Trojans Beat Bruins in Local Baseball Classic
Late Heroics Pull Out Game
March 8, 2018
Lars Nootbaar (El Segundo High) hit the game-winning homer in the bottom of the eighth inning to help the USC baseball team to a 3-2 victory over their cross-town rivals Bruins at Dodger Stadium last Sunday afternoon.
The Trojans and Bruins closed out the Dodger Stadium College Baseball Classic with another classic of their own. With the win, USC moves to 9-4 and the #11 UCLA drop to 10-4.
SC fell behind early after a run-scoring sacrifice fly in the third, but that lead didn't last long as Dillon Paulson hit a solo homer over the right field wall in the bottom of the fourth to tie the score. The Bruins went back up with a bases loaded walk in the fifth inning. Again the Trojans had an answer as Blake Sabol tripled down the right field line and then scored on a grounder to first in the seventh. Left fielder Nootbaar provided what turned out to be the game-winner in the bottom of the eighth, by smashing a line drive over the right field fence.
Reliever Connor Lunn picked up the win as he came on to get the final out of the eighth inning stranding two runners. He got two quick outs in the ninth before back-to-back singles put runners on the corners for Bruins' cleanup hitter Chase Strumpf. Lunn came back with a strikeout to end the game and improve to 1-1, 2.45 with five saves.
USC is aiming for its first regionals berth since 2015. This win should give the Trojans some momentum next weekend going into the start of Pac-12 Conference play when USC hosts Utah for three games at home before traveling to No. 3 Stanford the following week for what will be its biggest test yet.