Oropesa Delivers In 4-3 Win Over Cal State Bakersfield
April 7, 2010
LOS ANGELES - Sophomore first baseman Ricky Oropesa (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif./Etiwanda HS) broke the tie with a two-out solo homer in the bottom of the eighth Wednesday as the USC Trojans beat the Cal State Bakersfield Roadrunners, 4-3, in non-conference action at Dedeaux Field. Oropesa went 3-for-4 on the night with a double, but it was his Pac-10 Conference-leading 10th homer of the season that provided the heroics for the Trojans.
Chad Smith got the win in relief for USC (15-14) with 1 1/3 scoreless innings, striking out three and walking two while reliever Ryan Cabral threw 2 2/3 scoreless innings, allowing only one hit with a walk and seven strikeouts.
Kevin Younger went 4-for-5 for the Roadrunners (12-15) with a double and one RBI while Brandon Boren was 2-for-5 with two RBI. Mike McCarthy went the distance for CSUB and took the loss with eight innings of work. He gave up four runs on six hits with a walk and seven strikeouts, including a stretch where he retired 17 straight Trojans. The Roadrunners stranded 15 runners on the evening and left the bases loaded three times.
Jeremy Rodriguez and Jason Kudlock hit back-to-back singles in the top of the second. Garrett Branske then hit into a 1-6-3 double play, but Younger followed with an RBI double to left for the first run of the game. The Trojans answered with three runs in the bottom of the innings, taking the lead when senior Keith Castillo blasted his second home run of the season with the two-run shot to left center. Matt Hart followed with a double and scored on Kevin Roundtree's single.
Boren's RBI single in the third made it a 3-2 lead for USC. With the bases loaded in the third and one out, Cabral entered and recorded back-to-back strikeouts against Kudlock and Branske to keep the lead at one. The Roadrunners loaded the bases again in the seventh and two outs as Chris Mezger came in to strike out Branske.
After Younger led off the top of the eighth with a single, Boren hammered an RBI double to left center to tie the game at 3-3. Kyle Richardson and Martin Medina walked against Smith, but Rodriguez grounded to short for the final out of the inning.
With two outs in the eighth, Oropesa hit the 1-0 pitch from McCarthy off the scoreboard for the go-ahead run. JJ Henry and Younger put back-to-back singles together in the ninth, but Smith struck out Mick Gaston and Joey Mills to preserve the one-run win for the Trojans.
USC hosts California in Pac-10 Conference action this weekend, Friday-Sunday (April 9-11). Friday and Saturday's games start at 6:30 p.m. with a 1 p.m. start on Sunday with all three games being broadcast through a live video webcast on usctrojans.com.
Notes: Ricky Oropesa has six home runs in his last 11 games...he now has 23 career home runs after hitting 13 last year as a freshman...Oropesa leads the Trojans in the triple crown categories with a .348 batting average, 10 home runs and 30 RBI...USC is 6-2 this season when hitting two or more home runs in a game...the Trojans are 14-1 this season when leading after the seventh inning...opponents are batting just .218 against Chad Smith this season.
CSUB 011-000-010---3-11-0USC 030-000-010---4-6-0
WP - Smith (2-4) LP - McCarthy (2-3)T - 2:39 ATT - 228Records: Cal State Bakersfield (12-15), USC (15-14)
McCarthy and Rodriguez.Odom, Douthit (3), Cabral (3), Fujiya (6), Mezger (7), Smith (8) and Roundtree.