Trojans Swept In Desert By No. 21 Sun Devils In 8-1 Loss|
April 15, 2012
TEMPE, Ariz. - No. 21 Arizona State capped a series sweep over USC fueled by dominating pitching and potent bats with a 8-1 win this afternoon at Packard Stadium. The Trojans fall to 19-14 (5-9) while the Sun Devils improve to 23-13 (9-6) on the season.
In the first, Jake Hernandez was hit by Darren Gillies (1-3) and advanced to third after some fundamental small-ball from the Trojans. With Hernandez charging, James Roberts dropped a perfectly executed suicide squeeze bunt down the first base line to score the run.
USC's 1-0 lead wouldn't last long as things went terribly wrong in the second inning. ASU's James McDonald launched his first career home run to deep right off starter Ben Mount (1-4) to erase the Trojans lead. One batter later, Rouric Bridgewater got a hold of a hanging change up from Mount for a solo shot to right center to take a 2-1 lead. Later in the inning with the bases loaded, Devan Marrero singled to center to score Drew Stankiewicz which would end Mount's abbreviated day on the hill. Bobby Wheatley came on in relief and fired a wild pitch to the first batter he faced to let another run in from third. He would get the next two outs to end the inning with USC trailing 4-1.
Things went from bad to worse in the third as the Sun Devils continued to pile up runs. McDonald reached on a single to center and Michael Rossiter doubled to right to give ASU two runners in scoring position. Bridgewater capitalized with a bases clearing single to left to extend the lead to 6-1.
Omar Cotto Lozada made the defensive play of the weekend in the fourth when he ranged from right field to make a tumbling catch over the bullpen wall in foul territory to retire Marrero.
Wheatley settled in nicely on the mound, retiring 14 consecutive batters in the middle innings of the game and shutting down ASU in order four innings in a row.
USC put the leadoff batter on base in five of the first seven innings but weren't able to convert the runs.
Abe Ruiz broke Wheatley's streak in the eighth with a majestic blast to right field for his ninth home run of the season. ASU would push another run across on a sac-fly from Bridgewater as he picked up his fourth RBI of the game to put the game out of reach at 8-1.
The ASU pitching staff was dominating over the weekend limiting USC to just two runs (one earned) in the three-game series.
Roberts extended his team-leading hitting-streak to 11 games.
USC returns to action Tuesday with a 6 p.m. game at CSU Bakersfield before hosting UC Santa Barbara on Wednesday at Dedeaux Field. First pitch is set for 6 p.m.