USC tops visiting ’Runners

first_imgUSC sophomore infielder Ricky Oropesa hit a two-out solo home run in the bottom of the eighth inning to give USC a 4-3 victory against CSU Bakersfield Wednesday night at Dedeaux Field.Weekday warriors · Junior infielder Joe De Pinto and the Trojans continued to play well during midweek games, beating California State Bakersfield 4-3 at home. The Trojans have won six of seven weekday games. – Carlo Acenas | Daily Trojan Oropesa had three hits on the day, but his final shot cleared the right field wall and gave USC back a lead the bullpen had vanquished in the top half of the frame.Making his first start of the season for USC (15-14, 2-4), junior pitcher Logan Odom lasted only two-plus innings and gave up two runs handing the game over to the bullpen in the third inning.Sophomore Brad Douthit, junior Ryan Cabral, senior Shuhei Fujiya, junior Chris Mezger and sophomore Chad Smith combined for seven innings of solid relief, allowing only one run on 14 strikeouts and six hits. Smith earned the win after escaping an eighth-inning jam.Bakersfield (12-15) starter Mike McCarthy took the complete-game loss, going eight innings allowing four runs, seven hits and striking out seven.The Roadrunners jumped on the board first in the top of the second inning. Catcher Jeremy Rodriguez led off the frame with a single up the middle, and after advancing to second on infielder Jason Kudlock’s single, outfielder Kevin Younger, who had four hits on the day, drove Rodriguez home on a two-out double to left field.Trailing 1-0, the Trojans answered back quickly in the bottom of the inning. After a leadoff walk to sophomore outfielder Alex Sherrod, senior infielder Keith Castillo homered to left center, giving USC its first lead of the ballgame. Junior infielder Matt Hart followed Castillo’s drive with a double to left center, and then sophomore catcher Kevin Roundtree sent him home with a single through the right side to give USC a 3-1 lead.Odom was knocked out in the top of the third inning after walking leadoff batter Joey Mills. The speedy outfielder stole second base and then came around to score on infielder Brandon Boren’s RBI single up the middle, cutting the Roadrunner’s deficit to one.Douthit replaced Odom, but, after getting one out, he gave up two consecutive walks to load the bases. USC coach Chad Kreuter then turned to Cabral, who ended the Roadrunner’s rally by striking out both Kudlock and third baseman Garrett Branske to end the inning. Cabral struck out seven batters in two and two-thirds innings of no-run relief.USC’s bullpen held the Roadrunners scoreless until the top of the eighth. Younger led off the inning with a base hit through the right side off Mezger. With two outs, Boren doubled to left center and tied the game.Smith relieved Mezger and allowed a walk before getting out of the inning. Following Oropesa’s solo shot in the bottom of the eighth, Smith ran into trouble in the ninth, but he struck out the side to notch the win for the Trojans.USC takes on California this weekend at Dedeaux Field in the final three games of its seven-game homestand. The Pac-10 action begins Friday at 6:30 p.m. at Dedeaux Field.last_img