Cal Baseball Falls in 5-4 Heartbreaker to USC

April 23, 2005

BERKELEY, CA - No. 25 USC scored on a sacrifice fly in the top of the ninth to give California a heartbreaking 5-4 loss Saturday at Evans Diamond. Cal goes to 25-18 overall and 6-8 in the Pac-10, and USC improves to 26-11 and 8-3 in conference play.

The Trojans got the game-winning run when Jeff Clement hit a one-out double off of Bear reliever Matt Swanson (5-1, 2.0 innings, one hit, one run, no walks, three strikeouts). Clement advanced to third when Darin Vieira had a bloop single off of Travis Talbott that just got over the head of Cal third baseman Matt Einspahr and past shortstop Kyle Spraker. Matt Cusick then hit a sacrifice fly to center for the winning RBI.

The Bears threatened in the bottom of the ninth when reliever Anthony Encinas (3-2, 3.7 innings, two hits, no runs, two walks, four strikeouts) walked lead-off batter Garrett Bussiere. Bussiere was advanced to second on Spraker's sacrifice bunt, but USC's Paul Koss was able to get Mike Van Winden out on a hard-hit ball to first and Einspahr to ground to third to earn his ninth save of the season.

Cal scored the first run of the day on Bussiere's solo home run in the third inning. The Trojans came back with a run in the fourth on a RBI single by Baron Frost after Cyle Hankered led off the inning with a triple. The Bears regained the lead with two runs in the bottom of the fourth on a two-run double by freshman second baseman Josh Satin.

The Bears' 3-1 lead didn't last long as USC scored three times in the fifth on a solo homer by Clement, a RBI single by Billy Hart and a sacrifice fly by Hankered. Fortunately for Cal, Spraker tied the game for the Bears, 4-4, with a lead-off homer in the bottom of the fifth.

Cal will next host USC in the third game of the three-game Pac-10 series, Sunday, Apr. 24 at 1 p.m. at Evans Diamond. The Trojans won the first game of the series, 7-4, Friday.

Home Runs:

USC: Clement, solo home run in the fifth.

Cal: Bussiere, solo home run in the third. Spraker, solo home run in the fifth.

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