Trojans Shut Out Long Beach State, 4-0

Feb. 21, 2009

LONG BEACH, Calif. - Junior right-hander Kevin Couture (Coronado/Coronado HS) threw seven shutout innings, allowing just two hits and striking out a career-high 10 batters Saturday as the USC Trojans shut out the Long Beach State 49ers, 4-0. The Trojans (2-0) scored all four runs in the eighth, thanks to RBI singles from Mike O'Neill and Hector Rabago and a two-run single by Robert Stock.

Long Beach State starter Jake Thompson matched Couture in a pitchers' duel, throwing seven shutout innings of his own and giving up only three hits with a walk and five strikeouts. Couture allowed only one walk and hit three batters, but did not allow a runner past second base during his performance.

Manny McElroy (0-1) took the loss after giving up two runs. He walked Joe De Pinto and pinch hitter Shane Boras to lead off the Trojan half of the eighth. Greg Zebrack then lifted a fly ball to right that moved De Pinto to third before O'Neill and Rabago hit back-to-back singles. Grant Green advanced O'Neill and Rabago to second and third with a ground ball back to the pitcher, followed by Stock's two-run hit up the middle.

Ryan Cabral mopped up in relief for the Trojans with two scoreless innings to secure the victory.

The series concludes tomorrow at Dedeaux Field, starting at 1 p.m. The game will be broadcast live with a live video webcast, courtesy of TrojanTV All-Access.

Notes: USC got its second straight double-digit strikeout performance from its starter after Brad Boxberger struck out 11 in last night's 5-3 win...before tonight's game, USC was 4-12 at Blair Field since 1999...the Trojans have begun the season with a 2-0 record for the third straight year...Robert Stock is 5-for-7 at the plate (.714) to open the 2009 season.

USC	 000-000-040---4-6-0LBS	 000-000-000---0-3-0

WP - Couture (1-0) LP - Thompson (0-1)T - 2:53 ATT - 3,342Records: USC (2-0), Long Beach State (0-2)

Couture, Cabral (8) and Stock.Thompson, McElroy (8), Rasco (8), Markovitz (8), Corrales (9) and Hill.

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