Washington Comes Back For 9-8 Win Over USC

May 1, 2009

SEATTLE - Pierce Rankin hit a two-run, bases-loaded single in the eighth as the Washington Huskies rallied for the 9-8 victory over the USC Trojans in the first game of a Pac-10 Conference series. The Huskies scored after USC's Joe De Pinto broke a 7-7 tie with a solo home run in the eighth.

Washington improves to 19-23 overall on the season and 8-8 in conference while USC dropped to 22-21 on the season and 10-9 in conference.

Andrew Kittredge (3-3) got the win, throwing in the eighth inning, while Geoff Brown picked up his first save on the season with a perfect ninth. Rankin finished with a 3-for-5 night while Troy Scott went 2-for-3 with a home run and two RBI.

USC freshman Ricky Oropesa had two RBI after hitting his fifth home run in seven games while Alex Sherrod led the Trojans with two hits and one RBI.

Brad Boxberger did not figure in the decision for the Trojans after allowing seven runs (four earned) on 11 hits in 6 2/3 innings. He struck out six, but walked seven batters.

Sherrod singled in the first for the Trojans and moved to third on Grant Green's single. Green then attempted a steal to second and was caught in the rundown for the out, but Sherrod was able to score as first baseman Troy Scott's throw bounced away at home.

Mike O'Neill and Sherrod led off the Trojan third with back-to-back singles and O'Neill made it a 2-0 score on Green's sacrifice fly to right. Oropesa made it a four-run lead with a mammoth two-run shot to right, his 11th of the season.

Caleb Brown hit a one-hopper to second with two outs in the Huskies' third, bouncing off Joe De Pinto's glove for the error and leaving runners at first and second. Jake Rife then ripped a two-run triple down the first base line and later scored on Scott's RBI single to center as Washington cut the USC lead to 4-3.

The Trojans added two more runs in the fourth when O'Neill's RBI groundout brought home catcher Robert Stock and Billy Pinkerton scored from third after reliever Tyler Cheney struck out Sherrod for the possible third out, but the pitch went to the backstop as USC increased its lead to three runs. Washington threatened in the fourth with runners at first and second, but Boxberger induced the 6-4-3 double play from Brendan Gardner-Young to end the inning.

Scott hit a solo shot off Boxberger in the sixth for his seventh round-tripper on the year. Rankin reached on a single off Boxberger, followed by a sacrifice from Brett Wilcox. Rankin stole third and scored on Gardner-Young's infield chopper as it became a one-run lead again for the Trojans.

Anthony Vasquez made it 7-5 in favor of USC in the seventh with an RBI triple, scoring Green. With two outs in the bottom of the seventh, Scott walked and Rankin doubled to left. Scott later scored when Stock was charged with a passed ball and Wilcox tied the game with the RBI single to right.

After De Pinto gave USC the 8-7 lead in the eighth, Stock was brought into pitch with an out in the bottom of the eighth and the tying run at second. Stock struck out Rife and Kyle Conley was intentionally walked. After Stock uncorked a wild pitch to advance Gardner-Young and Conley, Scott was hit by a pitch to load the bases before Rankin hit the eventual game-winner to left center.

USC continues its series with Washington tomorrow at 2 p.m. with a 1 p.m. start for Sunday's finale. Both games will be broadcast live on usctrojans.com.

Note: Ricky Oropesa is batting .480 in his last seven games (12-for-25) with five home runs and 11 RBI.

USC	 103-200-110---8-9-1UW	 003-002-22x---9-13-1

WP - Kittredge (3-3) LP - Stock (3-3) S - G. Brown (1)T - 2:59 ATT - 915Records: USC (22-21, 10-9), Washington (19-23, 8-8)

Boxberger, Cabral (7), Stock (8) and Stock, Roundtree (8).West, Cheney (4), Kittredge (8), G. Brown (9) and Wilcox.

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