USC Trojans baseball, despite a miraculous comeback, fell to the California Golden Bears late Sunday afternoon. This third game concluded a series sweep for the Bears over the Trojans, improving Cal to 19-18 (11-7) on the year while USC’s record dropped to 18-20 (5-10). You can read the detailed recaps for Game 1 and Game 2 here.
Despite a four run ninth inning rally to tie the game at six a piece, Cal prevailed in extras with Andrew Vaughn’s walk off two run home run. This was his third home run in the series (two of which were walkoffs), in defiance of his day off Saturday. Both starting pitchers in Marrick Crouse (USC) and Matt Ladrech (Cal) dominated early, with each only surrendering one run through the first five frames. However, the Golden Bears adjusted to Marrick his third time through the order, rocking him for four runs in the sixth through a pair of RBI singles and a home run. After trading runs in the eighth, USC entered the ninth down 6-2, desperately looking for a spark to avoid being swept. Down to their last out the Trojans rallied for five straight singles, plating two runs in the process. USC then went on to tie 6-6 scoring on a bases loaded walk, then a wild pitch (the third time they’ve scored off a WP/PB this series). However, the rally was not enough to push the Trojans forward. Bryce Dyrda suffered his second loss of the series at the hands of Vaughn (surrendered walk off home run game one).
W: Andrew Buckley (2-0 3.77 ERA) IP 0 H 0 R
L: Bryce Dyrda (2-2 3.58 ERA) 1.1 IP H 2 R 1 B
Andrew Vaughn (Cal) 3-4 HR 3 RBI 2 BB R
Brandon Perez (USC) 4-5 RBI
The Trojans dropped an extremely difficult series on the road, losing a pivotal three games that they needed. After a good start to the season, USC had been continually losing series’ to top tier competition, however this series hurts the most given the level of competition and lack of separation between the two teams. The offense showed up for every game, plating home more than enough runs to win each game. However, the Trojans pitching was off all series, even bullpen stars just could not find a good rhythm. While it was difficult to see the ending result, there are still lots of great highlights and lessons to take away from the series. Adalberto Carrillo and Frankie Rios both played exceptional, including a solid series from Dillon Paulsen. It’s important to remember USC was one play away each game from potentially sweeping Cal on the road. The Trojans are back in action Friday when they play a weekend series at Oregon State.
You can watch the recap of USC baseball’s last week here.