Trojans Unable to Hold On, Fall 9-7 to Utah in Game Two|
May 14, 2017
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The Trojans jumped out early on the Utah Utes, but were unable to hold onto the lead, allowing the Utes six unanswered runs, falling 9-7 in game two of the series on Sunday evening at Smith’s Ballpark.
The Trojans (19-27, 6-17 Pac-12) jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the third, and then a 7-3 lead in the seventh, but were unable to hold on. The Utes (23-21, 11-12 Pac-12) tallied three runs in the seventh and another three in the eighth to take the lead, 9-7.
The Trojans wasted no time, getting on the board early. After Brandon Perez (Newport Beach, Calif./Mater Dei HS) reaches on a fielders’ choice, he steals second and takes third as the throw goes into center field. Lars Nootbaar (El Segundo, Calif./El Segundo HS) comes through with a ringing triple down the right field line, his third of the year, to put the Trojans up 1-0. Then Frankie Rios (Lakewood, Calif./Long Beach Poly HS) delivers a textbook safety squeeze bunt to make it a 2-0 ballgame.
Then in the top of the third inning, the Trojans tallied two more runs. Nootbaar delivered his second RBI of the day on a single and then Dillon Paulson (Encinitas, Calif./Rancho Santa Fe Christian HS) came through with an inside-the-park home run, plating two more runs.
Trojan starter Chris Clarke (Westlake Village, Calif./Newbury Park HS) was pulled in the third inning, as the Utes tallied two runs in the inning. Reliever Brad Wegman (Temecula, Calif./Great Oak HS) entered and got the Trojans out of the inning. He was outstanding over the next few innings, tying his career-high of five strikeouts with just one walk through four innings of work.
The Trojans tallied two more runs in the top of the seventh inning, pushing the lead to 7-3, taking advantage of four walks in the inning. The team tallied two runs on no hits in the inning.
However, the Trojans got into some trouble in the seventh inning. Wegman allowed one run in the fourth inning, but got into some trouble in the seventh. After allowing an RBI double to Zack Moeller, reliever Austin Manning (Oakdale, Calif./Oakdale HS) entered in relief. He walked the first batter of the inning he faced, then both runners advanced 90 feet. A double by Josh Rose pulled the Utes within one, 7-6.
Then in the bottom of the eighth inning things melted down even more for the Trojans. The Utes tallied three more runs on two hits, with the game-tying run coming home on a wild pitch on an intentional walk that reliever Connor Lunn (Carlsbad, Calif./Cathedral Catholic HS) was trying to issue to Dallas Carroll. Then the go-ahead run came home on a strikeout wild pitch to Hunter Simmons. A sac fly by Moeller was added to make it a 9-7 game.
The Trojans were unable to do anything in the bottom of the ninth. Overall the Trojans were held hitless by the Utes after the fourth inning.
Game three of the series is set for 6 p.m. MT on Monday, May 15.