April 7, 2012
LOS ANGELES, CALIF -Cal senior right-hander Joey Donofrio walked USC pinch hitter Garrett Stubbs with two out and the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth inning to allow the winning run in the Trojans' 3-2 victory over the Golden Bears Saturday (April 7) at Dedeaux Field in Los Angeles. It was the second straight heartbreaking loss for Cal as the Bears had given up two runs in the bottom of the ninth inning Friday night in a 2-1 loss to USC.
However, Cal had defeated the Trojans in heartbreaking fashion Thursday night with two runs in the top of the ninth inning in a 5-4 win. In that contest, the Bears had trailed 4-0 until scoring five runs in the last four innings. With the 1-2 series loss at USC, Cal falls to 17-12 overall and 2-7 in the Pac-12. The Trojans go to 19-10 and 5-6 in league.
The Bears almost put themselves in position for another dramatic win Saturday. Trailing 2-1 with one out in the top of the ninth inning, freshman shortstop Chris Paul tied the game with a solo home run to center field off of USC reliever Martin Viramontes.
But in the bottom of the ninth inning Alex Sherrod led off with a pinch hit single to right off of Donofrio (3-1, 1.2 innings, two hits, one run, three walks, two strikeouts). Sherrod was then sacrificed to second base. Brandon Garcia was intentionally walked and Sean Spear followed with a groundout to second base, putting Sherrod on third base and Garcia at second base. The Bears then elected to intentionally walk Dante Flores to load the bases, unfortunately Donofrio walked Stubbs to allow USC's winning run.
The Trojans had scored the first run of the day in the bottom of the first inning when Garet Houts hit a triple to right center field off of Cal's junior left-hander Justin Jones (7.0 innings, five hits, two runs, two walks, four strikeouts) and then scored on a Jones' wild pitch.
The Bears were able to tie to game, 1-1, with a run in the fourth inning when sophomore first baseman Andrew Knapp drew a one-out walk. Knapp was advanced to third base on senior center fielder Chad Bunting's double and then scored on junior left fielder Darrel Matthews RBI groundout to second base.
USC grabbed back the lead, 2-1, with a run in the fifth inning when Jones walked Kevin Swick. Swick was then sacrificed to second base by Gracia and scored on James Roberts' double to left field.
Cal will next host Bay Area rival Stanford on Monday, April 9 at 2:30 p.m. at Evans Diamond.