Bats Come Alive as the Trojans Defeat Northwestern 13-6 to Sweep Series
Feb. 16, 2014
LOS ANGELES - On a day where USC baseball immortalized the legendary Rod Dedeaux with a life size statue at Dedeaux Field, the Trojans turned on the offense, tallying 13 runs on 18 hits in a 13-6 defeat of Northwestern to sweep their season-opening series on Sunday afternoon.
The Trojans were led at the plate by sophomores AJ Ramirez (Bakersfield, Calif./Bakersfield Christian HS) and Vahn Bozoian (Chino Hills, Calif./Ayala HS). Ramirez led the team with a 4-for-4 day with three RBI, while Bozoian was 2-for-4 with two RBI, including a towering home run to left field for the Trojans first big fly of the season. Overall 10 different Trojans collected hits, with six having multi-hit days.
On the mound sophomore starting left-hander Kyle Twomey (Placentia, Calif./El Dorado HS) went four and two-thirds innings, allowing five runs (four earned) on nine hits with four strikeouts before giving way to strong relief pitching from freshman righty Aaron Digiamarino (La Verne, Calif./Webb School), who earned the win in his first collegiate appearance. Digiamarino threw 2 and a third innings, allowing only one run on four hits. Sophomore Brooks Kriske (Palm Desert, Calif./Palm Desert HS) and freshman Bernardo Flores (Baldwin Park, Calif./Baldwin Park HS) each threw one shutout inning in the victory.
The Trojans struck first, taking advantage of a leadoff single from Timmy Robinson (Huntington Beach, Calif./Ocean View HS). Ramirez moved Robinson to second on his first hit of the day, and Robinson subsequently stole third, setting up an RBI single from freshman Jeremy Martinez (Fountain Valley, Calif./Mater Dei HS).
The Wildcats took a momentary 2-1 lead after plating two runs in the top of the second, but the Trojans responded with two runs of their own in the bottom half of the inning, as Garrett Stubbs (Del Mar, Calif./Torrey Pines HS) came through with an RBI double. The Trojans then took advantage of the first of four fielding errors by the Wildcats to plate a second run.
In the bottom of the third, Bozoian extended the lead to 5-2 after blasting his first home run of the season to left field. The home run is the third of his career. The Wildcats were not going to go down without a fight, however, as they collected three more runs in the top of the fifth inning, as Twomey saw his day come to a close. Digiamarino entered with two outs and induced a fly out to end the inning.
The Trojan hit parade then started in the fifth inning, as the team batted around and drove in seven runs on a collective seven hits. Jake Hernandez (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif./Los Osos HS), Frankie Rios (Lakewood, Calif./Long Beach Poly HS), Dante Flores (Norwalk, Calif./St. John Bosco HS), Kevin Swick (La Canada, Calif./Loyola HS) and Robinson each drove in a run during the fifth inning, while Ramirez tallied two of his three RBI.
In the bottom of the sixth inning, the Trojans added one final run to their total of 13, as freshman Andrew Wright (San Diego, Calif./Cathedral Catholic HS) connected on an RBI single in his first collegiate at bat.
The Wildcats would muster one more run in the top of the seventh, but the Trojans lead was too much for them to overcome.
The win gives the Trojans their first series sweep since March 9-11, 2012 when they swept Cal State Bakersfield in a three-game set.
Prior to the game, in advance of February 17, which would have been the 100th birthday of the late, great Rod Dedeaux, a life size statue of the iconic coach was unveiled at the ballpark. Dodgers legendary manager Tommy Lasorda, five-time Cy Young Award winner Randy Johnson, USC President C.L. Max Nikias and USC Athletics Director Pat Haden spoke at the well-attended ceremony.
The Trojans are set to welcome highly-ranked Cal State Fullerton to Dedeaux Field for a 6 p.m. PT game on Tuesday, Feb. 18. The game will be televised live on the Pac-12 Networks.