April 30, 2010
Final Box Score (PDF)
LOS ANGELES – The No. 19 Arizona baseball team fell to USC, 6-0, on Friday evening at Dedeaux Field as freshman Kurt Heyer suffered his first loss of the season.
Heyer (6-1) allowed just three runs – two earned – in 5.2 innings pitched but received little help from the Wildcats bats. USC starter Andrew Triggs shut combined with Chad Smith to stifle the Wildcats, who have been shut out in their last three games played here at Dedeaux Field, including twice in 2008.
USC (18-23, 4-12 Pac-10) pushed across two runs in the first inning as Heyer surrendered three singles and a walk. Leadoff batter Mike O’Neill led off with a single, but was caught stealing with Joe De Pinto at the plate. De Pinto and Ricky Oropesa followed with singles, and Matt Foat walked to load the bases.
Alex Sherrod then reached on a fielder’s choice, which scored De Pinto. The Wildcats looked to turn two on the play, but Robert Refsnyder’s throw to first was wide at first, and Oropesa scored on the errant throw as USC took a 2-0 lead.
The Trojans added a single run in the bottom of the third. De Pinto again reached on a single and Oropesa moved him to third with another one-base hit. Foat drove home De Pinto with a sacrifice fly to right field.
Arizona (28-12, 8-8 Pac-10) threatened in the top of the third inning. Bobby Brown drove a one-out double to the gap in right center and Alex Mejia reached on a walk. Joey Rickard’s ground out moved the runners to second and third with two outs, but Rafael Valenzuela’s pop out to third ended the threat.
The Wildcats skirted two-out trouble in the home half of the sixth. Heyer issued a pair of walks to Alex Sherrod and Keith Castillo, which moved Oropesa, who had earlier singled, to third to load the bases. Bryce Bandilla entered in relief and struck out Ashton Kent to end the inning.
But the Wildcats, who struck out 11 times in the game, could not chip away at the deficit while the Trojans refused to let up.
The Trojans added two insurance runs in the seventh. Bandilla allowed an infield single to Kevin Roundtree and Adam Landecker reached on an error by Seth Mejias-Brean. O’Neill moved the runners to second and third. Bandilla got De Pinto to pop out and intentionally walked Oropesa, who was 3-for-3 on the night, to load the bases with two outs.
Foat then hit a sharp grounder to Mejias-Brean, who made a diving snag. After setting his feet, Mejias-Brean’s throw short-hopped Rafael Valenzuela at first base. Roundtree and Landecker both scored on the play, pushing USC’s lead to 5-0.
Triggs (2-7) was lifted from the game with the five-run lead after pitching 7.0 strong innings in which he allowed just three hits and struck out eight. Smith pitched the final two innings and fanned three batters.
USC added a sixth and final run in the eighth to set the score at its final.
The two teams will continue the series on Saturday for the second of three games. First pitch is scheduled for 1:30 p.m.