trojans. Lars Nootbaar (El Segundo, Calif./El Segundo HS) then reached on a fielder’s choice as Southall was cut down at home for the second out. Jeremy Martinez (Fountain Valley, Calif./Mater Dei HS) drew a walk to load the bases for one of the Trojans’ hottest hitters, Robinson. However, he was unable to come through striking out swinging to end the game, leaving the bases loaded.
The Trojans left nine men on base in the loss.
The team will be back in action on Thursday, March 17, beginning Pac-12 play against No. 12 California at 7 p.m. PT. The game will be televised live on the Pac-12 Networks.