Trojans Unable to Hold On, Fall 8-5 to No. 24 Arizona|
April 29, 2016
LOS ANGELES – The Trojans held the lead through the first eight frames, but were unable to hold on, as four runs come in for the No. 24 Arizona Wildcats in the ninth and the Trojans drop game one of the series, 8-5 at Dedeaux Field on Thursday evening.
Corey Dempster (South Pasadena, Calif./Loyola HS) and Jeremy Martinez (Fountain Valley, Calif./Mater Dei HS) led the way with three hits on the day, as Martinez, Timmy Robinson (Huntington Beach, Calif./Ocean View HS), AJ Ramirez (Phoenix, Ariz./Bakersfield Christian HS), Frankie Rios (Lakewood, Calif./Long Beach Poly HS), and Angelo Armenta (Monrovia, Calif./Loyola HS) each drove in a run on the day.
The Trojans (18-22, 7-9 Pac-12) did a good job of jumping on Arizona (28-14, 11-8 Pac-12) starter Nathan Bannister early, touching him up for three runs in the first inning and another two in the sixth inning, pushing their lead to 5-3.
The Trojans scored three runs on four hits in the first inning to take a 3-0 lead. The Wildcats got on the board with runs in the third, fifth and sixth to tie the game 3-3, but the Trojans answered with two of their own as Rios was hit-by-the-pitch to bring home a run and Armenta delivered a pinch hit sac fly to make it a 5-3 game.
The Wildcats got one on reliever Marc Huberman (Los Angeles, Calif./Hamilton HS) in his second inning of work in the eighth, as Zach Gibbons singled back up the middle to put the Wildcats within one. Brooks Kriske (Palm Desert, Calif./Palm Desert HS) entered to get a big strikeout to end the inning.
However, things started to fall apart in the ninth, after a leadoff walk and back-to-back singles tied the game at 5-5. Then an error on Kriske on a sac bunt loaded the bases. He was able to get the first out on a strikeout before hitting a batter to bring home a run and then struggling to find the strike zone, walking in another to make it a 7-5 ballgame. Brent Wheatley (Villa Park, Calif./Orange Lutheran HS) entered and an infield single on a sharply hit ball plated the eighth run of the inning, before he was able to get a strikeout and a flyout to end the inning.
Trojans brought the game-tying run to the plate with just one out in the bottom of the ninth against Wildcat closer Bobby Dalbec, as Dempster drew a one-out walk and David Oppenheim (Mercer Island, Wash./College of the Canyons) singled to bring up Robinson with just one out. However, the Trojans were unable to make anything of it, falling 8-5.
Kriske took the loss, reliever Rio Gomez got the win for the Wildcats and Dalbec earned the save.
Trojan starter Joe Navilhon (Brentwood, Calif./Chabot College) went 5.2 innings in the no-decision, allowing three runs on eight hits, walking four and striking out three.
The Trojans will be back in action on Friday, hosting the Wildcats in game two of the series at 7 p.m. PT. The game will be televised live on Pac-12 Networks.