The victory, Arizona’s 15th straight at home and sixth straight over SC dating back to 2005, improved the Wildcats to 36-11 overall and kept them in the conference race with an 11-5 Pac-10 mark. USC dropped to an even 23-23 overall with the loss and to 6-10 in the conference.
Guilmet (10-1), who has struck out nine or more batters seven times in 14 starts this season, picked up his team-leading 10th win of the year with the CG effort. He allowed two runs on nine hits and finished with just one walk while improving his strikeout total to a Pac-10-best 119 in 111 innings pitched this year.
In winning his 10th game, Guilmet became the third UA pitcher in the last four seasons to reach double digits, but the first to do it in the regular season. John Meloan (10-0 in 2004 and 10-3 in ?'05) and Kevin Guyette (10-4 in 2005) both reached 10 wins during a season recently, but each need postseason innings to get there.
Boxberger would calm down, and he and Guilmet settled into a pitcher's duel with each hurler posting zeros from the third through the sixth.
The Trojans finally got on the board in the seventh when Hector Estrella singled up the middle with two outs to drive home Lucas Duda from third, but a timely throw and tag from center fielder T.J. Steele to catcher Dwight Childs on the play caught Michael Torres trying to score from second to end the inning and SC’s scoring threat.
The Wildcats tacked on a pair of insurance runs in the eighth on a Bill Rhinehart RBI triple and a wild pitch by reliever Kevin Couture to make it 5-1
The extra two-run cushion came in handy in the ninth, as the Trojans rallied for a run and had runners on first and second and the tying run at the plate with no outs. Guilmet helped himself out the jam by striking out Robert Stock and Torres, before Colt Sedbrook ended the game with a force at third on a fielder’s choice grounder by Estrella.
Boxberger (3-4) was charged with the loss after allowing three runs on seven hits in seven innings of work. He struck out eight and walked only one.
Arizona and USC will meet up for game two of the three-game series on Sunday at 6 p.m. Left-hander David Coulon will make a spot start for the Wildcats in place of fellow southpaw Brad Mills who was a late scratch on Saturday.