The final ping off of LMU sophomore infielder Jamey Smart's bat echoed loudly through Page Stadium and gave the home crowd a final sliver of hope that was immediately extinguished by USC second baseman Frankie Rios' game -ending double play with bases loaded to give the #21 Trojans their first road victory this season.
For most of Tuesday's contest, both offenses struggled to generate runs while amassing hits. Both teams have had to labor for runs early into the young season and this trend once again reared its unpleasant face.
Heading into the sixth inning, the Trojans were up 2-1 when veteran slugger Timmy Robinson hit a two-run homerun to give USC a 4-1 cushion.
While keeping a three-run lead for the next three innings, the Trojans were on the cusp of a complete meltdown giving up two runs and loading up the bases during the bottom of ninth inning. USC weathered the storm and are now 2-2 for the year.
Sophomore first baseman Dillon Paulson continued his stellar season as he two runs to go along with three hits.
While USC did win on Tuesday night 4-3, their wasted scoring opportunities may be a troubling sign of things to come. Wasted Scoring opportunities may be the largest obstacle to the Trojans' success this season. While the Trojans are racking up hits, they are consistently leaving players on base and prevent any rhythm in the lineup. USC will likely need to find a solution to this problem if they want to exceed expectations for the season.
Rios, Paulson, Robinson, Robinson and sophomore infielder AJ Ramirez seemingly the only weapons on offense. If the Trojans are going to find consistent success they will need to make adjustments to the lineup in order to generate enough offense to compete at a level they are capable of.
The Trojans will certainly be tested as they take on Korean professional team the NC Dinos on Wednesday at Dedeaux Field.