Koss Delivers As USC Beats No. 15 Arizona, 7-5|
May 13, 2007
TUCSON, Ariz. - Senior closer Paul Koss (Orange/Orange Lutheran HS) threw 1 2/3 scoreless innings in relief to pick up his 15th save of the season as the USC Trojans defeated the No. 15 Arizona Wildcats, 7-5, in a Pac-10 Conference game at Jerry Kindall Field at Sancet Stadium. Koss held off a late charge by the Wildcats after USC held a 6-0 lead after its half of the seventh inning.
With the save, Koss is now tied with Sam Houston State's Luke Prihoda for most saves in the nation. He is now tied with Jason Garner (1995) for fourth on USC's single-season list for most saves and has 35 for his career.
USC (24-23, 7-10) will forge a three-way tie for fifth place in the Pac-10 Conference with Oregon State and California if the Trojans can earn the win in Monday's series finale. Arizona is now 36-12 overall and 11-6 in Pac-10 play. The Trojans snapped a six-game losing streak to the Wildcats and Arizona's 15-game winning streak this season at home. Tonight's loss was just the third loss in 28 home games this season.
Matt Cusick's RBI single gave USC a 1-0 lead in the third. With runners at first and second to lead off the sixth, Cusick's bunt to the third base side produced two runs when Arizona starter David Coulon (3-3) threw the ball wide of the bag, rolling into right field. Lucas Duda produced an RBI double and Spencer Pabst was hit by the pitch with the bases loaded to force in another run. USC loaded the bases again in the seventh, but Ryan Mills struck out Hector Rabago for the third out.
Arizona scored its first run off Ryan Cook (7-2) in the seventh on back-to-back doubles by Bill Rhinehart and Brad Glenn. Cook had given up only four hits until the seventh, but the real trouble came in the eighth. After recording the first out, Cook walked two straight batters and loaded the bases after a single by C.J. Ziegler. Rhinehart then unloaded his ninth homer of the season with a grand slam to right, making it a 6-5 USC lead. After Glenn grounded out, T.J. Steele walked before being thrown out at second for the third out after shortstop Grant Green tagged him on the back off catcher Robert Stock's throw.
The Trojans added an insurance run in the ninth when Stock's long fly ball sailed past right fielder Jon Gaston to score Hector Estrella.
Tomorrow's series finale starts at noon and will be broadcast live on usctrojans.com.
USC 001-004-101---7-9-0 UA 000-000-140---5-8-3