Baseball: Trojans take two in unusual way

Now that doesn't happen every day.

After beating Missouri 9-3 in the first game of a doubleheader at 10 a.m., the Trojans were leading Cal Poly San Luis Obispo 5-2 after five innings when the rain started to come down.

A delay ensued. The teams later resumed play in the top of the sixth, with USC switching pitchers and the Mustangs torching three Trojans relievers to the tune of six runs for an 8-5 lead after 5 1/2 innings. Then the rain started again, and another a delay ensued.

Only this time the field was too soaked to start up play again, and the umpires were forced to call the game. Under NCAA rules, a called game due to weather conditions must revert back to the last completed inning, so the game was officially called after five innings and the Trojans were awarded the 5-2 win.

Like we said, that doesn't happen every day. But interim head coach Frank Cruz and his USC squad will gladly take the pair of wins and return to Dedeaux Field on Sunday at 2 p.m. to face North Carolina in the concluding game of the USC Tournament.

The Trojans had originally been scheduled to play Missouri on Friday at 6 p.m., but that game was postponed until Saturday morning because of rain.

Senior reliever Chris Mezger (1-0) got the win in the opener after picking up for starter Andrew Triggs in the fifth and pitching 1 1/3 scoreless innings. USC center fielder Alex Sherrod went 3-for-5 with a double as the Trojans collected 13 hits. Junior third baseman Ricky Oropesa went 1-for-5 with an RBI batting fourth in the lineup.

In the later game, highly-touted junior-college transfer Austin Wood got the win for pitching the full five innings, giving up two earned runs on six hits and a walk. Sherrod went 1-for-3 with two RBIs and designated hitter Brandon Garcia added a two-run single in the decisive first inning to help the Trojans to the win.

Five players -- Wood, junior-college transfer Matt Munson, senior righthander Chris McCaffery, freshman shortstop James Roberts and freshman oufielder Omar Cotto-Lozada -- made their USC debuts in the doubleheader.