Connecticut Wins In The Ninth, 5-4
March 10, 2010
LOS ANGELES - Mike Olt's RBI double provided the winning run in the top of the ninth Wednesday as the Connecticut Huskies defeated the USC Trojans, 5-4, in non-conference action at Dedeaux Field. Olt went 3-for-5 at the plate as the Huskies (6-2) went 4-1 on their five-game road trip to the West Coast.
Ricky Oropesa went 3-for-4 for the Trojans, who fell to 6-7 on the season.
Scott Oberg earned the win with three scoreless innings in relief while Kevin Vance picked up the save. USC and Connecticut faced each other for only the second time in history (USC beat UConn during the 1972 College World Series when the Trojans won the national championship).
Mike O'Neill put the Trojans on the board in the second on a sacrifice fly. In the third, Oropesa singled and advanced to third on a failed pickoff attempt by UConn starter Robert Van Woert. He later scored on Matt Foat's RBI groundout. Alex Sherrod then belted a triple to right center, but was called out after Matt Hart hit a grounder to Van Woert and Sherrod ran into catcher Joe Pavone.
Down 2-0 in the third, the Huskies got to USC starter Chad Smith, who had retired the first 10 batters he faced. Matt Burnett hit a ball to third base that Hart threw and hit Burnett on the run as the error allowed him to reach safely. A walk to Pavone put runners at first and second with a sacrifice by Billy Ferriter moving the runners up. Smith uncorked a wild pitch to plate Burnett and Pierre LaPage then hit an infield single, beating the throw from Joe De Pinto for the 2-2 tie. After Smith was called for a balk, LaPage scored from second on an RBI single by Nick Ahmed as the Huskies took the lead.
Smith finished with 4 2/3 innings, allowing three runs (all unearned) on three hits with two walks and six strikeouts.
Oropesa delivered an RBI single to left in the fifth to tie the game. Pavone's RBI double put UConn back in the lead at 4-3, but once again the Trojans responded in the bottom half of the inning after Kevin Roundtree lifted a sacrifice fly to left after Hart led off the inning with a double.
LaPage singled to center off Brandon Garcia to lead off the ninth, moving to second on a wild pitch. Ahmed sacrificed to LaPage before George Springer was intentionally walked. Olt then hit a long fly ball to center with O'Neill unable to make the play as the eventual winning run scored for the Huskies. De Pinto laid down a bunt single with one out in the bottom of the ninth and got to second after Pavone's throw sailed over first base. Vance then got Oropesa to fly out to left and struck out Foat to seal the win.
USC travels to Hawai'i for a four-game series, beginning on Friday (March 12) at 6:30 p.m. HT. All four games will be broadcast on usctrojans.com.
UCONN 000-031-001---5-9-3USC 011-011-000---4-11-2
WP - Oberg (1-0) LP - Garcia (0-1) S - Vance (1)T - 3:23 ATT - 189Records: Connecticut (6-2), USC (6-7)
Van Woert, Oberg (6), Vance (9) and Pavone.Smith, Williams (5), Garcia (6), Dedeaux (9), Cabral (9) and Roundtree, Castillo (9).