USC Rallies For 5-4 Win Over SDSU

Feb. 17, 2007

Box Score

SAN DIEGO - USC tallied three runs in the top of the ninth to erase a two-run deficit and defeat San Diego State, 5-4, Saturday evening at Tony Gwynn Stadium. The loss was a heartbreaker for the Aztecs, who had tied the game in the seventh and taken the lead for the first time in the bottom of the eighth. A crowd of 1,513 fans, the fifth-largest for an SDSU baseball game at Tony Gwynn Stadium, witnessed the action.

The loss was SDSU's second in two nights to the 21st-ranked Trojans as it dropped to 5-4 on the season. USC, meanwhile, improved to 7-4.

San Diego State opened the scoring in the first on a triple by shortstop Troy Hanzawa, who then scored on a wild pitch. USC knotted the game at 1-1 with an unearned run in the top of the third on an error, single, hit batter and sacrifice fly.

The Trojans grabbed the lead two innings later when Michael Torres' two-out bases-loaded single to left scored Nick Buss from third to give the visitors a 2-1 advantage. That run chased SDSU starter Bruce Billings from the mound as junior Shane Kaufman came on in relief, getting the final out with no more damage allowed.

The score remained the same until SDSU tied the contest in the seventh on a pair of walks, a sacrifice bunt and an RBI single by Garett Green. That run spelled the end of the night for USC starting hurler Brad Boxberger, and the game was now in the hands of each team's bullpen.

The Aztecs took a 4-2 lead, plating a pair of runs in the bottom of the eighth inning. A one-out triple by Hanzawa, his second of the night, was followed by another three-bagger from Nick Romero two batters later. When the relay to third on Romero's hit was thrown away, he also came home.

With Kaufman still on the mound, USC shortstop Grant Green reached on a fielding error to start the Trojan ninth. That was followed by back-to-back triples by Matt Cusick and Lucas Duda to even the score at 4-4. J.J. Owen then hit a sacrifice fly to right off Mike Koons, who had been brought on in relief of Kaufman, scoring what proved to be the winning run.

USC closer Paul Koss came on in the bottom of the inning to close out the game, allowing a one-out single to Chris Anderson before retiring the final two hitters to seal the win.

Trojan reliever Kevin Couture, who was charged with SDSU's go-ahead runs in the eighth, was the beneficiary of his team's comeback as he picked up the win to improve to 1-0. Koss recorded his fourth save of the year while Kaufman took the loss to fall to 0-1.

USC and San Diego will conclude their three-game weekend series on Sunday (Feb. 18) with a game schedule for a 1:00 p.m. start at Tony Gwynn Stadium.

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