LOS ANGELES ?- The Arizona baseball team rallied from a seven-run deficit with 11 unanswered runs over the final three innings for its first three-game sweep of USC since 1990 with a 17-14 win in the season finale for both schools at Dedeaux Field on Sunday.
The victory, UA’s season-high-tying fifth straight, completed
Trailing 13-6 after six complete innings,
With one down, Jason Donald drew a walk and Jon Gaston was hit by a pitch to place runners on the first second. Freshman Brad Glenn popped up for the second out in the frame, but Plante rescued his teammate with a three-run blast off the scoreboard in right field to pull the Cats within four at 13-9.
T.J. Steele then singled to center field and pinch hitter Matt Denker singled through the left side of the infield before Brad Boyer drove home Steele with single to center to make it 13-10.
A walk to Colt Sedbrook by reliever Paul Koss loaded the bases for the Wildcats and allowed Rhinehart to bat for the second time in the inning and atone for his earlier strikeout to lead off. The junior launched his first career grand slam over the right field fence on the first pitch from Koss to hand the Wildcats the 14-13 lead.
Leading by one, Donald, who will finish the year with a 26-game hitting streak, added an insurance run with a run-scoring single, and Jon Gaston drove home a pair in the top of the ninth to make in 17-13
Sedbrook hit a two-run home and Glenn added an RBI single to stake the Wildcats to a 3-0 lead in the first. Sedbrook’s blast, which scored Boyer after a leadoff walk, was his sixth of the season and his fifth in his last 12 games played.
USC responded and tied the contest on a three-run homer by Baron Frost in the home half of the frame. Frost’s fifth HR of the year plated Blake Sharpe, who hit a one-out triple, and Cyle Hankerd, who walked following Sharpe’s triple.
The Trojans added three runs on three hits and one UA error in the bottom of the second to take a 6-3 lead. Frost hit a run-scoring double and Darren Vieira added a RBI-single in the frame for USC.
The Wildcats cut the advantage to 6-5 in the top of the fourth with a pair of runs on a RBI double by Glenn and a single to center by Steele, but a bases loaded balk in the bottom of the inning pushed the SC edge back to two at 7-5.
The Trojans tacked on five runs on five hits in the bottom of the fifth inning and, after UA’s Plante hit a solo home run to lead off the sixth, another single run in the bottom sixth for a 13-6 lead.
All 10 players with a plate appearance in the game for the Wildcats collected a hit, with Rhinehart (4 for 6, HR, 4 RBI, 3 R) and Steele (4 for 5, R, RBI) leading the way with four hits each. Plante, whose multi-homer game was the first of the season for
Freshman Ryan Perry (3-1), who was one of six UA pitchers on the day, worked an effective three innings to pick up his third win of the year. The right-hander limited USC to just two runs on four hits. Closer Daniel Schlereth relieved Perry in the ninth and picked up his team-leading seventh save of the season. Schlereth struck out two of the four batters he faced and ended the marathon three-hour, 59-minute game with a flyout to right.
USC’s Paul Koss (0-8) was charged with the loss after surrendering the lead on Rhinehart’s slam in the seventh. Koss gave up four runs on six hits in 1 1/3 innings of work.