USC edges UCLA, 4-3, in Dodger Stadium Baseball Classic – Los Angeles Times

Lars Nootbaar made a change by staying the same. It led to an extra-innings RBI double to push USC to a 4-3 win over UCLA in the Dodger Stadium College Baseball Classic on Sunday evening.

Normally when a pitcher gets two strikes against Nootbaar, the USC cleanup hitter will spread out his stance, cut down the intensity of his swing and all but eliminate his leg kick. But after UCLA reliever Scott Burke pushed the count to 2-2 with two outs in the 10th inning, Nootbaar eschewed his normal contact-driven two-strike approach and stuck with his power stroke.

“I didn’t make a two-strike adjustment because I felt comfortable in that situation,” Nootbaar said after having seen Burke’s fastball and slider earlier in the at-bat. “I was seeing the ball well, so I stayed with my approach.”

Burke left a thigh-high slider over the inside half of the plate. Nootbaar turned on the pitch and watched his line drive fly over the first baseman. John Thomas, who reached on an error, tore around the bases as the ball bounded into the right-field corner. A wide cutoff throw allowed him to score with ease.

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