Bats come alive as Trojans handle the Roadrunners

After scoring a grand total of two runs during the team’s weekend series sweep at the hands of the Arizona State Sun Devils, USC needed a wake-up call before Tuesday’s matchup against Cal State Bakersfield.

As it turned out, the offense woke up in an 11-2 victory over the Roadrunners. The Trojans received a surplus of hard contact from the top of the lineup, with the top four hitters all tallying multi-hit nights.

Solid pitching · The Trojan pitching staff, anchored by freshman Stephen Tarpley, held Cal State Bakersfield to 15 runs in their four meetings this season. The Trojans now stand at 20-14 overall. - Luciano Nunez | Daily Trojan

The win snapped USC’s season-high four-game losing streak.

“We had a lot better at-bats [than during the weekend]” coach Frank Cruz said. “Our guys did a nice job of rebounding and turning things around at the plate.”

The win was the fourth over Bakersfield for the Trojans, who swept the Roadrunners at Dedeaux Field March 9-11.

“For whatever reason, we match up well,” Cruz said.

The rout was on from the very first inning. Sophomore second baseman James Roberts came up with a two-out, two-run single that gave the Trojans all the runs they would need against Bakersfield starter Spenser Messmore.

They added three more in the second inning, two courtesy of senior infielder Matt Foat’s two-out single and one more on a fielder’s choice. Foat finished with four hits and three RBI’s.

“All the guys at the top of the lineup had really nice nights,” Cruz said. “The offense definitely looked different out there. [Freshman infielder Dante] Flores was great for us out of the leadoff spot tonight.”

All told, USC got 11 of its 13 hits from Flores, , Sherrod, Foat and junior infielder Adam Landecker, the one through four hitters in the lineup.

Senior starting pitcher Brandon Garcia (3-3) returned to his regular Tuesday starter role but only pitched three innings, giving up a run on one hit and walking four before being replaced by freshman Nigel Nootbar.

“Brandon wasn’t throwing the ball particularly well so we turned it over to the bullpen,” Cruz said. “I know his control wasn’t totally there but we had confidence that our bullpen could hold the lead.”

Nootbar threw four innings in scoreless relief Tuesday.

“Nootbar was great tonight,” Cruz said. “After Brandon was out we needed to eat up some innings and that’s what [Nootbar] did.”

The Trojans now face a quick turnaround, playing host to UC Santa Barbara Wednesday at 6 p.m.

Cruz doesn’t expect the travel to have any negative repercussions when the Trojans take on the Gauchos at Dedeaux Field.

“The boys got some great rest before tonight so I don’t think it’ll be any problem,” Cruz said. “It’s also good that it’s not too long of a trip. I’m not worried about us not being up for the game.”


3 replies
  1. Steve B.
    Steve B. says:

    Nootbaar was charged with two earned runs in his four innings while Garcia did not give up a run.
    Flores played center field in this game and left field in Arizona. Your article lacks any knowledge of
    what really went on in this contest. Are you brain dead or just lazy to get the facts correct.
    Regarding the supposed great pitching by ASU , the Trojans avg. in conference play is pretty dismal
    with series against Utah, Stanford and Cal showing no productivity at bat.

    • Nelson
      Nelson says:

      In the 4th inning when Nootbaar came in, there was a runner on first which eventually scored. So this run was charged to Garcia. Therefore, each pitcher should be charged with an earned run.

  2. Levi McCallister
    Levi McCallister says:

    • Arizona State’s pitching staff is in the top 10 among Division I schools in four statistical categories: the Sun Devils have the third-lowest ERA in the country at 2.57, are fourth in walks allowed per nine innings (2.09), rank seventh in strikeout-to-walk ratio (3.23—242 strikeouts to 75 walks) and are ninth in hits allowed per nine innings (7.53). ASU righties Brady Rodgers and Trevor Williams lead the Pac-12 with ERAs of 1.12 and 1.41, respectively, and rank sixth and 17th in the country in that category.

    hey coach, sometimes it is not that your hitters are bad or poorly performing, sometimes the pitchers are just good….. just saying!

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