Baseball Holds On In 7-6 Win Against Washington State
May 12, 2001
LOS ANGELES -- Freshman Fraser Dizard struck out Tyler Boston in the bottom of the ninth with runners on second and third to register his seventh save of the season Saturday as the No. 5 USC Trojans held on for the 7-6 win against the Washington State Cougars at Dedeaux Field. With the win, the Trojans improve their first-place lead to two games over Stanford, who lost today to Arizona by a 5-4 score, in conference play.
USC (34-16, 14-5) has won five straight games and 15 of its last 20. The Trojans had not played since April 30 as the university went through finals week.
National Player of the Year candidate Mark Prior gave up six runs (four earned), but still struck out 12 and walked two (one intentionally) to improve to 13-1 on the season. The four earned runs were the most allowed by Prior this season as it was his shortest stint in a regular start since Feb. 23 vs. Mississippi State when he pitched only six innings. Prior had not pitched since April 27 vs. UCLA.
Prior is now 13-1 with a 1.34 ERA this season. In 107 2/3 innings, Prior has allowed only 66 hits (seven doubles, no triples and three home runs) with 161 strikeouts and 14 walks. Opponents are batting .174 against him. He is also a perfect 7-0 in Pac-10 play this season.
USC opened the scoring with four runs in the first when Brian Barre led off with his 10th home run of the season on the first pitch from Tyson Thompson (1-5). It was the fourth time this season that Barre had led off with a home run.
Washington State (15-33, 6-13) battled back with a run in the fourth and two runs in the fifth. Evan Hecker hit a two-run double to right in the fifth as part of a 3-for-5 day for the center fielder.
With a 7-3 lead in the top of the seventh, the Cougars were able to touch up Prior for three runs. Justin Williams led off the inning with a solo shot to right, his sixth of the season. It was only the third home run allowed by Prior this season. With two outs, Hecker singled and Brent Robertson reached on an error by second baseman Rafael Torres.
Bookie Gates hit a two-run double off the wall in left, making it a 7-6 USC lead. Stefan Bailie was intentionally walked and pinch-hitter Adrian Thomas grounded to first to end the inning.
The Cougars rallied again in the final two innings. Washington State was able to get runners on first and third off USC reliever Brian Bannister. On a third-and-first pickoff move by Bannister, Williams was caught in a rundown between first and second. Tyson Boston tried to score from third, but was gunned down at the plate by first baseman Bill Peavey. Jon Baeder reached on a fielder's choice when Seth Davidson's throw to third bounced off Williams for runners at first and third.
Dizard entered the game and struck out pinch-hitter Ryan Sullivan and got Hecker to fly out to center to end the threat in the eighth.
The Cougars did it again in the ninth. On a 2-2 pitch with two outs, Bailie drilled a double off the wall in right and advanced to third on an infield single by Thomas. After a wild pitch moved Thomas to second, Dizard struck out Boston swinging to end the game.
USC will continue its series with Washington State tomorrow at 1 p.m. with the finale on Monday (May 14), also at 1 p.m. Tomorrow's game will be broadcast live on the Internet at www.usctrojans.com.
WSU 000-120-300--- 6-12-0USC 400-102-00x--- 7-10-3Thompson, Niles (2), Fisher (7) and Baeder.Prior, Bannister (8), Dizard (8) and Concepcion.WP - Prior (13-1) LP - Thompson (1-5) S - Dizard (7)T: 3:01 ATT: 908