Baseball Wins Share Of Pac-10 Title
May 25, 2002
LOS ANGELES - The No. 21 USC Trojans banged out a season-high four home runs Saturday to clinch a share of the Pac-10 Conference title with a 16-10 win against the UCLA Bruins at Jackie Robinson Stadium. The Trojans can claim the title outright with a win in tomorrow's regular season finale.
USC improves to 33-22 overall and 16-7 in Pac-10 play while UCLA falls to 26-34 overall, 9-14 in conference. The Trojans win back-to-back Pac-10 titles for the first time since 1995 and 1996. It is also the fourth conference title in the last eight years for the Trojans.
The winner of tomorrow's game will also determine the winner of the Lexus Gauntlet, given to the champion of the sports competition between USC and UCLA.
Senior first baseman Bill Peavey went 1-for-5 with three runs scored, a home run and four RBI for the Trojans. With 68 RBI on the season, Peavey has tied Jason Lane (1999) for ninth place on USC's all-time list for most RBI in a season. Sophomore shortstop Michael Moon went 1-for-3 with a home run, two sacrifice flies and four RBI.
Junior Cory Campos earned his fifth save of the season with 3 2/3 scoreless innings.
The Trojans loaded the bases in the first against UCLA starter Wes Whisler. Peavey and Moon hit sacrifice fly balls for an early 2-0 Trojans lead. In the bottom of the first for UCLA, second baseman Ryan Rasmussen walked to lead off the inning. Whisler swung and missed a 1-2 pitch by USC starter Jordan Olson, but Olson was called for a balk. On the next pitch, Whisler tied the game with his 17th homer of the season to right.
Peavey led off the third with a hard shot that bounced off Rasmussen's glove for an error. Freshman designated hitter Joey Metropoulos followed with his 12th home run of the season with a two-run shot to left, giving the Trojans a 5-3 lead.
USC added two runs in the fifth, but the four-run lead was erased in the bottom of the inning when first baseman Adam Berry hit a grand slam to left off reliever Jon Williams. It was UCLA's third grand slam of the season and Berry's 18th home run.
With runners at second and third for USC in the top of the sixth, Peavey hit a three-run homer to right, his 14th of the season, off reliever Daniel Reid. Kevin Jerkens entered the game for UCLA and plunked Metropoulos with the first pitch. After warnings were issued to both benches, Moon hit his sixth homer of the season with a two-run shot to right center. Michael Morales tripled to left center and scored on a single by third baseman Jon Brewster as USC took a 13-7 lead.
UCLA scored three runs in the sixth before Campos entered the game and did not allow a run. USC added two in the eighth and one in the ninth on a solo shot by center fielder Brian Barre with his 10th of the season.
The Trojans and Bruins will conclude their series tomorrow at 1 p.m. The game will be broadcast live on usctrojans.com. The pairings and host sites for the NCAA Tournament will be announced on Monday (May 27) at 9:30 a.m. Pacific time, live on ESPN 2.
USC 212-026-021 --- 5-12-2UCLA 210-043-000 --- 4-12-2
WP - Williams (6-2) LP - Wilson (2-1) S - Campos (5)Olson, Williams (3), Butler (6), Campos (6) and Concepcion.Whisler, Wilson (5), Reid (6), Jerkens (6), Clark (7) and Arhart.T - 3:45 ATT - 1,243