No. 3 Baseball Defeats No. 7 Arizona State, 6-3
March 15, 1998
LOS ANGELES - Junior RF Brad Ticehurst hit a two-run home run and made a fantastic grab to steal what would have been a home run to help lead No. 3 USC to a 6-3 victory over No. 7 Arizona State in a Pacific-10 Conference Southern Division game on Sunday at Dedeaux Field.
The Trojans (19-5 overall, 7-2 in the Six-Pac) swept the Sun Devils (16-10, 5-6) in the three-game series (also winning a doubleheader on Saturday, 7-6 and 13-5) and have won 15 of the last 18 against Arizona State.
With a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second, Ticehurst blasted a home run over the right-field wall to give the Trojans a 3-0 lead. Then, in the bottom of the third, senior C Jeff DePippo had a one-out single and stole second. Following the second out, senior 3B Morgan Ensberg lined an RBI double to center field and junior LHP Jason Lane had an RBI single to make it 5-0.
Arizona State got two runs on four hits in the top of the fourth as freshman DH Casey Myers had an RBI double and junior pinch-hitter Dan Meier had an RBI single. ASU made it 5-3 in the top of the sixth when junior 3B Andrew Beinbrink walked, stole second and scored on another RBI double by Myers.
The Sun Devils had other chances to score but key Trojan defensive plays turned the tide. In the top of the fifth, senior RF Mikel Moreno launched a ball that looked like it would clear the right-center field fence, but Ticehurst leaped and took away the potential two-run home run. Then, in the top of the seventh, sophomore pinch-hitter Jay Sitzman walked and worked his way around to third base with two out, but Ensberg pulled off a hidden-ball play to end the inning.
The Trojans added an insurance run in the bottom of the eighth when Ensberg hit a solo home run. He was 3-for-3 for the day and 8-for-10 (.800) for the three-game series.
Lane (3-0), in his first career start, picked up the win, going six innings and allowing seven hits, three runs and two walks while striking out three. Junior RHP Craig Jones went a solid 1 2/3 innings in relief and senior RHP Jack Krawczyk earned his eighth save of the season.
ASU junior LHP Ryan Mills (3-3) lasted only three innings, giving up five runs, and took the loss.
The Trojans played the entire three-game series without preseason All-American and sophomore C Eric Munson, who was hit just above the eye with a foul ball on Friday, and nearly the entire series without junior CF Greg Hanoian, who separated his shoulder making a diving catch in the second inning of Saturday's first game.
USC next hosts Loyola Marymount on Tuesday (March 17) at 7 p.m.
ASU 000-201-000 3-7-0 USC 122-000-01x 6-9-1 Mills, Crumpton (4), Kramer (8) and Halvorson, Jones (7). Lane, Jones (7), Krawczyk (8) and DePippo. WP -- Lane (3-0) LP -- Mills (3-3) SV -- Krawczyk (8) HR: USC -- Ticehurst (6), Ensberg (8).