The USC Trojans began the weekend series against North Dakota State undefeated, winning multiple games in dramatic fashion.
The Trojans would rely on late-game heroics in two of their three wins over the Bison and now sit at 7-0. Next up for the Trojans is their first road game of the season as they will face the Long Beach State Dirtbags on Tuesday.
Game 1: USC 4, North Dakota State 3
The first game of the series was a pitcher’s duel through the first five innings. The Bison got on the board first with a two-out rally in the sixth inning to take a 2-0 lead. Bison starting pitcher David Ernst held the Trojans to no runs and just four hits in seven innings of work.
The Bison would tack on another run in the eighth inning before the Trojans capitalized on Bison miscues. Trailing 3-0 in the bottom of the eighth, Garrett Stubbs scored on a wild pitch after reaching base with a leadoff single and advancing to third on an error. AJ Ramirez would then score on a Dante Flores sacrifice fly and the Trojans trailed 3-2 going to the ninth inning.
Freshnam Jeff Paschke sat the Bison down in order in the top of the ninth, which helped set the table for the Trojans’ walk-off win. With the bases loaded and down to their last out, Timmy Robinson stepped in the batter’s box and drove in the game-tying and winning runs with a single to left field.
Game 2: USC 9, North Dakota State 0
Following Friday’s thrilling win, Saturday’s game took on a much different feel as the Trojans piled up nine runs on 14 hits. Bob Wheatley threw six shutout innings to earn the victory as he pitched with a lead for much of the game.
Eight Trojans managed to get a hit, led by Martinez, who went 3-for-5. Jake Hernandez had a pair of hits with two RBIs and two runs scored.
Three relievers entered the game for the Trojans and they kept the Bison offense in check, only allowing one hit through a combined three innings pitched.
Game 3: USC 5, North Dakota State 3
Looking for the series sweep, the Trojans again relied on late-inning drama to get the 5-3 win. The Bison led 2-0 into the eighth inning when the Trojans were able to even things up on a Kevin Swick RBI single and a Jeremy Martinez RBI double.
The two teams would play into extra innings, the Trojans’ third such game on the season. Kyle Kleinendorst gave the Bison a 3-2 lead with an RBI single in the 12th inning.
Down to their last out, Swick began the rally with a single up the middle, which was followed by Bobby Stahel reaching base on a four-pitch walk. In stepped Omar Cotto Lozada who sent the first pitch he saw sailing over the right field fence for the game-winning three-run home run.
It was the Trojans’ fourth walk-off win this season.