Cal Baseball Falls, 3-2, at USC
April 8, 2006
LOS ANGELES, CALIF. - The California baseball team lost its second one-run game of the series, and suffered its eighth one-run loss of the season, falling to USC, 3-2, Saturday at Dedeaux Field in Los Angeles. The Golden Bears are now 16-15 overall and 4-4 in the Pac-10. The Trojans improved to 19-14 and 6-2 in league play. Cal fell in the first game of the series, 2-1 in 10 innings, Friday night.
USC's Spencer Pabst's highlight catch with one out in the ninth proved to be a key play as the Trojans held on to defeat the Bears. Pabst, who entered the game in the ninth as a defensive replacement in center field, made a diving catch on a fly ball by Cal catcher Garrett Bussiere. Bussiere hit a rocket to right center, but Pabst slid on the warning track for the second out of the inning.
The winning pitcher was freshman Ryan Cook, who allowed just two runs on four hits in seven innings with no walks and four strikeouts. The Bears had taken a 1-0 lead in the fifth inning thanks to consecutive singles from freshman designated hitter Charlie Cutler, sophomore second baseman Brett Munster and sophomore right fielder Taylor Grigsby. Cutler and Grigsby both went 2-for-4 on the afternoon.
In the bottom of the fifth, Daniel Perales and Hector Estrella singled off Cal starter Tyler Ross (4-4, 6.7 innings, seven hits, three runs, three walks, seven strikeouts). USC catcher Johnny Bowden then launched a two-run double to right center, putting the Trojans ahead for good, 2-1.
Blake Sharpe, who had struck out in his first three at-bats, made it a 3-1 USC lead with an RBI single off freshman reliever Matt Gorgen in the seventh inning. Cal's senior shortstop Allen Craig singled home Grigsby in the eighth, but USC closer Paul Koss retired Chris Errecart on a ground ball to short to end the threat.
Koss threw a perfect ninth to earn his fourth save of the season and 18th of his career.
The series concludes tomorrow at 1 p.m. at Dedeaux Field.