No. 15 Trojans Drop Late-Innings Heartbreaker to Visiting UC Irvine, 8-5|
May 5, 2015
LOS ANGELES - The No. 15 Trojans drop a 10-inning heartbreaker to visiting UC Irvine, 8-5 on Tuesday evening.
The Trojans (32-14) fought back from an early 4-0 deficit after two innings to tie things up, 4-4 in the fifth inning, and then took a 5-4 lead in the sixth that they held until the top of the ninth, when a run came in on a dropped pop fly in left field by USC's shortstop that would have ended the inning. A three-run home run by Irvine (29-16) pinch hitter Grant Palmer put the Anteaters over the top, 8-5 in 10 innings.
The Trojans had three home runs on the day, as AJ Ramirez (Phoenix, Ariz./Bakersfield Christian HS) continued his hot-hitting with a 2-for-4 day at the plate with a solo home run, Angelo La Bruna (La Canada, Calif./Duke) launched a solo shot and Dante Flores (Norwalk, Calif./St. John Bosco) launched a solo shot of his own to put the Trojans on top, 5-4.
Ramirez's home run put the Trojans on the board, 4-1 in the bottom of the second inning. In the fourth inning, Flores added his first RBI of the day on a sac fly to make it 4-2 Anteaters.
In the fifth inning, the Trojans tied things up with two runs First La Bruna collected his second home run of the year, a solo shot and then Jeremy Martinez (Fountain Valley, Calif./Mater Dei HS) delivered a sac fly to bring home the game-tying run.
Flores put the Trojans ahead in the bottom of the sixth as he launched a solo home run of his own off reliever Cameron Bishop to make the score 5-4.
After starter Bernardo Flores (Baldwin Park, Calif./Baldwin Park HS) had some trouble with his finger and only went two innings, giving up four runs (three earned) on five hits, Brooks Kriske (Palm Desert, Calif./Palm Desert HS) was outstanding, as he went 4.1 innings of two-hit baseball, with one strikeout. Tyler Gilbert (Felton, Calif./Santa Barbara City College) and Brent Wheatley (Villa Park, Calif./Orange Lutheran HS) threw shutouts in the seventh and eighth, respectively, before Marc Huberman (Los Angeles, Calif./Hamilton HS) went two complete innings, appearing to induce the final out of the game in the top of the ninth, but an error by the shortstop on the pop fly extended things.
In the top of the 10th inning, Huberman had two on with two down and after the 1-2 pitch that looked like strike three was called a ball, Palmer hammered the next pitch into left field for a three-run shot that the Trojans couldn't come back from.
The Trojans will regroup as they stay home to host Stanford in a three-game series beginning on Friday at 7:30 p.m. PT.