USC Hangs On For 8-6 Win At UCLA

May 12, 2006

LOS ANGELES - Trojan closer Paul Koss struck out pinch hitter Cody Decker with the tying run at second in the bottom of the ninth Friday as the USC Trojans defeated the UCLA Bruins, 8-6, in Pac-10 Conference action at Jackie Robinson Stadium. Hector Estrella and Blake Sharpe had three RBI each for the Trojans.

Junior All-American Ian Kennedy (5-5) allowed two unearned runs in six innings, allowing six hits. Koss earned his sixth save of the season for USC (25-23, 11-8). Hector Ambriz (6-6) took the loss for UCLA (25-21, 8-8), allowing seven runs in 5 1/3 innings.

With seven strikeouts on the evening, Kennedy moved into third place on USC's all-time list with 364 career strikeouts. He passed Brent Strom (1968-70), who had 363 strikeouts. Kennedy is now behind Trojan pitchers Rik Currier (449, 1998-2001) and Seth Etherton (420, 1995-98).

Matt Cusick led off the game for the Trojans with his third home run of the season, hitting Ambriz's 2-2 pitch over the wall in right field. Brandon Crawford led off the bottom half of the inning with a walk and moved to third on a double from Jermaine Curtis, but Kennedy struck out the side to maintain the Trojans' advantage. It was the second time this season that Kennedy has struck out the side.

Lucas Duda and Cusick walked in the second to load the bases and Sharpe followed with a full-count, two-run single to left for a 3-0 USC lead.

USC added another run in the fifth before UCLA scored its first run. Curtis was hit by a pitch on an 0-2 count by Kennedy and later moved to second on a balk. He then stole third and scored when catcher Johnny Bowden's throw sailed over Cusick into left. The Trojans later scored four times in the fifth for an 8-1 advantage. Sharpe singled home a run before USC loaded the bases again. Pinch hitter Josh Fogel drew a walk and Estrella hit a two-run double to left to cap the scoring.

The Bruins loaded the bases in the ninth, scoring twice in a late rally. Sean Smith, who went 2-for-5 with a homer and double, hit a pop up in front of home plate for what should have been the third out, but Bowden failed to make the play as a run scored. Koss threw a wild pitch during Decker's at-bat for the second run as the Bruins put runners at second and third before the game ended on the called third strike.

Start times for Saturday and Sunday's games will be 4:30 p.m. Both games will be broadcast live on and televised live on FOX Sports Net.

USC	 120-014-000---8-10-4UCLA	 000-011-112---6-11-1

WP - Kennedy (5-5) LP - Ambriz (6-6) S - Koss (6)T - 4:08 ATT - 902Records: USC (25-23, 11-8), UCLA (25-21, 8-8)

Kennedy, Parrow (7), Dunn (7), Koss (9) and Bowden.Ambriz, Novak (6), Oseguera (6) and Babineau.