Cal Baseball Loses to USC, 4-2

May 22, 2009

BERKELEY, CALIF. - Despite a complete game from freshman right-hander Erik Johnson and a ninth inning comeback, Cal baseball still fell to USC, 4-2, Friday afternoon in the first game of a three-game Pac-10 series at Evans Diamond. Down, 4-0, the Golden Bears had scored twice in the bottom of the ninth on a one-out RBI single by junior center fielder Brett Jackson followed by an RBI double by sophomore shortstop Brian Guinn. Junior second baseman Jeff Kobernus was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Sophomore Mark Canha then lined out to right field for the second out, and Kobernus was called out on a disputable force play at second base on a ball hit by Blake Smith to end the game. Cal dropped to 23-28 overall and 8-17 in the Pac-10. The Trojans evened their record to 27-27 and 12-13 in the conference.

The winning pitcher for USC was junior right-hander Robert Stock, who improved his record to 5-4 by throwing 7.0 innings with four hits, no runs, three walks and seven strikeouts. Kevin Couture earned his first save of the season by getting Smith to hit into a fielder's choice. Johnson threw his first collegiate complete game, going 9.0 innings with nine hits, four runs, no walks and four strikeouts.

All of the Trojans runs came via home runs. Mike O'Neill opened the game with an opposite field homer to left field. Ricky Oropesa extended USC's lead to 3-0 with a two-run homer in the sixth inning. Finally, Hector Rabago led-off the top of the seventh with a home run to left center field.

Jackson, Guinn and Canha (double in the fourth inning) finished with two hits apiece. Freshman catcher Chadd Krist also doubled for the Bears. O'Neill, Oropesa and shortstop Grant Green had two hits apiece for the Trojans.

Cal will next host USC in the second game of its final Pac-10 series, Saturday, May 23 at 1 p.m. at Evans Diamond.

Home Runs:

USC: Mike O'Neill, solo home run in the first inning. Ricky Oropesa, two-run homer in the sixth inning. Hector Rabago, solo home run in the seventh inning.

Cal: None.

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