USC Baseball Uses Six-Run Fourth to Take Down Cougars, 8-6
LOS ANGELES – The USC baseball team batted around and scored six runs in the fourth inning to propel the Trojans to an 8-6 victory over Washington State in the opening game of a three-game series at Dedeaux Field on Friday night.
USC posted its eight runs on 11 hits to move to 21-21 overall and 9-13 in Pac-12 play. The Cougars fall to 23-21 and 9-13 on the year.
The six-run fourth put the Trojans in front for good, but a fifth inning RBI single by John Thomas ended up being the game-winning run as Washington State scored four runs over the final three innings, including a two-run homer with two outs in the ninth.
USC trailed 1-0 heading into the fourth, but Jamal O'Guinn led the inning off with a triple to open the floodgates. The Trojans posted six hits in the inning, including two from O'Guinn who capped the scoring with an RBI single. Ben Ramirez hit a two-run single, and Rhylan Thomas and Carson Wells added RBI singles as well. The Trojans sent 11 batters to the plate in the fourth.
After John Thomas made it 7-1 with his single in the fifth, Washington State came back with a run in the sixth and then got a two-run single in the seventh from Kyle Manzardo. USC tacked on a run in the eighth thanks to a delayed double steal before the visitors tried to mount a comeback in the final frame.
A one-out single put a runner on in the ninth for the Cougars and then Tristan Peterson hit a shot to left to make it a two-run game. Garrett Clarke would settle down and get the final out on an easy grounder to short, however.
Isaac Esqueda picked up the win for USC, throwing 6.2 innings and giving up five hits and four runs in the start. Two of Esqueda's four runs came after he exited in the seventh, as the Trojan ace moves to 5-2 on the year. Quentin Longrie took over in the seventh and tossed 1.1 innings before giving way to Clarke in the ninth.
Brandon White took the loss for Washington State, falling to 5-4 on the year.
- Jamal O'Guinn: 3-for-5, RBI, R, 3B, 2B
- Ben Ramirez: 1-for-3, 2RBI, 2BB
- John Thomas: 2-for-3, RBI, R, SAC BU
The Trojans continue their series with the Cougars on Saturday at 2 p.m. before wrapping things up on Sunday at 12 p.m. Both games will be streamed live on Pac-12+ via USCTrojans.com. Links to follow are available on the baseball schedule page at USCTrojans.com.