For seven innings, the Trojans fought to find any consistent offense against Long Beach State. For seven innings Dirtbags pitcher John Castro had USC’s lineup on its toes, allowing just six hits and zero runs.“I thought Castro pitched phenomenally well for them today,” head coach Dan Stubbs said. “He had three pitches working and he kept us off balance.”But in a wild Tuesday night game that lasted four hours and featured 11 innings, the first seven frames merely served as prelude. The Trojans needed one major play to get back into the game, and junior Lars Nootbaar provided just that. Down 2-0 in the bottom of the eighth with two outs and a man on second, the center fielder blasted a moonshot that sailed over the right field fence. With that two-run homer, a Trojans’ offense that had been largely dormant up until that point came alive.“Honestly it’s one of the greatest feelings,” Nootbaar said. “Just knowing you squared a ball up, it’s almost as if you didn’t even feel it. It’s one of those things where right at contact, you know it’s going out. Just seeing my teammates enjoy it was really the best part.”While Nootbaar’s home run gave the team a chance to win, solid pitching from a very young rotation kept the Trojans afloat up until that point. Junior Mason Perryman performed admirably — if slightly erratically — in only his fourth career start. He gave up just five hits but also hit three batters, at one point nailing two in a row to load the bases. After four innings, he was replaced by sophomore Quinten Longrie, who gave up one hit in nine outs, with five strikeouts.“We’re relying on a lot of young guys,” Stubbs said. “You think about the pitching that was out there today; I think Mason probably has 25 innings of college experience, Longrie might have 2 or 3 innings of college experience and the other guys have zero. We’re going to be a work in progress a little bit.”With the game tied at two at the top of the ninth, Stubbs made the bold decision to send freshman Austin Manning out to the mound. The lefty looked confident at first, striking out LBSU second baseman Jarron Duran. But then he gave up a double followed by a perfectly executed RBI sacrifice fly to center field. Manning managed to get out of the inning giving up only the one run, but the Trojans once again found themselves in a do-or-die situation heading into the bottom of the ninth.This time, however, they didn’t need Nootbaar’s hot bat. With two freshman pinch runners, John Thomas and Christian Moya, at the corners senior Cris Perez came up to bat with two outs. As Thomas attempted to steal from first base, LBSU catcher David Baneulos overthrew the second baseman, allowing Moya to score off of the error. The Trojans left the inning with a 3-3 tie, meaning that fans at Dedeaux Field would be treated to a late night of extra innings.Both teams failed to score in the 10th inning. Manning produced a three up, three down inning on the defensive end and then senior AJ Fritts was unable to bring junior Adalberto Carrillo home from third with one out.After Manning once again prevented the Dirtbags from scoring in the top of the 11th, the Trojans seemed destined to finally finish the game. First Brandon Perez reached first base when LBSU’s center fielder dropped a routine flyball. Then he reached second off of a wild pickoff throw to first base. The Dirtbags’ pitcher Chris Rivera intentionally walked Matthew Acosta and Tyler Urbach leaving the bases loaded with zero outs.Despite the odds stacked in their favor, the Trojans still did not make ending the game a simple task. Cris Perez and David Edson both struck out, leaving junior shortstop Frankie Rios up to bat with two outs and the game on the line. Rios immediately got down 0-2 in the count, and for a minute it looked as though USC had squandered another golden opportunity — except it had not. Rios blasted a walk-off single to center field and was immediately mobbed by an army of exhausted teammates.“I was excited,” Rios said. “I wasn’t doing all too well, and then I got that hit. I saw it off the bat, and I was pumped.”On the game, Nootbaar produced a memorable performance, going 3-4 with a home run and two RBI. On the season, he is batting .688 with two homers.A positive sign for USC going forward was the season debut of senior leader Corey Dempster following a knee injury. The outfielder came into the eighth inning as a pinch hitter and singled on the first pitch he saw.After defeating LBSU, the Trojans travel to North Carolina on Friday for games against Wake Forest and Duke.
Published on March 17, 2019 at 4:15 pm Contact Kaci: firstname.lastname@example.org Facebook Twitter Google+ For Syracuse’s final game in its three-game road trip, the Orange traveled to Louisville to face a conference opponent, its first in four games. Louisville, one of the two teams in the Atlantic Coastal Conference not ranked in the top-20, had only beat Syracuse once before Sunday afternoon’s matchup.It remained that way after Sunday’s game. No. 4 Syracuse (8-2, 2-1 ACC) defeated the Cardinals (4-7, 0-3), 14-7. SU’s defense held UofL to two goals through the first fifty minutes and its offense went on an 8-0 run in the middle of the game.“Our defense once again led the way,” SU head coach Gary Gait said, “shutting them down, holding them to a goal in the first half. Then our offense heated up a little bit.”The Orange scored first. Megan Carney caught a pass from Meaghan Tyrrell and scored to put SU on the board. It took five minutes and three turnovers for Syracuse’s offense to find its rhythm.Junior Emily Hawryschuk was awarded a free position shot. She scored and, a minute later, scored again. Two minutes later, Mary Rahal was awarded a free position shot as well which she capitalized on for SU’s fifth goal of the game.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textDuring that time, Louisville got its only goal of the first half when Alex McNicholas scored from an assist by Kayla Marshall.Susie Teuscher | Digital Design EditorSyracuse scored four more times before the end of the first half and then four more to start the second. Hawryschuk led Syracuse’s scoring with five goals, including three of the first four goals of the second half.Louisville scored once more before the 50-minute mark. SU goalie Bri Starr came in after that to replace Asa Goldstock who had nine saves.“They played good zone, tough team defense,” Gait said. “Asa made some saves and everything worked out.”In the last ten minutes, the tide of the game turned. Syracuse only scored twice more, both by junior Morgan Alexander, before Louisville went on a 5-0 run to end the game.The 14 goals scored by the Orange were helped by its dominance on the draw control. At other points this season, SU struggled to win draws and gain possessions. Against Louisville, Syracuse was 15-6. Hawryschuk and freshman Braelie Kempney took a majority of the draws.“We’ve been working hard, grinding hard on that,” Gait said. “It clicked a little bit today against that team.”Syracuse returns home for its next opponent, Harvard, on Tuesday afternoon. Comments