Los Angeles, CA – USC (5-9) led by one in the seventh inning when the UCLA baseball team (11-3) scored two runs on a pair of miscues by the Trojans. The Bruins took a 5-4 lead on a throwing error to first base.
UCLA’s bullpen pitched three scoreless innings and the No. 2 Bruins came back from a four-run deficit to defeat USC, 7-5, Sunday in the Dodger Stadium College Baseball Classic.
“That’s a tough loss,” USC head coach Dan Stubbs said. “Anytime you have the No. 2 team in the country on the ropes early and can’t finish it off is a tough one.”
Freshman right hander Jesse Berger was knocked out of the game after two innings, giving up four earned runs on six hits. After USC jumped all over Bergin early, the UCLA bullpen allowed only one run the rest of the way.
“Our bullpen calmed the game down for us, and that was good,” UCLA head coach John Savage said. “You gotta give them a lot of credit, gave up one run through six. We put some good at-bats together and it was good job of bouncing back this weekend after losing on Friday.”
USC got on the board first with a solo home run by leadoff batter Blake Sabol in the first inning. The Trojans took a 3-0 lead in the second inning on Ben Ramirez’ two-run RBI single.
After USC shortstop Chase Bushor smacked a double to left center, Matthew Acosta singled to score Bushor giving the Trojans a 4-0 lead in the third inning.
“We watched film on their pitcher Bergin earlier today and we made a plan of attack,” Sabol said. “Coach Curtis, in that first at bat he told me, hey early in the game he likes to come inside on lefties so don’t be surprised and let it loose if you need to.”
UCLA junior Ryan Kreidler extended his hit streak to 14 games with a 2-run RBI base hit to right field. The ball got passed Preston Hartsell, allowing two runs to come in and cut the USC lead, 4-3 in the bottom of the third inning.
The Bruins opened the seventh inning with a leadoff walk from Jarron Silva. Sophomore right fielder Garrett Mitchell got on base with a single through the right side. UCLA tied it, 4-4, on a passed ball that brought in Silva from third base.
In the eighth inning, UCLA made it a three-run game after Matt McLain’s two-run double. USC added a run in the final inning.
“It was a hard-fought game,” Savage said. “It really could have gone either way but we were fortunate to come out with the win.”