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The Day in Sports | COUNTDOWN TO 2000 / A day-by-day
recap of some of the most important sports moments
of the 20th Century: JUNE 12, 1973

Winfield a Big Part of USC Comeback Lore

June 12, 1999|EARL GUSTKEY | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Few moments in USC football history were more memorable than the comeback against Notre Dame in 1974. Trailing the Irish, 24-0, late in the first half, the Trojans scored 55 unanswered points to win, 55-24.

The USC baseball program can look back to a game like that too.

It happened 26 years ago today, at the College World Series in Omaha.

Trailing Minnesota, 7-0, in the bottom of the ninth inning, USC won, 8-7.

For eight innings, Minnesota's 6-foot-6, 220-pound pitcher, Dave Winfield, gave the Trojans fits. They had only an infield single through eight innings.

But USC staged a remarkable eight-run rally in the last of the ninth, capped by Creighton Tevlin's single--USC's eighth hit of the inning--to drive in pinch-runner Marvin Cobb with the winning run.

It was USC's 13th straight win in the College World Series, and when the Trojans made it 14 the next day, it gave them their fourth straight national championship. They made it five in a row in 1974.

USC began that wild ninth inning with a .157 team batting average for the Series. But the Trojans parlayed eight singles, an error, a passed ball and a wild pitch into eight runs.

Winfield had struck out 15 before he came apart in the ninth. He also had walked nine and thrown 168 pitches.

Winfield, who already had been drafted No. 1 by the San Diego Padres, later was named the Series' outstanding player.

Also on this date: In 1948, Citation won the Belmont by six lengths to win the Triple Crown. . . . On the same day, Ben Hogan fired final rounds of 68 and 69 to win the U.S. Open championship at Riviera with an eight-under-par 276. . . . Also in 1948, the New York Yankees retired Babe Ruth's No. 3. . . . In 1943, USC's track team won its ninth consecutive national championship.

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