POSTED: Friday, February 20, 2009 - 11:24pm
UPDATED: Thursday, June 3, 2010 - 11:57pm
The 11th-ranked University of San Diego baseball team (1-0) held off a late Southern University (0-1) rally Friday evening for a 6-4 victory in the season opener for both teams at the MLB Urban Youth Academy.
The Toreros received a dominating pitching performance from Sammy Solis (1-0), as he allowed one run on four hits, while striking out a career-high nine batters over six innings of work. Junior all-American closer AJ Griffin picked up the save as he allowed no runs on two hits, while striking out four.
The Toreros wasted no time in scoring as in the first inning, USD scored four runs on two hits. The first two batters, Kevin Muno and Nick McCoy, were each hit by a pitch and moved up one base on a James Meador fly out to center field. Sean Nicol then drove in the first run with a sacrifice fly to right field, which also moved McCoy to third. Jose Valerio drove in the second run on a RBI single through the left side and after Valerio moved up one base on a wild pitch, Zach Walters drew a walk. Tony Strazzara then drove in the final two runs with a two-run double to left field to give USD an early 4-0 lead.
The Toreros then added to their lead in the bottom of the second inning with one run on two hits. Michael Lugo led off the inning with a single and moved to second on a Muno single through the left side. After Meador moved each runner up a base on a pop up to the second baseman, Nicol drove in Lugo with a single to the shortstop to move USD's lead to 5-0.
Southern then put up four runs on three hits in the top of the seventh inning. The SU runs came on a USD fielding error, a Jessie Olivar sacrifice bunt and a Toddrick Stevensen run-scoring double to move the score to 5-4.
The Toreros then responded in the bottom of the seventh as Walters drove in Valerio, who reached on a fielder's choice, with a double deep into the left field corner to put the game at its final of 6-4.
Offensively for the Toreros, Nicole led the way as he went 2-for-3 with two RBI and Muno went 2-for-4 with one run scored.
Southern starting pitcher Kyle Wahl (0-1) was saddled with the loss as he allowed five runs on four hits in 1.0 innings of work.