Baseball Clinches Share Of Pac-10 Title With 7-3 Win Against Oregon State

May 18, 2001

CORVALLIS, Ore. - Sophomore Brian Bannister threw three perfect innings in relief Friday as the Trojans scored four times in the top of the 10th and USC (No. 1 by Collegiate Baseball and No. 2 by Baseball America and ESPN/USA Today Baseball Weekly) defeated the host Oregon State Beavers, 7-3. The Trojans win a share of the Pac-10 Conference title, their first since 1996, and have won nine straight games and 23 of their last 29.

Bannister (4-4) struck out four to record the win for USC (38-16, 17-5). He relieved National Player of the Year candidate Mark Prior in the bottom of the eighth. Prior went seven innings and allowed three runs on seven hits. He struck out five and walked three, the first time this season that Prior has walked more than two in a game.

Prior is 13-1 this season with a 1.49 ERA and has struck out 166 batters and allowed only 17 walks. This was the first time he did not record a decision in Pac-10 play, finishing the 2001 season with a 7-0 record.

USC held off a scrappy Oregon State (30-23, 10-12) squad by breaking the 3-3 tie in the 10th. Freshman Jon Brewster led off with a walk and advanced to second on a single by Brian Barre, who went 3-for-4 on the afternoon. Barre improved his season-high hitting streak to 15 games.

Senior shortstop Seth Davidson sacrificed to advance the runners after Craig Hays relieved Oregon State starter Stephen Copeland (3-4). Oregon State elected to intentionally walk Anthony Lunetta, who was 0-for-4 on the afternoon, to pitch against Bill Peavey. Peavey, who was also 0-for-4 on the afternoon, hit a slow groundball against the lefty to first, scoring Brewster for the first run.

With two outs, Alberto Concepcion hit a two-run single up the middle to score two more runs. Josh Persell singled to center, advancing Concepcion to third. With Michael Morales pinch-running for Persell, the Trojans ran a play on a third-to-first where Morales allowed himself to get caught in a rundown while Concepcion scored the fourth run of the inning.

The Trojans started the scoring in the fifth when freshman Michael Moon hit his fourth home run of the season with a solo shot to right. Davidson plated Josh Self with a sacrifice fly for the second run.

Oregon State answered on an RBI single in the bottom of the fifth by Will Hudson. Bryan Ingram hit a ground ball for a possible double play, but beat the throw from Brewster as Hudson scored for the tying run.

The Beavers took the lead when Chris Biles hit his eighth home run to lead off the sixth. It was only the fourth home run allowed by Prior this season. The Trojans tied the game in the seventh when Davidson turned the tables with another possible double play, but beat the throw to score Self.

The Trojans will continue their series with the Beavers tomorrow at 1 p.m. with Sunday's finale taking place at noon. All games will be broadcast live on www.usctrojans.com.

USC	        000-020-100-4 --- 7-10-1Oregon St.	000-021-000-0 --- 3-7-0

WP - Bannister (4-4) LP - Copeland (3-4)Prior, Bannister (8) and Concepcion.Copeland, Hays (10), Rowe (10) and Ingram.T - 3:01 ATT - 1,173

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