SAN DIEGO, Calif. -- The No. 25 Toreros (12-4, 2-0) scored two runs in the first inning and held on to beat Portland 2-1 Saturday evening at Fowler Park, their second straight one-run win over the Pilots. Freshman lefty Chris Murphy allowed just two hits in seven shutout innings while striking out nine to earn his first win of his collegiate career.
Hunter Mercado-Hood and Jay Schuyler both walked in the first inning and then Roman Garcia hit a two-run double to the left-center gap with two outs to give USD a 2-0 lead. The Toreros wouldn't score again, notching just three more hits the rest of the evening.
The Pilots' Corbin Powers (0-2) settled down after the first and ended up pitching six innings, allowing just three hits.
Murphy threw 111 pitches, allowing just two Pilot hits and struck out nine hitters.
Jonathan Teaney came in to start the eighth inning, relieving Murphy. The first batter Teaney faced reached on an error and advanced to second. Teaney struck out the next batter he faced, but walked the next, prompting Rich Hill to bring in his closer, Troy Conyers.
Conyers struck out the first batter he faced, but then the Pilots loaded the bases with a single. Cody Hawken then ripped a line drive down the right field line, but Roman Garcia made a great leaping catch to end the inning.
The Pilots made things interesting in ninth inning, loading the bases with no outs. Conyers struck out the leadoff hitter, Beau Brundage, but he advanced to first on a wild pitch. Cal Webb then reached on a slow roller to second, and Ryan Kim laid down a sacrifice bunt, but was safe at first due to a high throw.
Conyers got the first out of the inning via strikeout and the second from a fly ball, that allowed Brundage to score and breakup the Toreros' shutout. Conyers got the final out of the game on a Tate Budnick fly out to right. Conyers now has six saves and still hasn't allowed an earned run on the season.
Both teams tallied just four hits and left ten runners on base. This was the Toreros' first win of the season when scoring less than three runs.
USD has beaten the Pilots nine straight games now; they go for the three-game sweep Sunday at 1:00 p.m.
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