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Bats Heat Up In SoCal As Dawgs Top USC Again, 16-11

May 14, 2022

Fresh off a low-scoring 2-1 evening victory yesterday, bats were hot in the Southern California afternoon sun as the Huskies and Trojans exploded for a combined 27 runs on 31 hits today. Home runs by McKay Barney, Johnny Tincher, and Will Simpson, as well as 4-RBI days from Simpson and AJ Guerrero, kept USC in catch up mode all game long. A couple highlight reel plays by Josh Urps to initiate double plays from second base were also crucial as the Dawgs ultimately took the win, 16-11.

McKay Barney led things off for the Dawgs, but went down on strikes. Cam Clayton stepped in next and hit a hard chopper up the middle that ricocheted off the pitcher's mitt. The throw over to first by the shortstop was just late leaving Clayton safe at first. Johnny Tincher following ripping the first pitch down the left field line for a stand up double.  With two on in scoring position and one out, Will Simpson came to the plate. A ball off his foot put him on first to load the bases for last night's hero, AJ Guerrero. He came through driving a shot past the first baseman into the right field corner scoring all three baserunners.  With Guerrero now on second, Michael Snyder came to the plate. A slow roller had the third baseman charging, but he was too deep to even attempt a throw and the Huskies now had runners on the corners. Coby Morales stepped in next and sent a sacrifice fly to left field scoring Guerrero. Next up, Christian Dicochea hit one up the middle, but the shortstop was able to field it and step on second to end the inning.

Righty Calvin Kirchoff started things off getting batter number one to fly out to Guerrero in left on his first pitch.  The next batter put a runner on after a base hit through the right side. A grounder up the middle followed, but Urps was able to range over and, in one motion, glove it and flip to second to start an inning-ending double play.

Urps led off the second walking on four straight pitches. Barney followed with a sacrifice bunt up the first base side to move Urps into scoring position. Clayton dug in next, but went down check swinging at a ball in the dirt. He took off for first which drew a throw out from the catcher, but Urps was able to advance to third on the play. Johnny Tincher stepped in next and muscled one over the left field fence scoring two more!  With the score now 6-0, Simpson stepped in next, but sent an inning-ending grounder to third.

USC got things started with a base hit to right field. Next came a chopper up the middle off Kirchoff's glove. He was able to stay with it though to record the out at first. With a runner now at second base, a base hit up the middle would score USC's first run and leave a runner on first with one out. A four pitch walk to USC's home run leader put two on. The next batter watched ball one, then unleashed a home run over the left field fence to pull USC within two. The Trojan's next batter recorded a soft infield single down the third base line. With the runner on first taking off on a 2-0 pitch, a single through the right side put runners on the corners and triggered a call to the bullpen. RHP Josh Emanuels took over on the mound, but began with a walk to load the bases. The next batter swung over the top of a pair of breaking balls before grounding into a 4-6-3 double play.

A pitching change for USC delivered a fly ball to right by Guerrero putting one out on the board. Snyder took a 1-1 pitch to the back of the ribs next, to put a runner on. Morales stepped in next and drove a base hit to right field. Dicochea then crushed a stand up double into the left field corner plating two more for the Dawgs. Urps advanced Dicochea to third on a ground out to second. Barney stepped up next and launched his first D1 career home run over the right field fence to make it a 10-4 ballgame. Clayton followed with a grounder to third to end the top of the third inning.

Emanuels started things off putting the first batter down on strikes. A ground ball through the left side followed to put a runner on for USC. Emanuels got the next batter to chase a ball above the zone for another strikeout. Another single followed to put runners on first and second, but Emanuels would strike out the side as the next batter went down looking.

The Trojans went to their third pitcher of the day to start the inning. Tincher was quickly on however, after being hit in the elbow. Simpson settled in next and walked on four straight pitches to put two on with nobody out for Guerrero. He answered with a fly ball to right field for an out, but Tincher was able to advance to third. With runners on the corners, Snyder went down swinging on a breaking ball outside. Morales followed with a chopper over the mound that was snared by the shortstop who stepped on second to end the top half of the fourth.

The inning began with a pop fly to Snyder in foul territory off the third base side.  With one down, a base hit to shallow right followed by a base hit to shallow left put two on and brought in Stu Flesland III from the bullpen. Facing the third batter in the lineup, a hit up the middle was fielded by Flesland, but an error on the throw to second sent the ball into center field plating the runner from second. This left one aboard for the Trojans. The next batter sent a grounder toward second that had Urps making an incredible diving play and flip to second to kick off another inning-ending double play.

Dicochea began the inning with a fly out to center. An unassisted ground out to first followed by Urps. With two down, a fly ball to left field by Clayton would end the inning.

A bloop fly ball to shallow center dropped in just beyond a diving McKay Barney to start the inning. A double off the wall in left followed to put two runners in scoring position with nobody out.  The next batter walked to load the bases. A wild pitch plated a run and brought in RHP Ryan Velazquez to take over a 1-0 count on the batter. A pop up to Clayton right where he stood at short finally delivered the inning's first out for the Huskies. A line drive up the middle put two more across for the Trojans to cut the score to 10-8. A line drive to Snyder at third was dropped, but he was able to recover and fire over to second base for the inning's second out.  Velazquez finally got out of the inning with a swinging strikeout.

Cam Clayton led off the inning with a full count walk to bring another pitching change. Tincher followed with a four-pitch walk as well. Up next, Simpson drove an RBI double to left center. Guerrero stepped in next with runners on second and third and no outs and drove a sacrifice fly to right field to make it 12-8 Huskies.  Snyder went down on strikes next for the second out. Morales stepped in next and drove a base hit up the middle plating Simpson from third.  Dicochea then ripped a ground ball past a diving first baseman to put runners on first and second. Urps came to the plate next and made solid contact, but right to the left fielder to end the inning.

Velazquez delivered a fly ball to Guerrero in left to start the inning. A single up the middle followed. A pop up to Simpson on the grass over toward second brought out number two. Finally, an easy fly ball to Barney in center sent the Dawgs back up to the plate up 13-8.

The fifth pitcher of the day for USC took over on the mound. Barney answered with a grounder up the middle that ricocheted off the pitcher into left field for a base hit.  Clayton followed with a fly out to right.  Tincher stepped in next and drew a walk.  With two on and one out, Simpson ripped a 3-run blast over the wall in right field to extend the Husky lead once again to 16-8.  Snyder followed with a deep ball of his own, but the center fielder made an amazing play at the wall reaching back and robbing Snyder of a home run.

Johnny Tincher hauled in out number one on a pop up in front of home plate. A routine ground ball to Urps at second followed. Velazquez would get out of the inning with a watched fastball at the knees for strike three.

Following another pitching change, Morales turned on one but the first baseman was able to corral it and step on the base for out number one. Dicochea followed with a six-pitch walk. Urps batted next, but went down swinging. With two down, Barney and Clayton both walked to load the bases for Tincher.  He put a charge into one sending the center fielder back toward the warning track, but he was able to make the catch for out number three.

USC got the ball rolling with a base hit up the middle. A grounder to third followed, however Snyder's throw was wide at second leaving runners on the corners with no outs. A sacrifice fly to new outfielder Preston Viltz, who had replaced Morales in right, made it a 16-9 ballgame. With a runner on first and one out, a grounder to Urps kicked of a potential double play but the runner just beat the throw at first.  A grounder to third had Snyder firing across for out number three.  

A new pitcher welcomed Simpson to the plate and sent him to first with a walk. Guerrero was out at first after a slow roller to third, but Simpson was able to advance to second on the play. With one out, Snyder sent the right fielder back to the warning track to haul in out number two.  Simpson advanced to third on the play, however. Viltz followed with a fly ball to deep right field as well, but again, it was hauled in to retire the side.

RHP Stefan Raeth replaced Velazquez on the mound to start the ninth. A lead off double to right center got things started for the Trojans. A two-run home run to right followed to make it 16-11 in favor of the Huskies. A fly ball to Barney in center finally delivered out number one. USC followed with a single to left field. Another fly ball to Barney delivered the second out. The runner on first took second on a ball in the dirt, but the game soon came to an end as the next pitch brought yet another fly ball to Barney.

Ryan Velazquez took the win moving to 3-0. He gave up just 1 unearned run on 3 hits over 4 innings, with no walks and 2 strikeouts.

The Dawgs go for the series sweep tomorrow at noon.