It'd been a long time coming, but USC baseball coach Chad Kreuter finally earned his first win against his father-in-law Tuesday, as the Kreuter-led Trojans topped Mike Gillespie's powerful UC Irvine team, 8-6.
The Trojans trailed entering the ninth inning but put together only their second final-inning comeback of the season to earn the victory and give Kreuter his first win in five tries against Gillespie. After second baseman Joe De Pinto tied the score with an RBI single, first baseman Ricky Oropesa hit a two-run homer to put USC (20-24) on top.
USC led 2-1 and 5-3 but relinquished the lead when the Anteaters put together a mini-rally in their half of the eighth inning. But right-hander Chad Smith came on in the ninth and induced a game-ending double play ball from UCI's Sean Madigan to close out the game and earn the save. Reliever Ryan Cabral (1-1) got the win for USC and Christian Bergman (5-3) took the loss for UCI (27-15).
Oropesa, a sophomore, has hit a Pac-10 high 12 homers on the season. He hit 13 a year ago while earning Collegiate Baseball/Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American honors. The win also ended an eight-game losing streak for the Trojans against the Anteaters