On The Hill With Tyler Waldron

April 8, 2010

Our season is basically a little more than a third of the way through and it's time to hit the Pac-10 running. We opened Pac-10 play on the road last weekend in sunny but windy Southern California to compete against USC in a Thursday-Saturday three game series due to Easter Sunday.

It was a nerve-racking series that came down to the very last pitch of the series on Saturday. Thursday night's game was the best of the series - it ran into extra innings - and we relied on quality pitching and timely hitting. Greg Peavey gave us a solid outing on the mound, going 7 innings, giving up only one run. That marked his fourth outing of the season to go six innings or more. He worked through a couple jams but left the game with a quality start and a career-best 10 strikeouts.

The lone run scored by USC came in dramatic fashion when Joe De Pinto stole home in the third inning. But, USC had its hands full with Kraig Sitton and Kevin Rhoderick, who both threw scoreless innings behind Peavey. In the top of the 10th inning, Parker Berberet lined a single over the second baseman's head, scoring Adalberto Santos from second to break up the 1-1 tie. Rob Folsom then followed Berberet with a double to left-center to give us the 4-1 victory and prepare for the next day.

The Saturday game didn't go as planned as we came out and made some errors to aid USC in the Trojans' 8-2, but that didn't stop us from showing up to the field on Saturday with a game plan. Just like Thursday night's game, Saturday was a close one again. Sam Gaviglio took the mound as a starter for the first time this season, but not the last. Sam worked 5 1/3 innings while giving up 2 runs while striking out 4.

We came out in the top of the first and hit USC's starter, Andrew Triggs, for three runs in the first, but definitely in a less than usual way. Michael Miller lined a ball down the left field line with Adalberto Santos on first. USC's left fielder, Matt Foat, threw his hands up in the air when the ball stopped at the base of the tarp trying to get the umpires to call it a dead ball and stop Miller at second base, but he was denied. Miller came all the way around for an inside-the-park home run. We scored another insurance run in the ninth.

Matt Boyd came on in relief of Gaviglio in the sixth, who went on to throw three innings of relief and give up one run on two hits. Kevin Rhoderick and Kraig Sitton combined to hold the Trojans from scoring in the ninth inning to improve to 18-6 on the season and 2-1 in conference play.

After a great Easter Sunday full of food, chocolate, and plenty of rest we had our sights set on another opponent, Portland, during a midweek contest. Ryan Gorton got the call to start, and he was brilliant on the mound going a career-long seven innings while allowing one run to get the win 9-2. James Nygren came on in the ninth inning with 2 outs to get the final pilot to pop out to Carter Bell at third base.

Now we look forward to the next couple days of practice as we begin to focus on our upcoming rival series against UCLA. The three game series starts Friday night with the first pitch scheduled for 5:30 p.m. PT.Also, always keep an eye out for Jared Norris' baseball blog on pingbaseball.com!!!

Go Beavs!

Tyler Waldron

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