USC Baseball Wins Season Opener on Ninth Inning Walk-Off
LOS ANGELES – Bart West drew a bases-loaded walk in the bottom of the ninth and Jamal O'Guinn and Tyresse Turner homered, as the USC baseball team came back from a 2-0 deficit to beat LMU 3-2 on opening night at Dedeaux Field.
The Trojan bats were missing in action for the first half of the night as LMU starter CJ Fernandezees took a no-hitter into the bottom of the sixth inning. Turner proved to be the spark plug for the Trojans though, hitting a two-out solo-shot off the scoreboard to get USC going. O'Guinn's game-tying solo-homer came in the bottom of the seventh, as he scorched a low drive over the left field wall.
The USC rally in the ninth was started by a leadoff single through the right side from Clay Owens. He moved up on a walk and then was replaced by pinch-runner Miko Rodriguez. A fielder's choice sent Rodriguez to third and an intentional walk loaded the bases before West came up and worked the count full for the game-winning walk.
LMU scored their only two runs of the night in the opening inning, getting the first two runners of the game on and then driving in both. That was it for the night, however, as the Lions stranded eight runners in the game.
Isaac Esqueda got the start and went 5.0 innings, giving up two runs on six hits. Esqueda worked out of jams in the first and third, stranding two runners in both frames, and then stranded a runner on third to end the fifth. Jaden Agassi made his collegiate debut in relief for Esqueda, tossing two scoreless to hold the line. LMU threatened in the seventh, but Rhylan Thomas threw a runner out at home from centerfield, and Agassi got a strikeout and a groundout to end the threat.
Kyle Wisch tossed a scoreless eighth, getting another big strikeout for the Trojans to strand a runner at third. Nate Clow then made his debut in relief for Wisch in the ninth, getting a big defensive play on an attempted steal of third when USC catcher Garret Guillemette threw down and John Thomas dove on top of the ball, then recovered to tag out the LMU runner after he overslid the base. Clow would get a strikeout swinging to end the frame.
- Tyresse Turner broke up a no-hitter with a solo home run in the sixth inning.
- Jamal O'Guinn hit a game-tying solo-homer in the bottom of the seventh.
- Isaac Esqueda gave up two runs in 5.0 innings of work.
- Jaden Agassi, Kyle Wisch and Nate Clow all struck out one in scoreless relief appearances.
- Bart West drew the game-winning walk.
The Trojans continue their series against LMU tomorrow at home with a 2 p.m. matchup. USC and the Lions wrap their series up at LMU on Sunday at 1 p.m. Both games will be streamed, with links available on the USC baseball schedule page.