Cusick Delivers Walk-off Homer In 7-5 Win Against San Diego

Feb. 15, 2005

LOS ANGELES - Freshman Matt Cusick (Mission Viejo/Santa Margarita HS) hit a two-run, walk-off home run Tuesday as the USC Trojans defeated the San Diego Toreros, 7-5, in nonconference action at Dedeaux Field. Cusick hit his first collegiate homer on the first pitch from San Diego reliever Nate Boman as it hit the top of the wall in right field for the game-winner.

The Trojans' second baseman went 2-for-4 with three runs scored and two RBI.

USC remains a perfect 4-0 while San Diego is now 7-5-1 on the season.

The Toreros rallied from a 5-0 deficit to tie the game in the eighth before Cusick's dramatics. Sophomore shortstop Hector Estrella set up the home run in the ninth by hitting a single up the middle on an 0-2 pitch before Cusick's at-bat.

Michael Friedman (1-0) earned the win in relief with 1 1/3 innings. Friedman entered the game in the eighth, allowing a walk to load the bases before getting Tyler Fernandes to fly out to right to end the threat. Both teams saw great performances from their relievers. Before Boman (2-1) allowed the Cusick homer, he had thrown 4 2/3 scoreless innings with no walks and four strikeouts. USC junior Jack Spradlin (Bonita/Eastlake HS/Southwestern College) threw 4 1/3 innings, allowing two runs (one unearned) on four hits with no walks and one strikeout.

The Trojans scored three runs in the first. Cusick led off with a single to center and advanced to second after Sharpe was hit by a Blaine pitch. Cyle Hankerd singled to left to score Cusick and move Sharpe to third. A sacrifice fly to left by third baseman Billy Hart scored Sharpe and a bloop single down the right field line by freshman Roberto Lopez scored Hankerd from first. Two more runs in the second came on an RBI ground out by junior catcher Jeff Clement and a passed ball charged to San Diego catcher Jordan Abruzzo.

In the top of the third, the Toreros answered with three runs. San Diego led off with three consecutive singles by Justin Snyder, Keoni Ruth and Abruzzo. Randy Curtis grounded out to first with the bases loaded to score the first run, followed by a two-run single from shortstop Steve Singleton after Hankerd tried to make a diving catch in left. San Diego completed the rally in the eighth with two runs in the inning. With a run in and runners at first and second, pinch hitter Matthew Falk hit a chopper to USC freshman first baseman Lucas Duda. Duda bobbled the ball, allowing pinch runner Gavin Ng to score the tying run from second.

USC will host No. 3 Cal State Fullerton on Friday (Feb. 18) at 6 p.m. at Dedeaux Field. The series will continue on Saturday (Feb. 19) with a 6 p.m. start at Goodwin Field in Fullerton and conclude on Sunday (Feb. 20) at 1 p.m., also at Goodwin Field. All three games will be broadcast live, along with Gametracker live stats, on usctrojans.com.

USD	003-000-020 -- 5-13-1USC	320-000-002 -- 7-9-1

2 outs, 0 runners LOB when the game ended.

WP - Friedman (1-0) LP - Boman (2-1)Blaine, Boman (5) and Abruzzo.Bannister, Spradlin (4), Koss (8), Friedman (8) and Clement.T - 3:09 ATT - 215

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