Trojans Rally For 5-4 Win At San Diego State

Feb. 17, 2007

SAN DIEGO - Senior J.J. Owen (Santa Ana/Mater Dei HS/Cal Poly) hit a go-ahead RBI sacrifice fly in the ninth as the USC Trojans rallied with three runs for a 5-4 victory against the San Diego State Aztecs. Owen accounted for three RBI on the evening as senior Paul Koss (Orange/Orange Lutheran HS) earned his fourth save of the season for the Trojans.

Freshman Kevin Couture (Coronado/Coronado HS) earned his first collegiate win after giving up two runs (one earned) on three hits in 1 2/3 innings for the Trojans. Despite allowing five walks, freshman starter Brad Boxberger (Tustin/Foothill HS) had another strong performance as he lasted 6 1/3 innings where he gave up only two runs on three hits.

Koss with his fourth save in five opportunities now has 24 career saves, two behind Brian Nichols (1985-88) for second place all-time at USC.

USC (7-4) came back after San Diego State (5-4) broke a 2-2 tie with two runs in the bottom of the eighth. Troy Hanzawa hit a fly ball to center field and as USC's Nick Buss went back on the ball, he slipped at the last second which allowed Hanzawa to reach third. Nick Romero then hit a long fly ball down the right field line that scored Hanzawa and came home on his own when the relay throw skipped past third base for the two-run lead.

However, Romero mishandled Grant Green's ground ball to lead off the USC half of the ninth to put the runner at first. Matt Cusick then slammed a triple to right center off Shane Kaufman (0-1), followed by Lucas Duda's RBI triple down the right field line to tie the game. Owen hit his sacrifice fly to right, scoring pinch runner Spencer Pabst from third for the eventual game-winner.

Cusick finished with a 2-for-4 night and one RBI. USC also had two-hit nights from Buss, Robert Stock and Hector Estrella.

Hanzawa tripled to right center in the first, scoring on a Boxberger wild pitch for an early 1-0 lead. USC responded in the third when the Trojans loaded the bases and Owen hit an RBI sacrifice fly to right to score Green.

The Trojans took the lead in the fifth, loading the bases against Billings when Owen singled home Buss for a 2-1 advantage. The Aztecs tied it in the seventh on Garett Green's RBI single to score pinch runner Brandon Decker from second.

USC goes for the series sweep tomorrow against San Diego State with a 1 p.m. start that will be broadcast live on

USC	 001-010-003---5-11-1SDSU	 100-000-120---4-7-2

WP - Couture (1-0) LP - Kaufman (0-1) S - Koss (4)T - 3:13 ATT - 1,513Records: USC (7-4), San Diego State (5-4)

Boxberger, Couture (7), Koss (9) and Stock.Billings, Kaufman (5), Koons (9) and Anderson.

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