Baseball defeats Long Beach in extra innings

first_imgAfter this much-needed win, the Trojans look ahead to a home series against No. 1 UCLA. At the two team’s last contest in early March, the Bruins beat the Trojans 7-5. The series’ first pitch is 7 p.m. Friday at Dedeaux Field. Long Beach opted to sub in junior pitcher Zak Baayoun during the middle of the second, but the Dirtbags’ luck did not change. After an uneventful first inning, USC jumped ahead to a 4-run lead at the top of the second inning. The offensive surge began early in the frame when sophomore infielder Ben Ramirez drove a leadoff double to right center field. Freshman catcher Tyler Lozona followed Ramirez’s hit with with a sacrifice bunt to advance Ramirez to third base. Sophomore infielder Ben Ramirez hits against UCLA at Dodger Stadium March 10. “I thought it was a great team win,” USC head coach Dan Hubbs said in an interview with USC Athletics. “If you don’t love playing these types of games — where it’s tied in the ninth and you got a chance to win — then you’re playing the wrong sport.” Before the frame ended, senior infielder Chase Bushor tacked on 1 more run for the Trojans with a sacrifice fly to advance junior infielder John Thomas and gave USC a 4-0 lead entering the bottom of the second frame. The Trojans defeated Long Beach State 8-5 in 10 innings at Blair Field Stadium in Long Beach Tuesday night. Entering the fourth inning, USC looked to build on a 4-1 lead. But Long Beach’s lineup caught fire during the bottom half of the frame, and a two-out rally made the prospect of a comeback became very real for the Dirtbags. Freshman infielder Tyler Porter provided just that, with a clutch RBI single to push Estrada home and send the game into extra innings. At the top of the ninth with the bases loaded, Ramirez lined up a Dirtbags fastball to left field to score Chase Bushor and give the Trojans a 5-4 lead. Long Beach attempted to limit the damage after giving up the lead but entered the bottom of the frame looking for an answer.center_img With the bases loaded, junior outfielder Brady Shockey singled to left center field to push Trojans senior infielder Brandon Perez and freshman outfielder Preston Hartsell across home for his fifth and sixth RBI of the season. Shockey’s hit extended the Trojans’ lead to 3 runs. The inning only worsened from there for the Dirtbags. Redshirt sophomore pitcher Matt Fields couldn’t find the strike zone and walked three Trojans in a row to push Ramirez across home plate, making the score 1-0 USC. Both teams struggled offensively throughout the next four frames. After giving up the lead in the fourth, sophomore pitcher John Beller settled in and threw four scoreless innings for the Trojans. Beller finished the game having allowed only six hits over five innings pitched before junior pitcher Chris Clarke took over for the game’s final frames. The rally began when senior outfielder Brooks Stotler hit an RBI triple over center field to score 2 for the Dirtbags and cut their deficit to 1. Estrada immediately followed up with an RBI single to score Stotle and tie the game 4-4. Both teams were looking to bounce back after disappointing weekend performances. The Trojans dropped all three of their weekend games on the road against Washington, while Cal State Fullerton swept the Dirtbags in Long Beach.   In the 10th frame, the bases were loaded once again for USC when junior pitcher CJ Stubbs lined up a bases-clearing RBI triple to score three Trojans and give USC a 3-run lead. Clarke closed out the final frame to secure the win 8-5. In the third inning, Long Beach’s fortunes began to change. Baayoun retired three Trojans in order for a 1-2-3 inning. At the bottom of the frame, the Dirtbags cut their deficit to three after a double by junior outfielder Calvin Estrada flew over the heads of USC junior pitcher Gus Culpo and senior infielder Brandon Perez to push a Dirtbag home. The match was the second meeting between the two teams this season, as the Trojans relied on hot bats and a strong performance from their bullpen to beat the Dirtbags 5-2 in their first meeting at Dedeaux Field last week. last_img

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