USC falls to San Diego at home

Number eight Ben Ramirez touches home plate at the bottom of the fifth against San Diego.
Redshirt junior infielder Ben Ramirez scored off an RBI single in the bottom of the fifth. (Charlie McCollum | Daily Trojan)

USC Baseball lost to San Diego 6-5 at Dedeaux Field Tuesday night. 

The loss ended the Trojans’ six-game winning streak. Prior to snapping the streak, USC had swept their previous two series 3-0 against Nevada and Washington. 

“We just played a really good team and it was a really good game. Obviously they just kind of had the edge today,” said redshirt junior infielder Jamal O’Guinn. 

USC was in the midst of gaining some much needed momentum after a slow start to this season.

“I think early on in the season we just weren’t playing very good baseball,” O’Guinn said. “We definitely weren’t playing as good as we should, but where we are now, we’re playing really good baseball obviously coming off six wins in a row.” 

The Trojans now stand with a 9-7 season record. The Toreros’ record improved to 12-4. The last time the two teams met was in 2017 when San Diego defeated USC 8-3. 

In Tuesday’s game, the Trojans took an early lead with an RBI single from redshirt senior infielder John Thomas in the first inning. The second and third innings were slow with no runs scored from either team. Redshirt senior infielder Tyler Pritchard scored an RBI single in the fourth inning to bring USC to a 2-0 lead. 

The Trojans’ offense struggled later, leaving multiple runners on base and missing opportunities to score. 

“There’s always stuff to work on,” O’Guinn said. “But tonight we had a few mistakes in certain situations like runners in scoring position, just little things, so we will definitely learn from that.”

Redshirt pitcher Brian Gursky led the Trojans defense allowing no runs in the fourth inning and only one in the fifth from San Diego graduate student midfielder Paul Kunst. 

The Trojans responded with a RBI single from redshirt junior infielder Ben Ramirez and an RBI double from freshman catcher Garret Guillemette to increase USC’s lead to 5-1. 

San Diego started to cut their deficit in the sixth with an RBI double from graduate student infielder Thomas Luevano. USC’s defense struggled, allowing the Toreros to add another run in the seventh. 

With no advances by either team in the eighth, USC was still leading 5-4 going into the ninth with freshman pitcher Charlie Hurley on the mound. San Diego junior catcher Shane McGuire hit a low ball down the line past Thomas for a go ahead run, tying up the game. 

With McGuire on third, San Diego secured the win with an RBI from utility freshman Jack Costello. The ball was hit at freshman infielder Nate Clow and jumped up to his neck causing him to drop the ball. 

Despite the loss, the Trojans are still confident in the progress they have made and the momentum they have been creating over the past few weeks. 

“During the course of those six games, we realized how good we could be,” O’Guinn said. “I definitely think that this loss won’t affect us, and I think we will come out pretty good and strong against UCLA on Friday.”

USC is undefeated in the Pac-12 after sweeping Washington last week 3-0. The Trojans continue conference play this weekend with a home series against No. 10 UCLA. First pitch is 7 p.m. Friday at Dedeaux Field.