"I was looking for my pitch," said Nootbaar. "Ended up being a slider up that I saw pretty well so I decided to take a good pass at it…I haven't hit many [home runs], especially at major league parks, but I had a good idea that I hit it pretty well."
Last year, Nootbaar's RBI double in extra innings gave the Trojans the victory over the Bruins in the previous edition of the Dodger Stadium Baseball Classic.
The game capped off a doubleheader at Dodger Stadium, with the early game between Vanderbilt and TCU. Both USC and UCLA were scheduled to play both of those teams over the weekend at their respective fields, although Saturday's games were rained out.
But for USC and UCLA, playing at Dodger Stadium put their Californian roots into play.
"It's such a hotbed in Southern California," head coach Dan Hubbs said. "These guys have played together growing up, and now they're playing against each other, and they're playing in a park they've always wanted to play in. It's a great experience and a unique experience for them."
UCLA starting pitcher Jon Olsen left the game in the first inning after a line drive from Nootbaar struck him in the face. He would leave the field bleeding into a towel and was replaced by Zac Pettway.
"You feel awful that it happened, but it's not like he tried to do it on purpose," Hubbs said. "It's an unfortunate part of the game we're seeing more and more. You're seeing more head injuries to pitchers over the past few years as guys are getting bigger and stronger and guys are throwing faster. We're all hoping for the best for him."
UCLA struck first with a sacrifice fly that scored catcher Will McInerny from third base.
USC would respond in the fourth inning with a home run from Dillon Paulson.
But pitching found the Trojans in a jam. Starting pitcher Quentin Longrie walked two Bruins batters in the fifth before letting up a single and another walk to score McInerny again. After a pitching change to Kyle Hurt, who pitched out of the pen after his Saturday start was rained out, USC got the out and escaped.
Connor Lunn came in for Trojan pitching and got the team to the bottom of the eighth, where Nootbaar's home run would become the winning score. Lunn closed in the ninth inning and picked up the pitching win.
It's a bounce-back victory for USC after a 10-1 loss to TCU on Friday. The team moved to 9-4 and picked up an RPI win on a neutral location, ahead of Pac-12 conference play.
The Trojans have one final non-conference matchup against LMU Tuesday evening before they open up Pac-12 play against Utah in a three-game series starting on Thursday at Dedeaux Field.