USC baseball fans were treated to a pitcher's duel last night, as the Trojans defeated Cal 2-1 thanks to a walk-off RBI by sophomore infielder James Roberts. Having lost the first game of the series thanks to a ninth-inning rally by Cal, USC got revenge with a some late-game heroics of their own, improving their record to 18-10 (4-6).
More after the jump...
The offense was kept to a minimum on both sides thanks to stellar pitching by USC's Andrew Triggs and Cal's Matt Flemer. Flemer retired the first 12 batters to face him until Matt Foat finally gave USC their first in with a double in the fifth inning. Flemer also worked out of a major jam in the sixth inning when the Trojans loaded the bases with only one out, only for Flemer to get two straight outs thanks to a pop up by Foat and a strikeout by Dante Flores. Flemer pitched for 7.2 innings, allowing only four hits on two walks and six strikeouts.
Triggs had an equally impressive performance, cruising through three innings and getting out of a jam of his own in the fourth by striking out Cal centerfielder Chad Bunting with runners at the corners. Cal finally broke through in the sixth thanks to a sacrifice RBI by catcher Chadd Krist that brought in a runner from third. While the Trojans' offense struggled, Triggs kept them in the game with a complete game performance, allowing one run and six hits with three walks and eight strikeouts.
In the ninth, SC had their last chance against Cal closer Logan Scott. Foat got the inning started with a base hit, and Omar Cotto Lozada was sent in to pinch run. Dante Flores then laid down a bunt to advance Lozada to second, and third baseman Kevin Swick was hit on the next pitch to put runners on first and second. Lozada advanced to third on a fly out by Brandon Garcia, bringing James Roberts up to bat. When Scott threw a ball in the dirt, Swick took advantage and stole second, putting runners in scoring position and bringing Garret Houts to pinch run. Then, with a 1-2 count, Roberts hit a line drive past the Cal shortstop, bringing in Lozada from third and a hustling Houts from second to beat the play at the plate, giving USC the victory. The two runs bring Roberts' RBI count on the season to 14, and improves Triggs record to 3-3.
The rubber match against Cal is today at 1 PM.