Prior Dazzles Again In Baseball's 1-0 Win At California
April 12, 2001
BERKELEY, Calif. - Junior Mark Prior (Bonita, Calif.) struck out 14 in a complete-game two-hitter Thursday and the No. 9 USC Trojans defeated the California Golden Bears, 1-0, in the first game of a three game Pac-10 Conference series. The Trojans (25-12, 7-3 Pac-10), which started the day one game behind first-place Stanford in the Pac-10, have won 10 of their last 12 games.
Prior (10-1) pitched to two batters over the minimum in recording his third complete game of the season against California (21-17, 6-7). He also threw a complete game two-hitter on March 17 in a 5-1 win at Washington, striking out 14 with no walks. He becomes the only the second Trojan pitcher since 1976 to throw two solo two-hitters since Barry Zito (Oakland Athletics) accomplished the feat in 1998.
USC scored the only run of the game in the third after Alberto Concepcion doubled to lead off the inning. He advanced to third on a groundout to second by freshman Michael Moon and scored when freshman Jon Brewster grounded to short. Concepcion went 3-for-4 on the afternoon.
Prior's numbers for the season are staggering to say the least. Along with his 10-1 record, he has a 1.20 ERA. In 82 2/3 innings this season, Prior has allowed 47 hits and only six extra-base hits (four doubles, two home runs). He has struck out 123 batters and walked 11 with opponents hitting .164 against him. He has allowed only two earned runs in his last 41 innings.
Recently rated by Baseball America as the top collegiate prospect in the nation, Prior's numbers are even better in Pac-10 Conference play. In four starts, Prior is 4-0 with a 0.26 ERA with three complete games and two shutouts (at Washington, at Arizona, vs. No. 10 Arizona State and at California). In 35 innings, he has allowed 14 hits (one double, no triples, no home runs), two runs (one earned), walked three and struck out 50 batters. In Pac-10 games, opponents are hitting .122 against Prior.
Prior leads the Pac-10 Conference in victories, ERA, opponents batting average and strikeouts. He also leads the nation in strikeouts per nine innings (13.4).
The series will continue tomorrow at 2:30 p.m. with the series finale on Saturday (April 14) at 1 p.m. Both games will be broadcast live on www.usctrojans.com.
USC 001-000-000 --- 1-9-0California 000-000-000 --- 0-2-0
WP - Prior (10-1) LP - Hutchinson (2-6)Prior and Concepcion.Hutchinson, Cash (9) and Kahoalii.T - 2:14 ATT - 406