Bats fly through the air at Goss Stadium as Beavers dominate over Trojans


Rafael Quero Juarez

The Beavers celebrating against USC on Friday, Apr. 14 2023.

Casey Smith, Sports Contributor

Setting off the first of three games, the Beavers (22-11, 8-8 PAC-12) prevailed in Friday night’s matchup against the USC Trojans (21-11, 9-4 PAC-12) with a score of 10-4.

After sweeping the Trojans for the first time in Los Angeles in the 2022 season, the Beavers sought to steal back wins to climb up the PAC-12 standings.

When play began, Beaver starting pitcher Trent Sellers set things in motion, quickly carving through the base of USC’s lineup in the opening innings. In the bottom of the second, following a walk from Beaver shortstop Mikey Kane, catcher Wilson Weber launched his third home run of the season to put the Beavers on the board 2-0.

The Trojans, anchored by freshman center fielder Austin Overn, responded right back with a solo home run of their own. Sellers was able to maintain his composure throughout his performance despite the early clash. He would be relieved by right-handed reliever Ben Ferrer in the sixth inning but not before striking out 7 Trojans while forcing another to launch his bat out of his hands and projectile into the nets above the dugouts.

Fueled by the command of Sellers, the Beaver lineup strung a few hits together with back-to-back singles from Travis Bazzana and Garret Forrester, sparking a rally in the bottom of the third. With one out and runners in scoring position, third-baseman Mason Guerra knocked a single through the six-hole to score Bazzana and force a first and third situation.

After successfully advancing on his delayed steal attempt, Guerra alongside Beaver centerfielder Micah McDowell would score on the ensuing play on an 2-RBI single from Kane.

“Great tempo, big energy, pumping strikes and landing breaking balls a ton today. . . Offensively it felt like we were in the dugout nonstop. Guys were up there taking good pitches, driving the ball gap to gap, good presence on the basepaths, and I think a lot of that goes with having a starter who goes out there and pummels the strike zone,” said Beavers head coach Mitch Canham. 

Trojan starting pitcher Tyler Stromsborg, was barely able to escape the Beaver rally but not before giving up three runs on 4 hits. Stromsborg finished the game with eight hits, six earned runs, and seven strikeouts through six innings of pitching.

When the Beavers took back over in the bottom of the fifth inning, Forrester added one more to his career walk total with a hit-by-pitch to leadoff the inning. Brady Kasper would be the Beaver tasked with bringing him around on a RBI-single to the outfield. The Beavers led 6-1.

As the Trojans attempted to cut into the Beavers surmounting lead, a sacrifice fly from right-fielder Cole Gabrielson brought in the second run of the game for USC. In spite of their short rally, Ferrer escaped the sixth inning jam after one run on two hits. 

At the top of the seventh inning, USC shrunk the Beaver lead to two. Immediately following a leadoff walk from infielder Ethan Hedges,  catcher Connor Aoki launched a deep shot to left center field for a two-run homerun to put the pressure on the Beavers.

As fans became restless towards home plate umpire Travis Reininger in the final innings of play, the Beavers poured it on the Trojan pitching staff adding a multitude of insurance runs to their total. In the bottom of the eighth inning, McDowell’s third double of the game pushed the Beavers ahead for the final score 10-4. 

“[McDowell] You didn’t see him in the dugout a whole lot,” Canham joked. “But it was great. Everyone knows Micah is on a different level this year, his intent is just so stinkin’ strong. You can see how much he believes in himself and how it’s inspiring the guys around him. . . He’s been fun to watch,” he added.

Game two for the Beavers is this Saturday at 3:00pm PST on the PAC-12 network.

Key Players:


  1. McDowell (4-5 , 3 2Bs, 3 RBIs)
  2. Forrester (3-4 , RBI, 3 R’s)
  3. Weber (1-4, 2RBIs, HR (3)

– SP Trent Sellers (5.1 IP, 2 ER, 5 H, 7 strikeouts, 98 total pitches)

-Save: Ryan Brown (7)


  1. Aoki ( 1-3, 2 RBI, HR(2)  )
  2. Overn (2-4 , RBI, HR(3) )
  3. Gabrielson

-SP Tyler Stromsberg (6.0 IP, 6 ER, 1 HBP, 7 strikeouts, 99 total pitches)


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