Trojans Take Series Opener
LOS ANGELES – California fell behind early and dropped a series-opening contest, 6-2, to No. 25 USC on Friday night at Dedeaux Field.
The Trojans tagged Josh White with five runs on four hits in the first inning and added one more the following frame, putting Cal (8-9, 1-3 Pac-12) in a six-run hole. It was all the offense USC (12-4, 3-1) would need as Cal managed six hits, including only two before the sixth inning.
White (0-1) found his groove and retired 16 of the final 20 batters he faced down the stretch before leaving the game in the eighth. The Cal ace struck out three while allowing eight hits and three walks. Sam Stoutenborough worked one scoreless inning of relief, getting a 5-4-3 double play to end the eighth.
Back-to-back walks by Nathan Martorella and Dylan Beavers in the sixth forced USC to replace starter Jaden Agassi, who limited the Bears to two singles through five innings. Cole Elvis capitalized on the walks, driving in both Martorella and Beavers with a double into the right-center field gap. Cal had another opportunity to chip away at the deficit in the seventh when Beavers stepped to the plate with a pair of runners in scoring position – Keshawn Ogans singled and Martorella doubled – but the Bears' slugger grounded out to second base to end the threat.
Both Elvis (2-for-4) and Ogans (2-for-3) had two-hit efforts. Carson Crawford tallied six defensive assists at the hot corner despite going 0-for-4.
Cal and No. 25 USC resume their Pac-12 series at 2 p.m. PDT Saturday. The contest will be live streamed via Pac-12 Plus.
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