Trojans Swept By No. 6 Ducks With 6-3 Loss
May 14, 2012
EUGENE, Ore. - Senior Matt Foat went 2-for-3 with a home run, double and two RBI's but it wasn't enough to help USC avoid being swept by No. 6 Oregon with Monday's 6-3 loss. The Trojans fall to 22-24 (7-16 Pac-12) with the loss while the Ducks improve to 38-14 (19-8 Pac-12).
Oregon's Aaron Payne tripled down the right field line off Stephen Tarpley to start the day for the Ducks in what looked to be a shaky start for the Trojans. However, Tarpley settled in nicely striking out Aaron Jones and cutting down Payne at the plate after a tapper to the mound by Brett Thomas. Tarpley then got Kyle Garlick to foul out to catcher Jake Hernandez as USC escaped the inning unscathed.
Trojans second baseman Andres Rodriguez doubled to left of Ducks starter Jeff Gold in the second for his first extra-base hit of his career. He would then come around to score as shortstop J.J. Antobelli booted a grounder off the bat of Garret Houts to give USC a 1-0 lead.
With runners on the corners in the third, Brett Thomas unleashed a hard grounder up the middle that was speared by a diving James Roberts who then flipped to second for the force-out to get the Trojans out of the inning with the lead intact.
Tarpley would walk the first two batters in the fourth inning and quickly found himself in a tough situation. Brett Hambright laid down a sac-bunt fielded by a crashing Kevin Swick whose throw to first sailed wide. Garlick came around to score on the error as the Ducks also took second and third on the play. Tarpley recorded a strikeout and two infield pop-outs to get out of the inning with the game tied 1-1.
With Roberts on first in the fifth, Foat gave the Trojans a huge boost as he took Oregon starter Jeff Gold (W 7-3) deep to left for his third home run of the season to give USC a 3-1 lead.
Things came undone in the sixth after a walk to Thomas Walker to open the inning. Hambright then doubled to left followed by an RBI single from Andrew Mendenhall. Altobelli then plated another run with a sac-fly to ties the game at 3-3. After another single, senior Brandon Garcia came on in relief of Tarpley (L 5-2). Jones then singled on a bunt to Garcia to score Mendenhall as the Ducks took a 4-3 lead.
Foat and Alex Sherrod drew walks to open the eighth to put the Trojans in scoring position. Jimmie Sherfy came out of the bullpen for the third time this series and was able to put out the fire as he struck out Kevin Roundtree before getting Sean Spear to fly out to right.
Again with runners on the corners, Oregon delivered a crushing blow in the eighth as they were able to stretch the lead on a bloop single to right by Aaron Healy to go up 5-3. A sac-fly to left by Thomas scored another and the Trojans found themselves down three runs heading into the ninth.
Sherfy returned to the mound and shut the Trojans down in order striking out Rodriguez, Houts, and Roberts to earn his third save of the series and locking down the series sweep with the 6-3 Ducks win.
USC returns to Pullman to face the Washington State Cougars Tuesday at 5 p.m.