LOS ANGELES, Calif. – The No. 3 Vanderbilt Commodores dropped the No. 6 UCLA Bruins 6-0 and the upstart USC Trojans got a walk-off, extra inning 7-6 win over the No. 4 TCU Horned Frogs in day one action in the Dodgertown Classic at Jackie Robinson Stadium on Friday night. Vanderbilt improved to 11-2 while dropping UCLA to 11-2 and USC is now 13-1 while the Horned Frogs fall to 8-2.
So far, the Classic is living up to expectations as four of the nation’s top teams are battling for early season supremacy before conference play opens for most of the country next weekend.
No. 3 Vanderbilt 6, No. 6 UCLA 0
Carson Fulmer became a part of the first shutout of the Bruins in 2015, scattering three hits and five walks over 6.1 innings of work while striking out nine to remain unbeaten at 3-0 on the year. Philip Pfeifer was perfect over the final 2.2 innings of the game to keep UCLA from making a dent in the Vandy lead.
The Commodores jumped to a 2-0 first-inning lead after getting their first three hitters of the game on base against Bruins’ starter James Kaprielian who struggled against the Dores’ potent offense. The right-hander gave up four runs, three earned, on eight hits and a walk but did manage to sit down nine Vandy hitters via strikeout in taking his first loss of the year.
Rhett Wiseman led the Dores’ offense going 2-for-4 with a pair of runs scored and an RBI that came with his fifth inning solo homer off Kaprielian, his second of the year. Dansby Swanson had two hits with a run scored and an RBI while Karl Ellison had three hits, including a sixth inning RBI double.
USC 7, No. 4 TCU 6, 12 innings
Trojans’ third baseman Blake Lacey had two hits on the night, but his squeeze bunt in the 12th inning was just enough to score Timmy Robinson to lift USC to the 7-6 upset win. Robinson hit a one-out single and then after stealing second, moved to third on an Angelo Armenta single back up the box to set up the squeeze situation with only one out and a runner on third.
Brent Wheatley held the TCU bats in check allowing only two unearned runs over six and a third innings of work before handing the ball to the pen. Kyle Davis came on with two outs in the eighth inning but would surrender the Trojans’ four-run lead in the ninth with the help of three singles, a walk and a pair of errors to send the game to extras tied at 6.
Robinson led the USC surge with a 2-for-4 day at the plate with a pair of runs scored and an RBI. Aside from the game winner, his other run scored came via the long ball. First baseman Jeremy Martinez launched a two-run shot, his second of the year, in the Trojans’ four-run, sixth-inning rally. Robinson also drove in a run with a sac fly in the seventh.
TCU was led offensively by shortstop Keaton Jones’ 4-for-5 game with a run scored and an RBI while right fielder Nolan Brown’s 3-for-5 day with three runs scored was a close second as he scored in each rally the Horned Frogs mustered on the night.
Horned Frogs’ starter Mitchell Traver allowed three runs, two earned, on six hits and a walk while striking out seven over 5.2 innings pitched in the no decision. Trey Teakell would take the loss allowing only one run, the game-winner over three and a third solid innings.
The first game on Saturday will be a battle of southpaws as Vanderbilt sends John Kilichowski (1-0, 3.29) to the hill against USC hurler Kyle Twomey (3-0, 1.33) at 5:00 pm est.
In the second game of the day TCU battles UCLA southpaw Grant