Seventh inning haunts JU in loss to USC
Sophomore Taylor Ratliff had two hits for JU
Sophomore Taylor Ratliff had two hits for JU
A bright seventh inning for the JU baseball team quickly turned gloomy in an 11-3 loss to Southern California at Dedeaux Field on Saturday.

The Dolphins (0-2) tied the game at 3-3 with two runs in the top of the seventh. The Trojans (2-0) sent 15 batters to the plate in the bottom of the frame and scored eight runs to quash the JU comeback.

“We just have to play better,” JU head coach Terry Alexander said. “Tho tsewo games are not indicative of how I know we can play. We will correct the mistakes and try to get one tomorrow.”

Trailing 3-1 in the seventh inning, the Dolphins got consecutive singles from junior Jake Huxtable and senior Matt Frank. Sophomore Chris Moye followed with single to right field to plate Huxtable. The Trojans tagged out two JU runners during two wild pitches, but junior Ethan Loosen salvaged the inning with a bloop single down the right field line to plate sophomore Taylor Ratliff and tie the game.

Things unraveled for the Dolphins in the bottom of the inning as two singles and a walk loaded the bases with no outs. Junior Corben Madden relieved junior Drew Woods and got the first batter to line out. The Trojans got a RBI single and walk to chase Madden. Senior Sean Green came in and got an out in a fielder’s choice that scored a run. Green hit a batter to reload the bases before walking in two runs. The Trojans picked up three more runs on hits by Alex Sherrod and Matt Foat to cap the inning.

The Trojans held the Dolphins scoreless in the final two innings to secure the second win of the series.

USC reliever Bobby Wheatley (0-1) got the win after allowing a run on two hits in an inning of relief. Ben Mount struck out five batters and allowed one run on three hits in six innings of work to get the no-decision. Wyatt Strahan and Nick Berhel each pitched an inning of relief.

Woods (0-1) was tagged with the loss in relief, allowing four runs on four hits in inning for the Dolphins. Sophomore Chris Anderson allowed two runs, one earned, on four hits and a strikeout in five innings in the no-decision, while freshman Spencer Jack, a Los Angeles native, pitched a scoreless eighth inning.

Brandon Garcia had three RBI and a home run to lead the Trojan offense. Alex Sherrod also had two RBI, while Adam Landecker had multiple hits. Ratliff and Frank each had two hits for the Dolphins.

Early in the game, the Dolphins evened the score at 1-1 in the third inning after Ratliff doubled home Frank who led off the frame with a single. The Trojans scored on a balk in the fourth inning and got a home run by Garica in the sixth to take a 3-1 advantage before the Dolphins retied the game.

Dolphins’ freshman right-handed pitcher Alex McRae will make his JU debut in the finale today against Trojan left-handed pitcher Stephan Tarpley. First pitch is scheduled for 4 p.m. EST.