Trojan Bats Mash No. 8 Cal State Fullerton 13-9|
April 13, 2017
LOS ANGELES -- The Trojan bats were on fire as USC dispatched of No. 8-ranked Cal State Fullerton, 13-9 on Thursday evening at Dedeaux Field.
The Trojans (17-14) tallied their 13 runs on 17 hits, the most total hits since the offense tallied 20 on opening day against Coppin State. This time it was against the No. 8-ranked Titans (21-11). Seven of those hits were doubles, the most in a single game by the Trojans this season.
Eight of the nine Trojans in the lineup had a hit, with five having multi-hit outings. Frankie Rios (Lakewood, Calif./Long Beach Poly HS) led the way with a 4-for-5 day at the plate, driving in three runs, tied for the team lead. His biggest hit came in the bottom of the eighth inning against his younger brother Josh Rios, and the elder Rios won the battle, doubling to right to bring home an important insurance run for the Trojans. Corey Dempster (South Pasadena, Calif./Loyola HS) and Adalberto Carrillo (Santa Ana, Calif./Tustin HS) also drove in three runs on the day, while Blake Sabol (Aliso Viejo, Calif./Aliso Niguel HS), driving in two runs on three hits with two doubles.
After Trojan starter Chris Clarke (Westlake Village, Calif./Newbury Park HS) got out of a little first-inning jam with just one run allowed, he cruised until the fourth inning. The Trojans tied the ballgame up in the third on a Carrillo triple, his first of the year.
The Titans touched up Clarke for two runs in the top of the fourth, but the Trojans bested that with three runs in the bottom half of the inning, with Rios, Dempster and Sabol bringing home runs.
With a 4-3 lead, the Titans were not going to go down easy, as they added three more runs on two hits, taking advantage of a Trojan fielding error to put them back on top, 6-4.
As was the mark of the day, the Trojans answered right back, tacking on six runs on seven hits, helped out by a Titan error to take an easy 10-4 lead.
Trojan reliever Brad Wegman (Temecula, Calif./Great Oak HS) put up zeroes in the sixth and seventh innings, but ran into some trouble, allowing three runs on two hits as the Titans pulled within one, 10-9.
Once again the Trojans answered right back, as they tallied three runs of their own in the ninth, with a Brandon Perez (Newport Beach, Calif./Mater Dei HS) sac fly and then Rios' RBI double off his brother and another RBI double by Dempster.
Trojan reliever Bryce Dyrda (Oakdale, Calif./Oakdale HS) made it interesting in the ninth, allowing two Titan base runners with a walk and a single before locking in to finish out the game for the Trojans.
The Trojans and Titans will meet again for game two of the series, this time at 7 p.m. PT on Friday, April 14 in Fullerton, Calif., at Goodwin Field.