USC Takes Second Straight Against No. 17 Long Beach State With 7-5 Win

Feb. 13, 2005

LOS ANGELES - Cyle Hankerd (Covina/South Hills HS) went 2-for-4 with three RBI while sophomore Paul Koss (Orange/Orange Lutheran HS) earned his second save in as many days Sunday as the USC Trojans defeated the No. 17 Long Beach State 49ers, 7-5, in nonconference action at Dedeaux Field. The Trojans (3-0) are off to their best start since the 2001 season when USC opened with six straight victories.

The win also gave USC head coach Mike Gillespie his 700th career victory in his 19th season at the helm of the Trojans.

Long Beach State falls to 5-3 on the season.

The key play of the game came in the top of the eighth with USC leading 6-5 and a runner at third with one out for Long Beach State. First baseman Brandon Godfrey lifted a fly ball to freshman center fielder Roberto Lopez, who threw a one-hop strike to the plate to catcher Jeff Clement. Clement held on to the ball during the collision with 49er right fielder Steve Velazco for an inning-ending double play. USC would add an insurance run in the ninth on an RBI single by freshman second baseman Matt Cusick, who went 3-for-4 on the afternoon.

Trojan right fielder Blake Sharpe had two doubles, including an RBI double in the first for the Trojans.

Hankerd's bases-loaded triple provided the foundation for the Trojans' five-run third inning. Both teams were unable to get key hits as the Dirtbags registered 16 hits, but stranded 11 runners on base while the Trojans left nine runners on base.

Godfrey and third baseman Danny Mocny had three hits each for the 49ers.

Junior Zack Kalter (1-0) picked up the win for USC, going four innings and allowing three runs on four hits. Cody Evans (0-1) took the loss for the 49ers, allowing four runs (two unearned) on three hits in 2 1/3 innings. Jared Hughes provided strong relief for Long Beach State with four scoreless innings, scattering three hits.

Down 6-1 in the fourth, the Dirtbags battled back as designated hitter Jordan Struble led off with a double to left. He scored on a single by catcher Chris Jones and an RBI single by Velazco made it a 6-3 margin. The 49ers scored another run in the fifth and in the eighth innings before the pivotal play by Lopez and Clement.

Koss allowed three hits in 1 2/3 innings to get his second save of the season for the Trojans.

USC will host San Diego on Tuesday (Feb. 15) in a 5 p.m. game at Dedeaux Field. The game will be broadcast, along with Gametracker live stats, on

LBS	010-210-010 -- 5-16-1USC	105-000-01x -- 7-11-2

WP - Kalter (1-0) LP - Evans (0-1) S - Koss (2)Evans, Liebel (3), Hughes (4), Hammond (8), Anderson (8) and Jones.Kalter, Smith (5), Scharlach (6), Friedman (6), Koss (8) and Clement.T - 3:40 ATT - 814

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