No. 24/21 USC Opens Pac-10 Series With 5-2 Win Over No. 25 Stanford
May 27, 2005
LOS ANGELES - Sophomore Cyle Hankerd (Covina/South Hills HS) went 2-for-4 with two RBI while sophomore right-hander and All-America candidate Ian Kennedy (Huntington Beach/La Quinta HS) pitched eight strong innings Friday as the No. 24/21 USC Trojans defeated the No. 25 Stanford Cardinal, 5-2, in Pac-10 Conference action.
Junior third baseman Billy Hart went 3-for-3 with two doubles for the Trojans, who improved to 19-4 this season at Dedeaux Field. USC (36-18, 14-8) is in the hunt to host a first-round regional for the 2005 NCAA Tournament and with a win tomorrow or Sunday would clinch at least a third-place finish in the Pac-10. The Trojans are now 12-9 this season against Top 25 opponents.
Sophomore closer Paul Koss pitched one no-hit inning for the Trojans to earn his 11th save of the season and tie Jack Krawczyk (1997) for sixth on USC's all-time single-season list for saves.
Kennedy allowed two runs (one unearned) on five hits with two walks and nine strikeouts, improving to 11-2 on the season. As a leading candidate for Pac-10 Pitcher of the Year, Kennedy finishes his eight-game conference schedule with a 7-1 record and a 2.12 ERA. In 59 1/3 innings during Pac-10 games this season, Kennedy allowed 14 earned runs on 42 hits with just 17 walks against a conference-leading 88 strikeouts. Pac-10 opponents hit just .200 against Kennedy in eight games.
Mark Romanczuk (5-6) took the loss for the Cardinal, allowing four runs on nine hits in six innings of work with a walk and six strikeouts.
Stanford (31-22, 11-11) scored twice in the fourth on an RBI double from All-American second baseman Jed Lowrie and RBI groundout by freshman right fielder Michael Taylor. Lowrie scored on an unearned run as Kennedy proceeded to retire the next 12 Stanford batters.
Designated hitter Baron Frost singled to lead off the bottom of the fifth for the Trojans and later advanced to second on a balk called against Romanczuk. Freshman right fielder Roberto Lopez delivered an RBI single to right center, cutting the Stanford lead in half.
Blake Sharpe tied the game in the sixth, hitting a solo home run to right on a 1-0 offering from Romanczuk. Junior All-America catcher Jeff Clement then singled to center and moved to second on a passed ball charged to Stanford catcher John Hester. Hart hit a bunt single on the third base side to put runners at the corners and an infield single by Hankerd put the Trojans ahead, 3-2. Frost hit a high chopper over third baseman Adam Sorgi's head for USC's third run of the inning to take a 4-2 lead.
Chris Minaker's double in the eighth with two outs put runners at second and third, but Kennedy got John Mayberry, Jr., to fly out to right to end the inning.
USC added another run in the eighth and received a great defensive catch from Vieira in the top of the ninth, making a diving catch in foul territory in left for the first out.
The series continues tomorrow at 2 p.m. with the finale on Sunday (May 29) at 1 p.m. Both games will be broadcast live, along with Gametracker live stats, on usctrojans.com.
STAN 000-200-000---2-5-1USC 000-013-01x---5-11-1
WP-Kennedy (11-2) LP-Romanczuk (5-6) S-Koss (11)T: 2:38 ATT: 618Records: USC (36-18, 14-8), STAN (31-22, 11-11)
Romanczuk, Reynolds (7), Davis (8) and Hester.Kennedy, Koss (9) and Clement.
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