Trojans Drop a Wild Game One at Washington, 11-10|
May 25, 2017
SEATTLE, Wash. -- In a crazy back-and-forth game, the host Huskies came back from an eight-run deficit to defeat the visiting Trojans 11-10 in game one of the series on Thursday evening at Husky Ballpark.
The Trojans (20-33, 7-21 Pac-12) jumped out to a 9-1 lead through the first 1.5 frames, but the Huskies (27-25, 13-15 Pac-12) fought back to take a lead in the fifth inning. The Trojans then tied it back in up in the eighth inning, but a suicide squeeze bunt in the eighth gave the Huskies the lead back for good.
The Trojans outhit the Huskies in the loss, with Frankie Rios (Lakewood, Calif./Long Beach Poly HS) going 3-for-5 with two runs scored. Four other Trojans each had two hits on the day, while Dillon Paulson (Encinitas, Calif./Rancho Santa Fe Christian HS) and Corey Dempster (South Pasadena, Calif./Loyola HS) each drove in two runs on the day.
The Trojans wasted no time getting on the board, as they batted around in the first inning. Lars Nootbaar (El Segundo, Calif./El Segundo HS) knocked a solo home run as the first batter of the game off Husky starter Chris Micheles, giving the Trojans the early 1-0 lead. That would not be it for the Trojans, however, as second baseman Brandon Perez (Newport Beach, Ca-lif./Mater Dei HS) tallied a double and Adalberto Carrillo (Santa Ana, Calif./Tustin HS) drew a walk to end the day for Micheles. The Huskies went to their bullpen for ace Noah Bremer. However, the Trojans ended up tallying three more runs on two more hits in the inning off Bremer to give themselves a 1-0 lead.
The Huskies themselves came back in the bottom half of the inning to score one on a wild pitch after Trojan starter Austin Manning (Oakdale, Calif./Oakdale HS) walked the bases loaded. However, he bounced back with back-to-back strikeouts to end the inning.
The Trojans piled on more in the top of the second inning, as they batted around for the second-straight inning, tallying five runs on six hits and were helped by one Husky throwing error. Dempster seemed to break open the game with a two-run triple, followed by an RBI single from Paulson and an RBI groundout by Brady Shockey (Irvine, Calif./JSerra HS) top push USC's lead to 9-1.
The Huskies answered right back in the bottom of the second inning, however, tallying six runs on five hits. Manning gave up an RBI single with two on and that was the end of his day. Re-liever Connor Lunn (Carlsbad, Calif./Cathedral Catholic HS) issued a walk with the bases loaded to bring home a run, but then he got a big second out on a strikeout. However, with the bases still juiced, Husky catcher Joey Morgan hit a grand slam to left to pull the Huskies within two, 9-7.
Morgan struck again for the Trojans in the bottom of the third with a bloop single to left to make it a 9-8 ballgame. Rios made an outstanding play on the hit, throwing to third to catch the runner off the bag to end the inning, minimizing the damage.
Trojan reliever Brad Wegman (Temecula, Calif./Great Oak HS) put up a zero in the fourth, but the Huskies struck with two outs in the fifth as MJ Hubbs launched a two-out, two-run homer to right center to complete the Husky comeback, 10-9.
Husky reliever Bremer kept the Trojans off balance from the third to the sixth inning, but with his pitch count up he was forced to exit, and left-handed pitcher Greg Minier took over. He put up a zero in the seventh inning, his first inning of work.
However, in the top of the eighth the Trojans got the leadoff man aboard as Nootbaar drew his team-leading 36th walk of the year against Minier. A sac bunt by B. Perez put the game-tying run in scoring position. Carrillo was hit-by-the-pitch to put the go-ahead run aboard. Rios reached on a fielder's choice, as Husky first baseman John Naff tried to get Carrillo at second, but his throw goes past second into left, allowing Nootbaar to come home, tying the game at 10-10.
In the bottom of the eighth however, the Huskies took the lead back. With two in scoring posi-tion, AJ Graffanino was still bunting, and the suicide squeeze sac bunt was popped up, but it found grass over Wegman's head to bring home the go-ahead run from third, 11-10.
The Trojans went down in order in the top of the ninth and the Husky comeback was complete. Despite only giving up three of the 11 runs to the Huskies, reliever Wegman took the loss. Husky reliever Minier earned the win.
The Trojans and Dawgs will be back in game two of the series at 7 p.m. PT on Friday at Husky Ballpark. The game will be televised live on Pac-12 Networks.