April 29, 2007
LOS ANGELES, Calif. - Hector Estrella's two out, two-run single in the bottom of the eighth capped a three-run inning and propelled USC to a 10-8 victory over Washington State in the Pacific-10 Conference series finale Sunday afternoon at Dedeaux Field.
The Cougars (21-20, 4-11) scored two runs in the top of the eighth as Simi Reynolds laced a pinch-hit, two-out double down the right field line, scoring Scott Suttmeier from second and tying the game at 7-7. Jeff Miller followed with a single through the right side off Trojan (23-22, 6-9) reliever Paul Koss, scoring Reynolds as WSU regained the lead at 8-7.
With no outs and a runner on second, Russ Humes, the sixth Cougar pitcher of the afternoon, came on in relief of Michael Ratigan. Humes could not hold the lead as with a runner at third, a fielder's choice off the bat of Matt Cusick tied the game. One out later, Estrella delivered the two-run single to left, capping a wild afternoon that saw four lead changes in the final three innings.
Trailing 6-5 entering the seventh, Miller sparked WSU as he led off with a double down the left field line. It was one of four hits on the afternoon for the Cougar second baseman, whose second run of the afternoon tied the game at 6-6 as he scored on Jared Prince's sacrifice fly to center.
The Cougars struck early, scoring four runs in the top of the first and chasing Trojan starter Tommy Milone after 2/3 of an inning. Cody Bartlett led off with a triple to deep center followed by three straight singles by Miller, Paul Gran and Prince. Two outs later, Greg Lagreid doubled to the gap in left-center, driving in two and ending Malone's day after seven batters.
USC got one run back in the bottom of the first as Cusick and Darren Gremoll led off with back-to-back singles before Cusick scored on a double play ball off the bat of Grant Green. In the second a two-out single by Cusick brought home two more runs, cutting the Cougar lead to 4-3.
The Trojans tied the game in the third on an RBI double by J.J. Owen. Following a walk to Estrella, Jeremy Johnson came on in relief of starter Jayson Miller. Johnson allowed a single to load the bases, but got out of the jam on an inning-ending double play.
The Cougars regained the lead in the fourth as Zach Borba led off the frame with a home run to center, his first of the season.
USC took its first lead of the game in the sixth as it loaded the bases with one out. Steve Kost came on and surrendered a bases-loaded walk to tie the game at 5-5 and then a throwing error allowed the go-ahead run to score, giving the Trojans the 6-5 lead.
Jayson Miller was the first of seven Cougar pitchers as he lasted 2 1/3 innings, allowing four runs on eight hits. Humes was saddled with the loss as he worked 2/3 of an inning, giving up two runs on one hit. It also marked the first time in 10 opportunities the sophomore has not earned the save.
WSU pounded out 17 hits on the afternoon, with Miller's four one shy of his season-high. Borba finished with two hits while Prince and Lagreid each added a pair of RBIs.
Koss earned the win as he improved to 3-3 this season, allowing three hits but no runs over the final 1 1/3 innings. Roberto Lopez and Johnny Bowden each had three hits while Cusick drove in three to lead a 17-hit Trojan attack.
The Cougars will now focus on finals week before returning to the diamond Saturday when they host Stanford in a three-game series. First pitch is scheduled for 5:30 p.m.
WSU BASEBALL Washington State 400 100 120 - 8 15 2 USC 121 002 13x - 10 17 0 WP - Paul Koss (3-3) LP - Ross Humes (3-2). Save - None. WSU - Jayson Miller, Jeremy Johnson (3), Steve Kost (6), Seth Harvey (6), Michael Ratigan (7), Ross Humes (8), Nick Cebula (8) and Greg Lagreid USC - Tommy Milone, Robert Stock (1), Shawn Olsen (7), Kevin Couture (7), Paul Koss (8) and Johnny Bowden. WSU Hits - Jeff Miller 4, Paul Gran 2, Jim Murphy 2, Zach Borba 2, Cody Bartlett, Simi Reynolds, Jared Prince, Greg Lagreid, Scott Suttmeier USC Hits - Roberto Lopez 3, Johnny Bowden 3, Hector Rabago 2, J.J. Owen 2, Matt Cusick 2, Darren Gemoll 2, Grant Green 2, Hector Estrella E - Bartlett, Borba. 2B - Lagreid, Reynolds, Miller, Murphy, Gemoll, Owen, Rabago. 3B - Bartlett. HR -Borba.