Comeback Falls Short, Trojans Fall 6-5 to UC Santa Barbara|
May 17, 2017
LOS ANGELES – The Trojans rallied in the ninth inning against the visiting UC Santa Barbara Gauchos, scoring two and bringing the go-ahead run to the plate, but they were unable to complete the comeback, falling 6-5 on Wednesday evening at Dedeaux Field.
The Trojans (19-29) jumped on the Gauchos (22-27) early, putting up one in the first on a Frankie Rios (Lakewood, Calif./Long Beach Poly HS) two-out single and then in the second inning Blake Sabol (Aliso Viejo, Calif./Aliso Niguel HS) launched his first career home run, a two-run shot to put the Trojans up 3-0.
However, the Gauchos were not going to go down easily, and they mounted a comeback of their own, scoring six unanswered runs to take the lead back. They got to starter Mason Perryman (Bakersfield, Calif./Bakersfield HS) in the fourth inning, after he faced the minimum through the first three. The Gauchos tallied one in the fourth and two in the fifth, including the game-tying run on a muffed throw by the first baseman.
Perryman went five complete in the no-decision start, allowing three runs (two earned) on five hits with one walk and two strikeouts.
Against reliever Austin Manning (Oakdale, Calif./Oakdale HS) in the sixth inning the Gauchos brought home the go-ahead run on a single by JJ Muno to make it a 4-3 ballgame. Muno was 2-for-4 with two RBIs and a home run on the day.
A two-run shot by the Gauchos’ Austin Bush in the seventh inning off reliever Brad Wegman (Temecula, Calif./Great Oak HS) pushed UCSB’s lead to 6-3.
The Trojan offense could not get much going in the middle innings, as reliever Liam Steigerwald went four complete, holding the Trojans to just one hit during that time.
However, in the ninth off reliever Shea Barry the Trojans were able to mount a comeback. Brandon Perez (Newport Beach, Calif./Mater Dei HS) led off the inning with a single and Matthew Acosta (Chino Hills, Calif./Ayala HS) singled to put two on with nobody out. Sabol delivered a one-out single to plate his third run of the day, pulling the Trojans within two. Pinch hitter Corey Dempster (South Pasadena, Calif./Loyola HS) reached on a fielder’s choice, as Sabol was cut down at second, and Acosta came home on the delay, making it a 6-5 Gaucho game. Adalberto Carrillo (Santa Ana, Calif./Tustin HS) singled to put runners on the corners, keeping the rally alive. Lars Nootbaar (El Segundo, Calif./El Segundo HS) had a long at-bat against UCSB’s Barry, but eventually popped up on the infield to end the game.
Manning took the loss to fall to 2-3 on the year, while Steigerwald advanced to 1-0 for the Gauchos and Barry earned his fifth save of the year.
The Trojans will be back in action on Friday, as they start their final homestand of the series against Oregon. Game one is set for 7 p.m. PT on Friday and will be televised live on Pac-12 Networks.