first_imgAt the plate, the Trojans had difficulties catching up to UCI’s starter, freshman lefty Nick Pinto, who limited USC to just two hits and no runs over his six innings of work.  “It’s definitely a learning experience, all of us are new together,” Gill said. “So we’re all kind of learning together, so I think they’re frustrated. I’m frustrated a little bit.”  The USC baseball team failed to get on the scoreboard until it was too late Tuesday evening, falling to UC Irvine 5-1. The Trojans are now riding a three-game losing streak against the Anteaters. Gursky, unlucky to find himself in line for a loss after such a strong performance, was relieved by sophomore righty Ethan Reed in the seventh inning. The game was broken open shortly after by way of a 3-run homer by senior outfielder John Jensen to put UCI up 4-0. “I think we have the best hitting team in the [Pac-12], hands down,” Gursky said. “You can’t bring your hitting every day, but our guys no doubt are going to bounce back.” Neither team was particularly sharp at the plate as the teams combined for 21 strikeouts and no extra-base hits aside from the lone home run of the evening from UCI. “Where we didn’t go well tonight was our offense,” head coach Jason Gill said after the game. “We struck out 10 times on a Tuesday. I’ll tip my cap to their pitcher but we have to do better than that.” The Trojans will host three ranked opponents over the weekend, facing off against No. 22 TCU Friday and No. 2 Vanderbilt Saturday before a matchup with crosstown rival No. 6 UCLA at Dedeaux Field Sunday. USC will be back in action starting Friday in the annual Southern California College Baseball Classic in Los Angeles against a stacked lineup of elite programs. USC kicks off the action Friday against TCU. First pitch is set for 6 p.m., Saturday’s game will start at 2 p.m. and Sunday’s weekend finale begins at 3 p.m. Sophomore righty Ethan Reed allowed a 3-run home run in the seventh inning against UC Irvine Tuesday. USC fell to the Anteaters 5-1. (James Wolfe | Daily Trojan) UCI tacked on an additional insurance run in the top half of the ninth, extending its lead to 5-0 heading into the final half-inning. The Trojans tacked on a run in the ninth, but their comeback attempt fell short as they finished the game with just four hits combined over nine innings.  The junior lefty’s troubles came in the sixth, however, as UCI managed to load the bases on Gursky without recording a hit. An error, a hit by pitch and an intentional walk loaded the bases with just one out for the Anteaters in the top half of the inning. Gursky worked out of the jam to limit UCI to just one run on a deep sacrifice fly in his final inning of work.  The USC baseball team will be tested this weekend in the Southern California College Baseball Classic. (Colin Huang | Daily Trojan) “At the end of the game we didn’t give up, we got a run right there at the end,” Gursky said. “We wish we got the win but at the end of the day there’s some positives we can learn from and take going forward into a tough weekend we’re about to have.”  The loss moves the Trojans to a mark of 4-4 at home this season and 7-4 overall. Despite the outcome, junior lefty Brian Gursky pitched well in his second appearance on the hill for the Trojans this season, his first coming in USC’s 7-1 win at Cal State Fullerton on Feb. 25. Gursky pitched six hitless innings, striking out six of the first nine batters he faced. TCU comes in at 10-2 overall after sweeping Cal in a three-game series last weekend. The 2019 NCAA Champion Vanderbilt Commodores head into the weekend’s trio of games at 11-3 overall on the season with just one loss in their last 11 games. UCLA will come into the weekend looking to avenge its first loss this season, falling to UCSB on Tuesday. The Bruins still carry an 11-1 record and remain a favorite to compete for the Pac-12 title this year. “[Gursky] had command of three pitches,” Gill said. “He was down in the strike zone, so when they did put the ball in play it was usually chopped ground balls at our middle infield. He was great.”last_img