TUCSON, Ariz. ?- The No. 10-ranked Arizona baseball team saw its bats reignite and junior Kevin Guyette toss 7 2/3 impressive innings in a 7-2 win over No. 21 USC at Jerry Kindall Field at Frank Sancet Stadium on Saturday.
The win snapped UA’s season-high four-game losing streak and improved the Wildcats to 28-15 overall and positioned them back into sole possession of first place in the Pac-10 at 11-3. Oregon State, which entered the day tied with Arizona for the conference lead, dropped a 3-1 decision to Arizona State in Corvallis, Ore., on Saturday to fall a game behind the Wildcats in the Pac-10 at 10-4.
Leading 4-2 after six innings, senior Jeff Van Houten came up with his second RBI-single of the game and junior Nick Hundley hit a two-run homer, his 10th of the year, in the bottom of the seventh to give UA a five-run cushion, as the Wildcats improved to 25-4 this year when scoring seven or more runs in a game.
On the mound, Guyette (7-4) gave up just two runs on eight hits for his seventh win of the season. The right-hander struck out only three in the contest, but walked none and retired nine straight USC hitters through the middle innings.
Held scoreless for just the second time this season in the series opener against the Trojans on Friday, the Wildcats jumped out to an early lead with three runs on four hits in the first inning.
Trevor Crowe, who had one of Arizona’s four hits in the 13-0 loss on Friday, started the early rally with his seventh leadoff double of the season. He advanced to third on a ground out by Brad Boyer and scored on Van Houten’s one-out single to center for a 1-0 UA lead.
Jordan Brown followed with a double off of USC starter Jack Spradlin to place runners on second and third with one out for Hundley. The junior catcher scored Van Houten with a single to left for a 2-0 lead before Chris Frey plated Brown with a run-scoring ground out.
The Trojans and Wildcats traded runs in the second inning and USC added a lone run in the fifth before the Wildcats put the game away in the seventh.
USC’s Spradlin (4-2) was charged with just his second lost of the year after giving up five runs on 10 hits in 6 1/3 innings
Individually, eight of the nine UA starters in the contest collected at least one hit as Arizona finished with 13 in the game. Van Houten (2 for 4, 2 RBI, 2 R), Hundley (2 for 4, HR, 3 RBI, R), Boyer (2 for 5, 2 2B, RBI, R), Brown (2 for 4, 2B, R) and Jason Seefeld (2 for 3, R) all paired hits for Arizona in the game.
The Wildcats and Trojans will meet up for the decisive contest of the three-game series on Sunday at 12:30 p.m. UA’s David Coulon will face USC’s Anthony Encinas in a battle of freshmen arms on the mound. The game will be shown live on ESPN.