LOS ANGELES, Calif. – Bob Wheatley and Kyle Davis combined for a two-hit shutout, the University of Southern California baseball team pushed across to seventh-inning runs to defeat visiting Arizona, 2-0, and finish off a three-game sweep Saturday evening at Dedeaux Field.
USC (20-17, 9-9 Pac-12) and its pitching duo never allowed a runner past first base and held the Wildcats to no hits in six at-bats with runners on base. Meanwhile, USC struggled to create offense throughout much of the game, but broke through when it mattered in the seventh.
In that decisive seventh, Dante Flores and Blake Lacey delivered consecutive one-out singles to leave runners at the corners. Omar Cotto Lozado followed with a slowly hit fielder’s choice groundout to second base, pushing home Flores with the first run and advancing Lacey into scoring position. Vahn Bozoian then ripped a two-out double to left field giving the Trojans a two-run cushion.
The damage could have been worse if not for another strong defensive play from left fielder Tyler Krause. Reggie Southall sharply singled to left off reliever Cody Moffett, and Krause threw home to catcher Riley Moore, who tagged out Bozoian trying to score. It was the second outfield assist in as many night’s for Krause.
The rally spoiled a strong outing for Arizona starter Tyger Talley (L, 1-1), who received no run support in his 6.1 innings pitched. The right-hander was charged with the two earned runs on five hits, while he struck out one and walked one.
Wheatley (W, 3-3) limited the Wildcats to just two hits over seven innings of work. The left-hander struck out two and walked one, while never allowing a runner to reach scoring position.
Davis worked two perfect frames in the eighth and ninth innings to preserve his fourth save. The right-hander had three strikeouts, including the final two outs of the contest.
The first scoring opportunity came in the bottom of the second when Lacey walked and stole second with outs. Cotto Lozado followed with an infield single, but Lacey rounded the third base bag too far and was caught in a run down by second baseman Trent Gilbert, who threw to third base before Lacey was tagged out at home by Moore.
Arizona (17-23, 6-12 Pac-12) returns home to host Arizona State next weekend (April 25-27) at Hi Corbett Field in Tucson, Ariz. The first two games of the series will be televised on the Pac-12 Network at 7 p.m. (MST) on Friday and 7:30 p.m. on Saturday. On Sunday, the series finale will air live on ESPNU beginning at 4:30 p.m.
Earlier this season, the two rivals split midweek non-conference games in Tempe. The winner of next weekend’s series will claim the baseball point awarded in the Territorial Cup Series, a year-long competition across all common sports between the two schools.