Trojans Drop Another Close One, Falling 5-4 to No. 12 Cal in Pac-12 Opener

    Corey Dempster hit his first career home run in the loss.
    March 17, 2016

    LOS ANGELES – The Trojans battled back from a 5-2 deficit to pull within one of No. 12 California in the seventh inning, but could not push across the game-tying run, falling 5-4 in the Thursday evening Pac-12 opener at Dedeaux Field.

    The Trojans (7-9, 0-1 Pac-12) were led at the plate by Frankie Rios (Lakewood, Calif./Long Beach Poly HS) and Adalberto Carrillo (Santa Ana, Calif./Tustin HS), who each had two hits. Corey Dempster (South Pasadena, Calif./Loyola HS) led the team with two RBI, including connecting on his first career home run, a towering solo shot inside the left field foul pole in the bottom of the sixth.

    The Golden Bears (11-4, 1-0 Pac-12) jumped on the Trojans in the top of the second inning, tallying two runs on four hits. The Trojans answered right back in the bottom half of the inning, taking advantage of a throwing error by the Bears’ catcher to score one and put another 90 feet away. Dempster then connected on a RBI groundout to tie the game, his first RBI of the day.

    The Bears answered right back however, with two towering solo home runs by Mitchell Kranson and Brett Cumberland to right field, putting the Trojans down 4-2.

    The Bears added one more run in the fifth to take a 5-2 lead before the Trojans started to fight their way back. In the sixth Dempster hit his first career home run, a towering shot to left field off Bears starter Daulton Jefferies in the bottom of the sixth to make it a two-run, 5-3 game.

    In the bottom of the seventh inning, the Trojans manufactured a run as Rios started off the inning with a single back up the middle. He was then sent in motion with one out, stealing second and advancing to third as the throw from the catcher careened into center field. Jeremy Martinez (Fountain Valley, Calif./Mater Dei HS) then singled back up the middle to bring home the fourth run of the day, pulling the Trojans within one.



    The Trojans were unable to get any closer, however, as they stranded one against reliever Keaton Siomkin in the eighth and were retired in order in the ninth against closer Erik Martinez.

    The Trojans had base runners in all but the ninth inning, stranding eight on the night.

    Starter Kyle Davis (Garden Grove, Calif./Pacifica HS) took the loss, allowing five runs on 10 hits in seven innings. He struck out six and walked just one.

    This is the eleventh one-run game the Trojans have played in 16 games this season and the seventh they have dropped.

    Game two of the series is set for 7 p.m. PT on Friday, March 18 at Dedeaux Field. It will once again be televised live on Pac-12 Networks.