Wildcats win season series against the Trojans for the fourth straight year.
LOS ANGELES Arizona left hander David Coulon scattered seven hits and blanked USC over nine innings in a complete-game 6-0 shutout victory at Dedeaux Field on Saturday. The win ensured the Wildcats a fourth straight season series victory over the Trojans, a feat that UA hadn’t accomplished once in a single season against USC prior to 1993.
UA’s fourth straight victory and second consecutive series win improved the Wildcats to 26-28 overall for the year and into a tie with Trojans in the conference standings at 11-12. USC tied a school record with its ninth straight loss and dropped to 25-32 overall.
Coulon (4-3), who entered Saturday’s start with an 8.12 ERA in 14 appearances this season, controlled the tempo of the game by inducing USC into 14 ground ball outs, including a pair of double plays, while striking out seven and walking only one to pick up the victory. The effort lowered Coulon’s ERA nearly two points to 6.83 on the year.
The complete game blanking of the Trojans, UA’s fourth shut out of the year as a team, was the first for an individual pitcher at Arizona since former Wildcat Kevin Guyette tossed up zeros at UCLA in an 11-0 win over the Bruins on April 2, 2005. Coulon allowed just four Trojans to advance to second on Saturday and only one to third in his longest career outing
Offensively, Matt Denker broke up USC starter Tommy Milone’s no hitter with a two-out triple to left in the top of the fifth. Denker’s second three-bagger of the season scored T.J. Steele, who had reached on one of two errors by SC shortstop Hector Estrella, to break a scoreless tie.
Junior Bill Rhinehart extended the lead to 3-0 with a two-run homer in the top of the sixth, his fifth HR of the year, and he scored on a wild pitch after singling in the eighth to push the UA advantage to 4-0.
Brad Glenn launched his team-leading 10th home run of the season in the ninth and Steele came home on the back end of a first and third double steal to cap off the scoring for the Wildcats.
Arizona junior Jason Donald, who finished Saturday 2 for 4 at the plate, extended his hitting streak to 25 straight games with an infield single to third in the sixth.
USC’s Milone (7-4) was charged with his fourth straight loss after surrendering three runs on three hits over seven innings of work. He struck out eight and walked two on the day.
Arizona will look for its first three-game series sweep since taking all three games against La Salle in a non-conference series Feb. 24-26 in the season finale against the Trojans on Sunday. Left-hander Brad Mills is the scheduled starter for the Wildcats.