Despite Outhitting No. 21 Stanford, Trojans Drop Rubber Match, 6-3|
April 8, 2017
LOS ANGELES – Despite outhitting the No. 21 Stanford Cardinal, the Trojans were unable to overcome a three-run seventh inning for the Cardinal, falling 6-3 in the rubber match of the series at Dedeaux Field on Sunday afternoon.
The Trojans (16-14, 5-7 Pac-12) brought the game-tying run to the plate with just one out in the bottom of the ninth but were unable to convert. A three-run seventh inning and a two-run eighth inning were the difference makers for the Cardinal (17-10, 4-5 Pac-12) in its series-clinching victory.
The Trojan offense was balanced on the day, with five different batters tallying two hits on the day. Dillon Paulson (Encinitas, Calif./Rancho Santa Fe Christian HS) launched a solo home run, his first of the season and second of his career, to give the Trojans a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first.
In the bottom of the third, Trojan starter Marrick Crouse (Dana Point, Calif./Dana Hills HS) got into some trouble, loading the bases with no outs, but he was able to get out of the inning with just one hit allowed, as a Nico Hoerner single plated the game-tying run.
The Trojans added another in the fifth inning to take their lead back on a squeeze bunt by Corey Dempster (South Pasadena, Calif./Loyola HS), giving the Trojans a 2-1 lead.
In the seventh inning however, the Trojans got into some trouble, and with two down and runners on the corners, the Trojans went to the pen for Austin Manning (Oakdale, Calif./Oakdale HS). Manning was not his usual self however, and three runs came around to score on three hits in the inning as Dan Bakst delivered a bases-clearing double to give the Cardinal a 4-2 lead.
Then in the eighth inning with two on and one out, the Trojans went to the pen for Brad Wegman (Temecula, Calif./Great Oak HS). After a hit-by-pitch loaded the bases with one out, Wegman got a big strikeout and then looked to get a ground out to second to end the inning, but there was a miscommunication with the cover at first and Wegman was beat at the bag in a foot race, and two came around to score on the infield single by Hoerner, giving the Cardinal a 6-2 lead.
The Trojans had their chance in the ninth, as Cris Perez (Miami, Fla./Duke) led off the inning with a double, and then as Stanford went to their pen for reliever Will Matthiessen, Adalberto Carrillo (Santa Ana, Calif./Tustin HS) singled to put two on with nobody out. Pinch hitter Stephen Dubb (Pasadena, Calif./Loyola HS) came through with a sac fly to pull the Trojans within three, 6-3. David Edson (Las Vegas, Nev./Faith Lutheran HS) singled to put two on with just one out, bringing the game-tying run to the plate. After a battle Brandon Perez (Newport Beach, Calif./Mater Dei HS) flied out, bringing up power hitter Lars Nootbaar (El Segundo, Calif./El Segundo HS). The Cardinal went to their pen for LHP Erik Miller, who got Lars to ground out to second, ending the game, stranding two.
Cardinal starter Chris Castellanos got the win to advance to 5-1, while Crouse took the loss for the Trojans and is now 2-4. Miller earned the save for the Cardinal.
The Trojans will be back in action next Thursday, April 13, as they host Cal State Fullerton at 6 p.m. PT at Dedeaux Field. Buy your tickets at usctrojans.com/tickets.