Dempster's Home Run is the Difference as USC Defeats the Titans 3-2|
March 21, 2016
LOS ANGELES – A big fly from Corey Dempster in the eighth inning proved to be the difference, as Brooks Kriske shut the door on Cal State Fullerton as the Trojans won 3-2 on Monday evening at Dedeaux Field.
Offensively the Trojans (10-9) scored three runs on five hits, with solo shots from Dempster (South Pasadena, Calif./Loyola HS) and Timmy Robinson (Huntington Beach, Calif./Ocean View HS), along with an RBI single from Reggie Southall (Inglewood, Calif./Serra HS).
Freshman CJ Stubbs (Del Mar, Calif./Torrey Pines HS) had the strongest start of his young career, going 6.1 innings, allowing two runs on four hits with no walks and two strikeouts in the no decision.
The Trojans jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the second inning as Robinson connected on his third home run of the season to lead off the inning against Titan starter John Gavin.
In the bottom of the fifth inning the Trojans extended the lead to 2-0 as good base running gave the Trojans runners at 1st and third with two down. Southall then delivered the RBI single right back up the middle to plate Adalberto Carrillo (Santa Ana, Calif./Tustin HS) who reached on a hit-by-pitch, advanced to second on a Lars Nootbaar (El Segundo, Calif./El Segundo HS) fielder’s choice and reached third on a passed ball.
The Titans (11-9) were not going to go down easily, however. They got to starter Stubbs in the seventh inning, as Tyler Stieb reached on a leadoff single and Tanner Pinkston reached on a fielder’s choice where everyone was save. After a sac bunt advanced the runners 90 feet, the Trojans went to the bullpen.
Bernardo Flores (Baldwin Park, Calif./Baldwin Park HS) entered and struggled to find the zone, walking pinch hitter Tristan Hildebrandt on a controversial 3-2 pitch and then walked in the first run of the night as Ruben Cardenas was issued a walk. Dalton Blaser then singled up the middle to plate the second run to even the score at 2-2. The Trojans went back to the bullpen for Jeff Paschke (Santa Barbara, Calif./Santa Barbara HS), who got Coby Kauhaahaa to hit into an inning-ending 5-3 double play.
Paschke put up another zero in the eighth inning, giving way to Dempster’s big fly that proved to be the difference in the bottom half of the inning. The home run was his second of the year and second in three games.
Brooks Kriske (Palm Desert, Calif./Palm Desert HS) retired the side in the top of the ninth 1-2-3, capping it off with a strikeout for his third save of the year.
Miles Chambers took the loss for Cal State Fullerton to fall to 1-1 on the year.
The Trojans will head to UC Santa Barbara for two games starting on Thursday, March 23.