Dawgs' Comeback Comes Up Just Short In 5-4 Loss
March 22, 2013
SEATTLE - The Washington baseball team knocked 13 hits and scored three runs over the last two innings, but couldn't quite make it all the way back in a 5-4 loss to USC Friday night at Husky Ballpark.
Washington got a two-out, pinch-hit double from Alex Schmidt to drive in two runs in the bottom of the ninth, but a groundout ended the game with the tying run on second.
Trojans starter Bob Wheatley (3-2) scattered 12 hits over eight innings, giving up just two runs for the win as the Trojans improved to 2-2 in the Pac-12 and 9-13 overall. Reliever Nigel Nootbaar pitched the ninth for his third save, allowing the two runs on one hit.
In the ninth, Mitsui was hit by a pitch and Andrew Ely drew a two-out walk to set up Schmidt, who drove a ball just fair down the right-field line, drawing the UW within a run. But on the next pitch, Nootbaar got a grounder back to the mound to end the game.
USC grabbed the early lead with one run in the first. Bobby Stahel drew a walk to begin the game. After taking third on a one-out single from Blake Lacey, he scored on a James Roberts groundout.
The Trojans added three more in the second. With the bases loaded on two hits and a walk, Lacey singled through the right side, driving in two. James Roberts followed with a groundball to first that took a wild hop to sneak into right, plating another run to stretch the lead to 4-0.
The Huskies (0-4 Pac-12, 4-16 overall), who'd loaded the bases with one out in the second, but didn't score, got on the board in the third. Senior Jayce Ray led off the inning by hooking a double into the right-field corner and Robert Pehl followed with a double to right of his own, driving in Ray.
Meanwhile, UW reliever Tyler Davis, who came on in the second, got on a roll. After giving up a one-out double in the third, he retired 11 in a row, a stretch that included five straight strikeouts.
The Trojans finally got to Davis in the seventh. With the bases loaded on two singles and an intentional walk, pinch hitter Conner Sullivan was hit by a pitch to force in a run. But an infield pop and a fly to center ended the inning with no further damage and USC leading 5-1.
The Huskies got a second run in the eighth when Afenir singled and eventually scored on a double from Joe Meggs.
UW starter Nick Palewicz (2-4) took the loss, allowing four runs in one and two-thirds. Davis ended up working seven and one-third innings, giving up just one run on five hits with seven strikeouts.
The Huskies and Trojans continue the series with a 2:00 p.m. game on Saturday. Sunday's series finale has been moved to a 12:00 noon start.