Baseball Continues Hot Start With 13-Inning Win

Feb. 7, 2001

LOS ANGELES -- Pinch-hitter Abel Montanez hit the game-winning single Tuesday on a full count off Nick Lovato, scoring Anthony Lunetta from third and the No. 2 USC Trojans defeated the No. 18 Cal State Fullerton Titans, 6-5, in 13 innings in a non-conference game at Dedeaux Field.

Lunetta led off the 13th inning with a walk and advanced to second on a sacrifice by Josh Persell. Senior first baseman Bill Peavey, who tied the game at 5-5 in the eighth with a solo home run to right, got an infield single to move Lunetta to third. After Matt Bonovich struck out, Montanez came into the game with two outs. After going down 1-2 in the count, Montanez pushed the count to 3-2 before delivering the game-winning hit.

Brian Bannister (1-0) picked up the win for USC (4-0) after pitching 3 1/3 innings of one-hit ball. Lovato (0-1) picked up the loss for the Titans, who are now 1-4 on the season.

'We would rather have an ugly win than an ugly loss anytime,' said USC Head Coach Mike Gillespie. 'It's early and there are lots to be learned tonight because there were a lot of breakdowns. Cal State Fullerton is certainly one of the elite programs in the country so any win any time under any circumstances, even if it's as ugly as that one was, it beats losing.'

Peavey went 3-for-6 with two RBI and now leads the team with a .600 batting average (9-for-15) after four games. He also leads the team with eight RBI on the season.

The Trojans played their longest game since March 17, 1995, when USC lost a 7-6 game in 15 innings at Arizona State.

Cal State Fullerton starter Darric Merrell no-hit the Trojans in his three innings of work to start the game before USC scored three runs to tie the game in the fourth off Wes Littleton. The Trojans got RBI singles in the inning by Peavey, Alberto Concepcion and Josh Self.

USC will face No. 17 Long Beach State on Friday (Feb. 9) at Blair Field at 7:05 p.m. and Sunday (Feb. 11) at 1:05 with both teams playing at Dedeaux Field on Saturday (Feb. 10) at 1 p.m. USC is 4-0 to start the season for the first time since 1997 and with a win on Friday would tie its best start since the 1989 season.

CS Fullerton    201-000-020-000-0 --- 5-8-1USC             000-300-110-000-1 --- 6-12-1Merrell, Littleton (4), Zahari (5), Waroff (7), Cordero (8), Lovato (12) and Kay.Reyes, Dizard (7), Clark (8), Olson (10), Bannister (10) and Concepcion, Bonovich (12).WP - Bannister (1-0)     LP - Lovato (0-1)Home Runs:  USC - Peavey (1), eighth inning, none on, two outsT: 4:22    ATT:  644 
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