Brian Barre Delivers For Baseball In 5-4 Win
May 31, 2002
LOS ANGELES-Brian Barre hit a walk-off home run on the first pitch of the bottom of the 12th inning to give the No. 17-ranked USC baseball team a 5-4 win over BYU in the first game of the NCAA Baseball Los Angeles Regional before 1,228 fans at USC's Dedeaux Field on Friday afternoon (May 31).
USC, seeded first in the regional and winner of an unprecedented 12 College World Series, improved to 35-22, while fourth-seeded BYU-winner of last week's Mountain West Conference tournament-dropped to 29-30-1.
'I was pretty upset after the ninth,' said Barre, who struck out with the winning run on third in that inning, 'because I didn't want to let the team down. I'm glad I had a second chance. I got my pitch. I was pulling off the ball all day. This time, I tried to stay inside the ball.'
USC spent most of the game trying to keep up with the Cougars, who had 12 hits and received a strong 8-plus-inning pitching performance from starter Jeff Mousser (6 hits, 3 earned runs).
BYU got runners on first and third with one out in each of the first three innings off of Trojan pitcher Anthony Reyes. Reyes got out of the jam in the first when he picked a Cougar off of first. He almost succeeded again in the second when he caught Rob Itri, who opened the inning with a single and moved to third on Jake Stubblefield's single, wandering off of third. But Itri beat Trojan third baseman Jon Brewster's throw home to open the game's scoring.
In the third, Cameron Coughlan opened the inning with a double, moved to third when Dave Jensen got aboard on an error and scored on a fielder's choice by Matt Carson.
USC responded in the bottom of the third. Kris Cox got an infield single, moved to third on Brewster's single and scored on Barre's fielder's choice.
Both teams added a run in the fifth. Coughlan singled, moved to second on a wild pitch and scored on Jensen's single. For USC, Anthony Lunetta singled, Travis McAndrews was hit by a pitch and then, after both moved up a base on Cox's sacrifice bunt, Lunetta scored on Brewster's sacrifice fly.
The Trojans rallied back again and tied it at 4-4 in the bottom of the ninth. Lunetta walked to open the inning, went to third on McAndrews' double and, after Tyler Dabo relieved Mousser and walked Cox to load the bases, Lunetta scored on Brewster's sacrifice fly.
'We thought we could sneak up on someone and for eight innings I thought we did,' said BYU coach Vance Law. 'This is a very difficult loss to accept, because we felt we had the lead in hand. I second-guessed myself for letting Mousser go out there in the ninth. He was getting tired and we had a fresh bullpen available. I should have made a different decision.'
'We're all about drama,' said USC coach Mike Gillespie, whose team beat Pepperdine in last year's NCAA regional on a similar walk-off homer. 'We're dramatic. BYU played with poise, they played mistake-free, Mousser did a great job of mixing pitches. At the end, it's a very vital win and we're happy to have it.'
Bannister pitched 6 strong innings in relief, allowing just 2 hits while striking out 6. He retired the first 14 Cougars he faced. He upped his record to 8-3. Reyes lasted 5 1/3 innings, surrendering 8 hits and 3 runs.
Coughlan and Jensen both had 4 hits for BYU. Sam Fernley, who pitched the final 2 1/3-plus innings, took the loss, falling to 1-2.
USC next plays on Saturday (June 1) at 3 p.m. against the winner of Friday's second game between No. 2 seed Cal State Northridge and No. 3 Maine. BYU faces the CSUN-Maine loser in an elimination game on Saturday at 11 a.m.