Trojans Fall in Game One of Series at No. 13 Arizona, 9-4|
March 31, 2017
TUCSON, Ariz. – The Trojans were unable to overcome a five-run fifth inning by the No. 13 Wildcats, as the Trojans fell 9-4 in game one of the series at Hi Corbett Field in Tucson, Ariz., on Friday evening. The Trojans (15-9, 4-3 Pac-12) hung with the No. 13 Wildcats (18-7, 3-4 Pac-12) through the first 4.5 frames, tying the game back up after a two-run bottom of the first inning for the Wildcats. The Trojans brought home one in the second inning as Cris Perez (Miami, Fla./Duke) launched his second home run as a Trojan, a solo shot to left field. The Trojans then tied the game up in the fourth inning as Matthew Acosta (Chino Hills, Calif./Ayala HS) launched a sky-high two-out double off the wall in left field.
Despite having the leadoff man aboard in five of the first six frames, the Trojans were unable to do more than the two runs against Arizona starter JC Cloney. Overall the Trojans had the leadoff man on six times, but only brought him home once. They stranded nine base runners on the day.
In the top of the fifth inning the Trojans had a great opportunity to take a lead as the Trojans had a runner at third with just one out. However, a strikeout and a fly out ended the inning, and the Wildcats took the momentum of the top half of the inning to the bottom half, where they touched up Trojan starter Chris Clarke (Westlake Village, Calif./Newbury Park HS) for five runs on six hits, as the Wildcats took advantage of a Trojan error that extended the inning. On the day five of the seven runs Clarke gave up were earned.
The Wildcats added two more in the seventh inning on an inside-the-park home run by Nick Quintana off Trojan reliever Solomon Bates (Victorville, Calif./Oak Hills HS). Bates threw 1.1 innings in relief on the day.
Reliever Connor Lunn (Carlsbad, Calif./Cathedral Catholic HS) came in two shut things down for the Trojans, closing out the game with two scoreless innings, allowing just two hits with two strikeouts.
The Trojans added two more runs in the eighth inning off Wildcat reliever Austin Schnabel, as pinch hitter David Edson (Las Vegas, Nev./Faith Lutheran HS) came through with a bloop single to no-man’s land in shallow left center with two outs to drive in two more runs.
The Trojans battled looking for a comeback in the ninth inning, putting two on with two down, but they were unable to start a rally, falling 9-4.
USC senior right fielder Corey Dempster (South Pasadena, Calif./Loyola HS) was one-for-five on the day with one run scored. The hit in the eighth inning for the senior extended his hitting streak to 12 games.
The Trojans and Wildcats will be back in action at 6 p.m. PT on Saturday, April 1 for game two of the series.