Mar. 8, 1997
USC Beats Cal on Throwing Error
LOS ANGELES - A run-scoring throwing error by relief pitcher Jon Cuccias on a Jason Brown sacrifice bunt broke a 5-5 tie in the eighth inning and No. 7-ranked USC went on to defeat California, 8-6, Saturday at Dedeaux Field. USC is now 19-6 overall and 4-4 in Pac-10 Southern Division play while California drops to 10-14 and 0-5.
In that eighth inning, Brian Ponchak was walked by Bear ace reliever Tyler Walker (1-1), who was then relieved by Cuccias. Pinch-hitter Brown, in his first appearance after missing the last four weekes following arthrocopic knee surgery, lay down a sacrifice bunt that Cuccias fielded and threw away at first base to allow the go-ahead run to score. Brad Ticehurst pinch-ran for Brown and scored on a one-out double by Marc Mirizzi. Mirizzi then scored on an RBI single by Eric Munson.
California had a 5-1 lead in the seventh, but the Trojans tied the game on a bases-loaded walk by Morgan Ensberg and a bases-clearing triple by Robb Gorr.
Junior righthander Mike Weibling pitched two relief innings to pick up the win (3-0) and Jack Krawczyk recorded his fourth save (he now has 19 in his career, good for No. 3 on USC's all-time list).
Game Stats California 000 020 301 - 6 12 4 USC 010 000 43x - 8 13 2 USC: Etherton,Weibling (7), Krawczyk (9), and Hunson. Cal: Shirley, Walker (7), Cuccias (9) and Hill. and Munson. WP - Weibling (3-0). LP - Walker (1-1). 2B - Schmidt (Cal), Furstenthal (USC), C. Johnson (USC), Mirizzi (USC), Hanoian (USC). 3B - Gorr (USC) HR - Gordnier, 2, (Cal).