Six-Run Fifth Inning Breaks Open Game, Trojans Defeat Arizona 8-5|
April 30, 2016
LOS ANGELES – The Trojans busted out for six runs with two outs in the fifth inning, including a grand slam from AJ Ramirez to defeat No. 24 Arizona 8-5 to tie the series on Friday night at Dedeaux Field.
The Trojans (19-22, 8-9 Pac-12), blasted eight runs on 10 hits, with four coming on Ramirez’s grand slam with two down and down to his last strike in the fifth inning. Overall Ramirez (Phoenix, Ariz./Bakersfield Christian HS) was 2-for-4 with 4 RBI, while Corey Dempster (South Pasadena, Calif./Loyola HS) led the way with a 3-for-5 day at the plate.
The Wildcats (28-15, 11-9 Pac-12) jumped out to a 2-0 lead on Trojan starter Kyle Davis (Garden Grove, Calif./Pacifica HS) in the first inning, but the senior locked things up from there, scattering seven hits over seven complete innings, walking three and striking out five while only giving up one more run over the next six frames in his second-straight win.
The Trojans cut into the Wildcat lead immediately, answering with a run in the first inning as Dempster led off the game with a double, advanced to third on a ground out and came home on a wild pitch to make it 2-1.
The Trojans broke open the game in the fifth inning, scoring six runs all with two outs. First, Timmy Robinson (Huntington Beach, Calif./Ocean View HS) drove in two runs to make it a 3-2 Trojan lead, before Ramirez delivered the grand slam off reliever Matt Hartman, who entered to replace starter JC Cloney after the Robinson single. The Trojans scored their six runs in the inning on four hits.
With a 7-2 lead, the Trojans added one more in the sixth on a David Oppenheim (Mercer Island, Wash./College of the Canyons) RBI single to push the lead to 8-2.
The Wildcats added one more in the seventh off starter Davis to make the score 8-3. Bernardo Flores (Baldwin Park, Calif./Baldwin Park HS) started his first inning of worth, the eighth with a three-pitch strikeout, but ended up pitching out of a two-on, one out jam.
In the ninth however, Flores hit a bump after Bobby Dalbec drove in two to pull within three, 8-5. Then with two outs, Flores walked Cesar Salazar to bring the game-tying run to the plate and the Trojans went to the bullpen for Jeff Paschke (Santa Barbara, Calif./Santa Barbara HS), who got a big strikeout of Boyd for the save, stranding two Wildcats.
The rubber match of the series is set for 2 p.m. PT on Saturday at Dedeaux Field. It will be televised live on Pac-12 Networks.