Trojans Bang Out Season-High 17 Hits In 12-4 Regional Win

May 25, 2001

LOS ANGELES-USC's Rik Currier pitched 5 strong innings and his teammates pounded out a season-high 17 hits as the No. 2 ranked Trojans opened post-season play with a 12-4 win over No. 25 Oral Roberts in the first game of the NCAA Baseball Los Angeles Regional before 1,393 fans at USC's Dedeaux Field on Friday afternoon (May 25).

USC, seeded first in the regional and winner of an unprecedented 12 College World Series, improved to 40-17, while fourth-seeded Oral Roberts dropped to 48-12. The loss snapped the Golden Eagles' 13-game winning streak.

'We can only dream of getting this kind of production,' said Trojan head coach Mike Gillespie. 'I think Rik would love 17 hits every game. I'm impressed with what we did today.'

Freshman Michael Moon had 3 hits and 3 RBI for USC, while Alberto Concepcion had 3 doubles and Abel Montanez had 3 hits.

USC exploded for 5 runs-all with 2 outs-in the bottom of the third off of ORU starter Michael Rogers. After Brian Barre singled and Anthony Lunetta walked, Bill Peavey hit a 2-out single to right to score Barre. Josh Persell hit an infield single to load the bases, then Moon singled to score Barre and Lunetta, with Peavey also scoring when rightfielder Chad Stewart's throw got past catcher Brian Hickman and went into the Trojan dugout. Two pitches later, Moon stole home.

The Trojans continued their assault in the next inning, opening up a 7-0 lead. Montanez singled and Barre doubled to start the inning, knocking Rogers out of the game. One out later, Concepcion doubled off of reliever Stockton Davis to score Montanez and Barre.

The 7 runs were the most allowed all season by Rogers, who came into the game with a 14-0 record and a 2.05 ERA. He was charged with the loss.

Oral Roberts battled back with 2 runs in the top of the fifth. With 2 outs, Eric Donaldson doubled home Wilton Reynolds and Steve Holm's infield hit brought in Donaldson.

The Golden Eagles added 2 more runs in the top of the sixth to close to 7-4. Stewart opened the inning with a walk, Matt Colin followed with a single and then Hickman bounced a single over Moon's head at third to score Stewart. Brian Bannister relieved Currier with a 2-0 count to the next hitter. Colin came in on Reynolds' sacrifice fly.

The Trojans answered back in their half of the sixth. Concepcion opened the inning with a double and, after Trey Stephens relieved Davis, scored on a 1-out single by Peavey.

Josh Self tripled to open the bottom of the seventh and Montanez doubled him home. Montanez came home 2 outs later on Stephens' wild pitch.

Troy added 2 more runs in the eighth when Josh Persell doubled and Moon singled, driving in pinch runner Michael Morales, and Self singled off reliever Dallas Martin to bring in Moon.

Currier, the Pac-10's career strikeout leader, improved to 11-2. Bannister recorded his fifth save.

'I've got to tip my cap to USC's bats,' said Oral Roberts coach Sunny Golloway. 'We knew about their arm strength, but we had no idea they could swing the bat like that. I was very, very impressed. They made it tough on our arms.'

Donaldson had 2 doubles and Reynolds added a pair of singles to lead ORU's 10-hit attack.

USC next plays on Saturday (May 26) at 3 p.m. against the winner of Friday's second game between No. 2 seed Pepperdine and No. 3 Fresno State. Oral Roberts faces the Pepperdine-Fresno State loser in an elimination game on Saturday at 11 a.m.

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