Pepperdine Forces Game 7 After 9-2 Win Against USC

June 5, 2005

LONG BEACH, Calif. - Doug Konoske and Steve Kleen threw 3 2/3 scoreless innings Sunday as the Pepperdine Waves defeated the USC Trojans, 9-2, in game six of the 2005 NCAA First-Round Regional to force a winner-take-all game at 7 p.m. on Monday (June 6) at Blair Field. Tomorrow night's winner will travel to Corvallis, Ore., to take on Oregon State in an NCAA Super Regional next weekend.

The Waves (41-22) battled their way through the losers' bracket after eliminating host Long Beach State, 6-3, earlier in the day.

Freshman Matt Cusick went 4-for-4 for USC (39-20) and is 9-for-10 during the regional. Baron Frost went 0-for-3 to snap his 12-game hitting streak for the Trojans.

Robert Della Grotta (3-2) earned the win for the Waves after allowing two runs on five hits with a walk and three strikeouts. Brett Bannister (4-3) took the loss after giving three runs on seven hits. Bannister made his longest appearance of four innings since late March when he was sidelined with inflammation on his right elbow.

Anthony Encinas threw three innings for USC, allowing a run on three hits and should be available if needed tomorrow.

Waves right fielder Donald Brown doubled in the second with one out and scored on an RBI single up the middle by third baseman Patrick Rooney as Pepperdine took a 1-0 lead. USC tied it in the fourth after Cusick led off with a doubled, moved to third on a single by All-America catcher Jeff Clement and scored on an RBI sacrifice fly by third baseman Billy Hart.

Bannister got into trouble in the Pepperdine fourth, giving up singles to Danny Worth and Taylor Klosowski. He loaded the bases after hitting Rooney with a pitch and walked left fielder Luke Salas for a 2-1 Waves lead. David Uribes hit a possible double play ball to short, but the speedy Uribes was able to beat the throw from second for a 3-1 advantage.

The Waves threatened again in the fifth after Steve Kleen reached on a two-base throwing error by Hart. Encinas' wild pitch moved Kleen to third and brought the Trojan infield in against Worth. Worth hit a ground ball to Hart, who threw to home as Clement applied the tag on Kleen for the second out. Brown then fouled out to Hart off the third base side to end the inning.

In the top of the sixth, the Trojans loaded the bases after Clement singled off Konoske. Hart then walked as a run, charged to Della Grotta, scored. Konoske, however, struck out Frost and retired Hankerd on a fly ball for what would eventually be the closest that USC would get on the evening. USC had runners at first and second with no outs in the eighth, but Clement's fly ball into foul territory led to a 9-6 double play as Brown fired a strike to second as Cusick tried to advance.

Pepperdine broke the game open with five runs in the eighth as four USC pitchers allowed a total of five hits, three walks and one hit batsman.

USC will start Jack Spradlin on two days' rest while Pepperdine was unsure of its starter for tomorrow.

USC	000-101-000---2-9-2PEP	010-200-15x---9-12-0

WP-Della Grotta (3-2) LP-Bannister (4-3) S-Kleen (17)T: 3:19 ATT: 2,187Records: USC (39-20), PEP (41-22)

Bannister, Encinas (5), Friedman (8), Fogel (8), Guy (8), Martlaro (8) and Clement.Della Grotta, Konoske (6), Kleen (8) and Tracy.