Trojans Sweep Zips With 9-5 Win In Finale

    Alex Sherrod watches his second inning grand-slam leave the yard.

    Feb. 26, 2012

    Box Score

    LOS ANGELES - The USC baseball team (7-0) continued its fiery start to the 2012 season with a 9-5 win over the Akron Zips this afternoon in the series finale at Dedeaux Field. The unbeaten Trojans are off to their best start since 1988 when the team opened the season 15-0.

    "We are obviously pleased with the 7-0 start," said head coach Frank Cruz. "I'm happy for our guys and for our program, but we are in no way satisfied. We have plenty of room for improvement and we have some tough tests coming up this week."

    Freshman Stephen Tarpley found himself in a bases loaded jam and the Zips took the lead as they went up 2-0 on a single from Sam Trecaso in the first inning. Akron would another in the second frame Sam Watkins scored Devan Ahart on a single to center.

    The Trojans erupted in the bottom of the second as freshman Dante Flores ripped a clean single to center to plate sophomore Kevin Swick. Fellow freshman Garrett Stubbs followed with a hit through the right side to score senior Brandon Garcia and load the bases for senior Alex Sherrod. Sherrod unloaded on the first pitch he saw from Jon Pusateri (0-2) with a grand-slam off the parking structure behind the right field wall to put the Trojans up 6-3. For Sherrod, it was his second home run in as many days and hit in almost the same spot as his solo blast in Saturday's game.

    "That one felt really good" said Sherrod. "As a player you are always happy when you can help the team. It feels great to contribute and continue this run. This is the most fun I've had in my time at USC."



    Tarpley (1-0) managed to hang on through four innings allowing four runs and striking out seven to pick up the win, but departed in the fifth when his pitch count approached triple digits.

    USC's bullpen picked up the slack as freshman Nigel Nootbaar and senior Brad Douthit combined to close out the fifth inning. Junior Matt Munson, sophomores Bobby Wheatley and James Guillen and freshman Wyatt Strahan went the rest of the way for the Trojans throwing three scoreless innings to complete the series sweep.

    Sophomore James Roberts added a two-run single and Flores added an RBI of his own in the sixth to stretch the lead to 9-5.

    Roberts, Flores, Sherrod, Stubbs, Swick and senior Matt Foat all had muti-hit performances for USC in the win.

    USC travels to Malibu on Tuesday for a 2 p.m. contest with the Pepperdine Waves before heading east for a three-game set at North Carolina next weekend.