USC Rallies With Three In The Ninth For 8-6 Win At UC Irvine

May 4, 2010

IRVINE, Calif. - Ricky Oropesa's two-run homer to center snapped a 6-6 tie in the ninth Tuesday as the USC Trojans beat the UC Irvine Anteaters, 8-6, in a non-conference game at Anteater Ballpark. The Trojans pushed across three runs in the ninth after the Anteaters took a 6-5 lead in the eighth.

USC is now 20-24 on the season while UC Irvine falls to 27-15.

Ryan Cabral (1-1) got the win for the Trojans with 1 1/3 innings of relief while Chad Smith entered in the ninth and got Sean Madigan to ground into the game-ending double play for his second save on the year. Mike O'Neill was 2-for-5 with a double and three RBI in the winning effort for the Trojans.

Keith Castillo blooped a single into left to start the USC second. With one away, he stole second and with no one covering the bag, he advanced to third. Kevin Roundtree then belted an RBI double to deep right center to tie the game. Adam Landecker drew a walk and O'Neill increased his season-high hitting streak to seven games with an RBI single to left as USC took the 2-1 lead.

UCI responded with two in the third. Casey Stevenson led off with a single up the middle and Brian Hernandez reached on an error by USC third baseman Matt Hart. Jeff Cusick then singled to center to tie the game and Ronnie Shaeffer followed with an RBI single as the Anteaters retook the lead.

The Trojans retook the lead with three runs in the fourth, sparked by Cade Kreuter's leadoff solo homer to left with his seventh of the season. After a walk to pinch-hitter Beau Brett, Roundtree hit a groundball to second that Stevenson mishandled to put runners at first and second. O'Neill then launched a two-run double to right center for the 5-3 score in favor of the Trojans. An RBI double from Hernandez in the fourth and one from Larson in the fifth tied it again at 5-5.

Shaeffer's one-out RBI single in the eighth off Cabral put the Anteaters ahead, but the Trojans came up with the rally in the ninth. Roundtree walked to lead off the inning, moving to second on a sacrifice by Landecker and advancing to third on O'Neill's groundout. Christian Bergman relieved Ruben Orosco and with a 2-2 count, gave up the RBI single to Joe De Pinto, who tied the game with the base hit to right. Oropesa then hammered his 12th homer of the season for the game-winning runs.

USC hosts Utah in a non-conference series, Friday-Sunday (May 7-9) at Dedeaux Field. Friday's game starts at 7 p.m. with a 2 p.m. start on Saturday and 1 p.m. start on Sunday. All three games will be broadcast through a live video webcast on Due to the Revlon Run Walk on Saturday, fans are asked to arrive as late as possible as most roads around the USC campus will be closed to traffic.

Notes: USC snapped an eight-game losing streak to UC Irvine in the all-time series...tonight was USC head coach Chad Kreuter's first win in five tries against his father-in-law (and former USC head coach and current UCI head coach) Mike Gillespie...tonight was USC's second win in 22 games with the Trojans trailing after eight innings...Ricky Oropesa has hit four home runs this season in the ninth inning.

USC	 020-300-003---8-8-2UCI	 102-110-010---6-13-2

WP - Cabral (1-1) LP - Bergman (5-3) S - Smith (2)T - 3:10 ATT - 875Records: USC (20-24), UC Irvine (27-15)

Couture, Odom (5), Douthit (7), Cabral (8), Smith (9) and Roundtree.Summers, Brock (4), Orosco (9), Bergman (9) and Larson.

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