Los Angeles, CA- An inning of baseball can swing the momentum of a game very quickly, and it can either devastate the opposing team, or motivate them to play better.
USC starting pitcher Quentin Longrie let the first inning get away from him as CSUN scored five runs on four hits.
The Matadors’ Albee Weiss started that scoring barrage by hitting a two run home run with one out.
After that, USC committed an error, walked a batter, then allowed three consecutive singles.
By then, the Matadors led 5-0 and everyone in the CSUN lineup had gotten an at-bat opportunity.
On the eve of each team’s 2018 season finale, that first inning eruption allowed the CSUN Matadors to dominate game two 9-3, and therefore win the series against the USC Trojans.
“I was pleased early on with the at-bats that the kids took. I felt like we got a little bit too much high air as the game went on,” USC skipper Dan Hubbs said. “It’s tough when you’re down by a little bit, the guys are trying to do too much rather than just be on base and see if we can poke a couple across.
USC kept the spark that was their comeback alive after the next two innings, by scoring one in the second and two in the third. By then, it was 5-3 and the damage that CSUN did in the first inning didn’t seem like a lot.
“They did a nice job chipping away and Isaac (Esqueda) did a good job keeping us in there,” USC skipper Dan Hubbs said. “We put ourselves in a position where if we get a single we tie the game and it changed the momentum.”
In the bottom of the fifth, a golden opportunity rose and the Trojans had the bases load with one out. The Trojans had finally got to Isaac Nunez, the pitcher that shut them down all game.
Enter, Jayson Newman.
Newman was thrown into the game at that point and got two crucial outs that ended the inning and stranded three Trojans.
“He’s been coming out of the ‘pen all year for us and has been phenomenal,” CSUN left fielder Albee Weiss said. “He’s got some great stuff and he comes out there with tenacity and relentless attack that nobody can really rival.”
The following inning after that shutdown, the Matadors put up four runs on Isaac Esqueda, the pitcher that CSUN couldn’t hit, and that was all she wrote for the Trojans.
“I thought we ran hard all night, that was the key today,” CSUN skipper Greg Moore said. “We ran hard from first to second, apply a little bit of pressure. We got out of the box aggressively, we moved pitch to pitch pretty well.”