Prior Dominates Again As Baseball Gets 6-2 Win
Feb. 10, 2001
LONG BEACH, Calif. - Junior pitcher Mark Prior (Bonita/University HS) threw his second consecutive 10-strikeout game as the No. 2 USC Trojans defeated the No. 18 Long Beach State 49ers, 6-2, in non-conference action Friday at Blair Field. The Trojans (5-0) match their best start since the 1997 season and need one more win to match their best start since 1989.
Prior (2-0) went 7 and 1/3 innings, allowing only two runs on four hits. He struck out 10 while walking only one. In 13 and 1/3 innings this season, Prior has struck out 22 batters and walked only two. He now has a 1.35 ERA in three appearances.
'I felt like I was hitting my spots in the bullpen before the game,' said Prior. 'I know that Long Beach State is a good team, so I just focused on that. I have not paid attention to my strikeouts, but have worked on minimizing hits and walks against me.'
The Trojans started their scoring in the second inning when senior Bill Peavey (Brisbane/Serra HS) hit a fly ball to right field that bounced off the top of the wall, leading to a double with one out. Sophomore Alberto Concepcion (El Segundo/El Segundo HS) singled Peavey to third. With Brian Barre at the plate, a pitch into the dirt pulled Peavey off third base. 49er catcher Bryan Kennedy's throw, however, bounced off Peavey and rolled to the fence, allowing Peavey to score and Concepcion to advance to third. Barre then lifted a fly ball to right, but the ball was dropped by right fielder Jeff Jones, scoring Concepcion.
USC would add runs in the fourth and the sixth inning before the host 49ers were able to put a chink in Prior's armor in the bottom of the sixth. With runners on second and third with two outs after a double steal, Jones hit a two-run single into left, cutting the USC lead, 4-2. Prior, though, got left fielder Chris Wright to fly out to right, ending the threat.
Sophomore Chad Clark (Glendora/Glendora HS) relieved Prior in the eighth and with runners at second and third, retired Bobby Crosby and Jones to end the 49ers' threat.
The Blair Field crowd of 2,389 was the fifth-highest in the history of Long Beach State and was the most ever at a season opener for the 49ers.
Both teams will continue the series tomorrow at Dedeaux Field at 1 p.m., weather permitting.
USC 020-101-110 --- 6-10-0Long Beach State 000-002-000 --- 2-4-2
WP - Prior (2-0) LP - Paz (1-1)Prior, Clark (8), Dizard (9) and Concepcion, Bonovich (8).Paz, Cramer (7) and Kennedy.T - 3:00 ATT - 2,389