USC Builds Seven-Run Lead and Hangs On For 8-5 Win

April 20, 2007

SEATTLE - USC freshman Brad Boxberger limited the Washington baseball team to one run on three over seven innings as the Trojans built a seven-run lead and then hung on for an 8-5 win over the Huskies Friday night at Husky Ballpark in the first of a three-game, Pac-10 series.

Boxberger, a right-hander, walked two and struck out nine to improve to 3-3 on the season. Husky starter Jorden Merry (6-4) gave up five runs on 10 hits over his five and two-thirds innings for the loss. The Trojans improved to 20-19 overall and 3-7 in Pac-10 play while Washington dropped to 19-17 and 5-5 in conference.

USC scored a run in the first to take the first lead. Nick Buss walked to open the game. After stealing second, he scored on a double from Grant Green. In the second, Buss drove in Hector Estrella with a two-out single, increasing the Trojans lead to 2-0.

Held scoreless through the first four, the Huskies got on the scoreboard when freshman DH Ty Rasmussen led off the bottom of the fifth with a homer to right, his seventh of the season.

In the sixth, the Trojans got runners to second and third with one out. After getting a strikeout, Merry worked the count full to Green, who then belted a two-run triple off the right-field fence, his school record-tying eighth three-base hit of the year. Matt Cusick followed with a bloop single to left-center, driving in Green to make it 5-1, USC.

In the seventh, USC added two more on four hits, including three infield singles, to increase the lead to 7-1. Lucas Duda scored the Trojans' final run with a leadoff homer in the top of the ninth.

Washington rallied in the ninth to make it interesting. After the Huskies loaded the bases with no outs, one run scored on a double play groundout. An error allowed a second runner to cross and an RBI single from pinch hitter Bradley Boyer cut the lead to 8-4. Closer Paul Koss came on, allowed a run to score on a wild pitch and walked a runner to bring the tying run to the plate, but got the final out, earning his league-leading 13th save.

The Huskies and Trojans play Saturday at 2:00 p.m. The game will air live on KKNW AM-1150 and also over the internet at

LINESCOREPac-10 ConferenceUSC 8, Washington 5USC           110 003 201 -- 8 16 2Washington    000 010 004 -- 5  9 0Brad Boxberger, Keith Couture (8), Kevin Zelenay (8), ShawnOlsen (9), Paul Koss (9) and Robert Stock. Jorden Merry,Harrison Bishop (6) and Joey Dunn. W - Boxberger (3-3). L -Merry (6-4). Sv - Koss (13). 2B - USC, Nick Buss, AnthonyVazquez. 3B - USC, Grant Green; UW, Trevor Petersen. HR -USC, Lucas Duda (6); UW, Ty Rasmussen (7). T - 3:17. A -736. Records: USC 20-19, 3-7 Pac-10; UW 19-17, 5-5 Pac-10.
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