Trojans Escape With Win Over Toreros
April 30, 2001
SAN DIEGO - The 4th-ranked USC Trojans(33-16) scored in the top of the ninth to escape with a 5-4 victory overthe San Diego Toreros (32-17). The Toreros, who entered CollegiateBaseball's Top-30 today with a national ranking of 29th, battled theTrojans the entire game, but for the second time this season, came up a runshort.
USC's game-winning run in the ninth was credited to Torero reliever TimDean (2-1). Dean opened the inning by striking out Brian Barre. Seniorshortstop Seth Davidson (San Diego, USDHS) followed with a single, advancedto second on an error by first baseman Lucas Wennersten, then moved tothird on a passed ball. Anthony Lunetta followed with a walk and Dean wasthen replaced by Greg Simonetti. Simonetti hit Josh Persell with his firstpitch to load the bases. Bill Peavey lifted a fly to left field that wasdeep enough to score Davidson from third. Simonetti then got AlbertoConcepcion to strike out looking.
In the bottom of the ninth, Tom Caple walked. Greg Sain lined out toleft, then Caple was caught trying to steal second. With two outs, JoeLima singled through the left side, but pinch hitter David Lembo struck outlooking as Chad Clark (4-2) earned the win for the Trojans after pitchingthe final two innings.
USC scored two unearned runs in the 2nd to jump out to a 2-0 lead. TonyPerez relieved Torero starter Mike Oseguera in the 2nd and pitched fivecomplete innings without surrendering a run. USD chipped away with singleruns in the 4th, 5th and 6th to take a 3-2 lead. In the sixth, Mike McCoystroked a single to right field that scored Jason Marian from third.
The Trojans answered right back with single runs in the 7th, 8th and 9thinnings. In the 7th off of Patrick Lucy, Abel Montanez singled andeventually scored on Davidson's sacrifice fly. In the 8th, Josh Persellbombed a solo homer to left that hit high off the scoreboard.
USD rallied in the 8th to score one run, and had bases loaded with twoouts and Josh Harris at-bat. Harris, who already had two hits on the dayand had extended his school record hitting streak to 26 games, hit a hardgrounder up the middle that looked like it might get through. Trojanshortstop Seth Davidson back-handed the ball, did a 360-degree turn andthrew out Harris by a step at first to end the threat.
The game, played before a season-high 743 fans at Cunningham Stadium, took3 hours and 48 minutes. Trojan coach Mike Gillespie was tossed from thegame in the 6th inning with USD leading 3-2. For the game, USC was pacedDavidson, Persell, Peavey and Michael Moon, each with 2 hits apiece. TheToreros were paced offensively by Harris, Tom Caple, Joey Prast and S.C.Assael, each with 2 hits apiece.
The Toreros, who find themselves two games back of Pepperdine in the WCC'sWest Division with six games to go, travel to Portland this weekend forthree contests, followed by a road game at Long Beach State on May 8th.