Trojans with Incredible Ninth Inning Comeback, Fall in 10 at California, 8-6|
April 23, 2017
BERKELEY, Calif. – The Trojans made an incredible comeback in the ninth inning, tallying four runs on five hits all with two outs to tie the ballgame 6-6, but eventually fell 8-6 to host California on a two-run walk off home run in the bottom of the 10th inning on Sunday afternoon at Evans Diamond.
The Trojans (18-20, 5-10 Pac-12) showed great fight in the bottom of the ninth, clawing back as Matthew Acosta (Chino Hills, Calif./Ayala HS) started the two-out rally against reliever Tanner Dodson with a pinch hit single to right center. Lars Nootbaar (El Segundo, Calif./El Segundo HS) and Corey Dempster (South Pasadena, Calif./Loyola HS) each followed with singles of their own to load the bases. Then Frankie Rios (Lakewood, Calif./Long Bach Poly HS) drove in the first run with a single of his own. The Trojans played station-to-station baseball. Next up was Brandon Perez (Newport Beach, Calif./Mater Dei HS), who singled to bring home one more run. Then the dangerous Adalberto Carrillo (Santa Ana, Calif./Tustin HS) drew a bases-loaded walk to pull the Trojans within one. A wild pitch by Dodson plated the game-tying run to complete the comeback. Pinch hitter Brady Shockey (Irvine, Calif./JSerra HS) was hit-by-the-pitch from new Bears reliever Zayne Patino. With the bases loaded, the Bears finally got their final out of the inning on a fly out, but the damage was done as the Trojans sent the game to the bottom of the ninth.
Trojan reliever Bryce Dyrda (Oakdale, Calif./Oakdale HS) put up a zero in the bottom of the ninth and the Trojans were unable to get anything going offensively in the top of the tenth. In the bottom of the tenth, Dyrda got one out, but walked the next batter, bringing up Andrew Vaughn. The first baseman has Dyrda’s number, as he launched a game-ending homer to left center, his second in three days to give the Bears the 8-6 win.
Trojan starter Marrick Crouse (Aliso Viejo, Calif./Aliso Niguel HS) threw well, especially through the first five frames, holding the Bears to just one run overall. However, with a tie ballgame, the Bears got to the Trojans in the bottom of the sixth. The sophomore gave up a home run to Max Flower to lead off the inning, making it a 2-1 game. After another run came in, the sophomore was lifted for reliever Solomon Bates (Victorville, Calif./Oak Hills HS), who inherited runners on the corners with just one down. Both runs came around to score, as the Bears tallied a total of four runs on four hits in the inning before Bates left the bases loaded.
However, the Trojans trailed 5-1 until the eighth inning, when the Trojans pulled within three on a Carrillo fielder’s choice RBI.
The Bears took their run back in the bottom half of the eighth on a Denis Karis Single to make it 6-2. That set up the Trojans’ legendary ninth inning comeback that was unfortunately unable to hold up. Reliever Andrew Buckley earned the win for the Bears after his flawless top of the 10th inning, while Dyrda took the loss for the Trojans.
B. Perez led the way with a total of four hits on the day, while Dempster tallied three and Nootbaar had two in the loss. The Trojans totaled an impressive 14 hits on the day.
The Trojans will regroup before heading back out on the road to visit No. 1 Oregon State on Friday, April 28.