Trojans take two out of three against Oregon at home

first_imgAfter an impressive showing on Friday followed by a tough loss on Saturday against the Oregon Ducks (23-17, 5-9 in Pac-12) , the No. 10 Trojans (28-10, 9-5 in Pac-12) bounced back with a 7-3  win on Sunday to claim the weekend series at Dedeaux Field.USC started the weekend strong on Friday defeating Oregon 13-6 thanks to an offensive explosion started off by senior Timmy Robinson’s first career grand slam in the bottom of the fourth inning.The Trojans dug themselves into a hole during the first inning as the Ducks scored four runs on two hits, taking advantage of a fielding error. USC then immediately struck back in the bottom of the first with hits by senior Garrett Stubbs, Robinson and junior Blake Lacey to tally three runs followed by two Ducks’ fielding errors.After starting pitcher junior Brent Wheatley and junior reliever Tyler Gilbert combined to prevent further damage by Oregon, USC broke the game open. The Trojans took advantage of a lack of pitch control from starter Cole Irvin, who walked Stubbs to bring the game-tying run to the plate with the bases loaded. Robinson then delivered the 1-1 pitch into left field for the grand slam, putting the Trojans up 8-4.The Ducks attempted a comeback in the top of the seventh, but the Trojans answered with five more runs during the bottom of the inning to secure the final score of 13-5. Four different Trojans had multi-hit outings, including Robinson, who tied his career-high five RBIs set in 2013 against Utah.Unfortunately, the momentum swung back in Oregon’s favor in a major way on Saturday as the Trojans once again fell into an early deficit but this time were unable to force a comeback.Junior starter Kyle Twomey (6-2, 2.05 ERA) had a very uncharacteristically rough start, only going an inning and two-thirds and allowing seven runs on five hits, walking two and striking out three during the top of the second inning. He struggled with pitch control and placement as well, hitting three batters.An error on a poor throw to second on what would have been a routine double play ended up costing the Trojans four of these runs. Reliever junior Bernardo Flores (3-1, 3.15 ERA) entered the game with two outs and a man on second to record the final out to finally end the inning.After the Ducks managed more runs in the top of the third and sixth to put them up 9-0, USC got on the board during the bottom of the sixth. Redshirt junior Bobby Stahel extended his team-high hitting streak to 20 games before scoring on a single by Stubbs. An error by the right fielder allowed Stubbs to eventually steal third and then score from a single by sophomore Jeremy Martinez, making it 9-2.The Trojans added two more runs in the bottom of the seventh and eighth. During the seventh, Ramirez led off the inning with a double, stole third and then came home on a rocket hit by red shirted senior Angelo La Bruna that nailed starter David Peterson in the shin, ending his day on the mound. The final Trojan run was scored by freshman pinch hitter Adalberto Carrillo who drove home sophomore Joe Corrigan.Looking at the game as a whole, USC head coach Dan Hubbs believes that the core of his team’s current problems stem from pitching.“I don’t think we’ve pitched very well at home in conference and we pitch better on the road, which is uncharacteristic,” Hubbs said. “So we need to iron some things out so if we have to do some flipping around of roles we will. I thought offensively  we’re playing pretty well and defensively we’re playing pretty well. We’ve just got to iron out the pitching in my opinion.”Bernardo Flores feels that clean pitching from himself and the other relievers remain key for the Trojans.“I think the biggest thing we have to do is bear down and throw strikes right away,” Flores said. “We had a lot of hit by pitches and walks, so I think one thing we really have to concentrate on is throwing strikes. We have to learn from out mistakes and move on. I think if we can do that we’ll be more consistent with the way we play.”Though learning from mistakes remains key, Flores also believes that it’s important for the Trojans not to dwell on the past.“We need to flush [Saturday] out and not worry about it, not look back at it and move forward,” Flores said. “We need to learn from it and move forward and come back ready to win. Coach Hubbs talks about having energy a lot while in the dugout. The energy determines how we do on the mound on the field and at bat.”Looking ahead, the Trojans will next travel to Oregon State with no mid-week game scheduled, allowing ample time for USC to come out ready for victory.“One nice thing about a game like this weekend not being so gut-wrenchingly close is that you have time to think about the next game, and concentrate on how to win more Pac series, which is obviously key for                                      post-season,” Hubbs said. “We’ve got to concentrate and take each series as they come and start to iron out the issues necessary to win.”last_img

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *