Trojans defeat Anteaters in midweek matchup
It was a win very much in need.
After starting the season 11-3, the USC baseball team had dropped four of its last seven games headed into a midweek matchup with UC Irvine.
But the Trojans (15-8) bested the Anteaters (14-9) 5-4 behind the bat of centerfielder Garrett Stubbs.
The freshman sensation smacked his first career home run in the third inning, his two-run blast giving the Trojans a 3-2 lead, their first lead of the game.
After a laborious first inning in which he faced seven batters and gave up the Anteatersâ first two runs, USC senior starter Brandon Garcia appeared to settle down in the second, retiring Irvine in order.
But he got into trouble in the third, and USC coach Frank Cruz was quick with the hook.
Sophomore Bobby Wheatley came into the game and sent the Anteaters down quietly in the third and fourth, and would have in the fifth as well if not for an error by sophomore shortstop James Roberts that tied the game.
But the Trojans got the lead right back in the sixth. Garcia, having moved into the designated hitter role, smacked an RBI single with runners at second and third.
That was followed up by an RBI knock by freshman second baseman Dante Flores, putting USC up 5-3.
A combination of five Trojan relievers â including Wheatly â held the Anteaters to just two runs (one earned) over the final 6 2/3 innings. After Irvine got one run back in the seventh, senior Martin Viramontes dealt the final innings scoreless to pick up the save, his fourth of the season.
Itâs the Trojans first back-to-back wins since before spring break, which gives them some strong momentum headed into a tough conference test with Washington State in Pullman, Wash., this weekend.