Baseball falls in series against Arkansas

first_imgUSC battled to cut the Razorbacks’ lead in half in the fourth inning. However, the score styed at 6-3 for the remainder of the game. USC scored an early home run by senior infielder Chase Bushor in the first inning. Beller left the game after the fifth inning with a 2-1 lead. The Razorbacks tied the game in the seventh inning, and USC reclaimed the lead on a double by redshirt junior catcher CJ Stubbs — a pop-up that should have been caught, but dropped right next to Arkansas junior second baseman Jack Kenley. Beller attributed Saturday’s win partially to the Trojans’ energy. “This team is so cohesive right now — the chemistry’s off the charts,” Beller said. “There was never a doubt in anyone’s mind that we were going to [win] this game.” “I don’t think we’ve pitched as well as we’ve wanted to pitch, but I’m confident in these guys,” Hubbs said. “I think we’re a regional pitching staff, it’s just we’ve got to pitch like it.” “I kind of blacked out there for a second and just saw the ball fly, and thankfully, it went over,” Stubbs said. “I struck out really poorly earlier in the game on three straight sliders, so I knew they were going to come back to it, and I put a good swing on it.” “[The cause of the errors is] more just trying too hard rather than just letting the game come to you,” Hubbs said. “We had a couple plays late that were just us trying to do too much.” Despite the losses, Hubbs expressed confidence in the pitching staff after Friday’s game. After committing just two errors in the opening series against Nebraska Omaha the weekend before, the Trojans made four in the first two games against Arkansas. Head coach Dan Hubbs said the team played a little tight in those contests, resulting in the defensive miscues. On Friday, the Trojans dropped a back-and-forth affair with a final score of 8-6. USC scored 4 runs in the bottom of the third on the strength of four hits and two Arkansas errors for a 4-1 lead. A 2-run home run by sophomore shortstop Casey Martin gave the Razorbacks the lead in the fifth inning. Stubbs echoed Beller’s words, adding that Saturday’s exciting win should propel the team moving forward. “I was really able to get a feel for what I was going to do in throwing to each guy,” Beller said. “And just like last weekend, [I had] a lot of faith in my defense.” Beller followed up his season opener, in which he pitched seven scoreless innings, with another impressive outing on Saturday. After his first two starts, Beller leads the starting staff with an earned run average of 0.75. The USC baseball team lost two of three games against Arkansas — last season’s College World Series runner-up — over the weekend at Dedeaux Field. After junior outfielder Dominic Fletcher put the Razorbacks on top with a solo home run in the 10th inning, sophomore outfielder Jamal O’Guinn tied the game again with a two-out RBI single to score junior infielder Tyler Pritchard. Stubbs capped off the eventful game with a walk-off two-run home run that just snuck over the left field wall, giving the Trojans a 6-4 win. Stubbs was also involved in a key play in the seventh inning in which Clarke barehanded a dribbler back to the mound and fired home. Stubbs dug the low throw out of the dirt and applied the tag on the runner coming home to preserve the 2-2 tie. He redeemed himself after a passed ball in the ninth inning that could have nearly cost the Trojans the game. “It stuck with me for a little bit, but when you come up to the plate, you’re on offense now,” Stubbs said. “You can’t let things that happened in the past dwell, and you’ve got to just clear the mind and take good swings.” Sophomore Isaac Esqueda pitches against Arkansas at Dedeaux Field on Feb. 21. (Michelle Mankoff/Daily Trojan) The Trojans did just that on Saturday. Sophomore pitcher John Beller allowed just 1 run over five innings for the Trojans. Freshman pitcher Carson Lambert gave up 1 run in one and one-third innings in relief and junior pitcher Chris Clarke allowed 1 earned run over three and two-thirds innings, allowing the Trojans to win 6-4. “I have all the confidence in the world that this team’s going to use this game and really just accelerate from here,” Stubbs said. “There’s no looking back.” The Trojans fell 6-3 Thursday night. Senior pitcher Quentin Longrie surrendered 4 earned runs through three innings as Arkansas pushed 6 runs across in the first four frames. USC faces UC Santa Barbara Tuesday night at Dedeaux Field before hosting Grand Canyon University for a weekend series. Friday’s game will begin at 6 p.m., first pitch on Saturday is 2 p.m. and Sunday’s finale starts at 1 p.m.last_img

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