Bats Cool in Sun Devil Baseball Loss at USC
LOS ANGELES – Sun Devil Baseball struggled to poke through the big hit on Saturday as USC evened the series in Los Angeles with a 6-1 victory.
ASU had hard-struck balls all afternoon and grounders that simply couldn't find daylight thanks to an exceptional defensive effort from the Trojans, who made several highlight reel plays to keep the Sun Devil bats in line.
Jack Moss had two hits for the Sun Devils (31-17, 15-11 Pac-12) and ASU made things interesting in loading the bases with one out in the ninth. Again, the bats couldn't find the green grass in the outfield.
The first half of the game was a pitcher duel between ASU's Justin Fall and USC's Chandler Champlain with USC scoring two in the first and ASU halving the deficit in the top of the second before the two pitchers settled in to a rhythm through five innings.
USC finally broke through with a three-run frame in the top of the sixth and ASU was unable to find a rally.
The series will be up for grabs in the finale on Sunday at 12 p.m. AZT. The game will be available on the Pac-12 Network.
USC struck out the Sun Devil side to open the game. USC struck some balls hard with a pair of doubles sandwiched around single to take an early 2-0 lead.
ASU got a little two-out rally going after Jack Moss' one-out single as Nate Baez walked and Kade Higgins stuck an RBI double down the third-base line to get the Devils on the board, 2-1. ASU got a good stop after score from Fall to keep it a one-run game.
ASU went down in order despite a hard-struck ball from Long to center. It was another four up, three down inning for Fall.
ASU continued to struggle to get anything going offensively, going down in order. Justin Fall had to work around a ton of bang-bang plays in the fourth with none seeming to go ASU's way. But the junior did what he needed to get out unscathed.
ASU got a two-out single from Lampe but couldn't do anything with it. USC put a runner on third after a double and error but Fall got a big strikeout to leave him there.
The Sun Devils went down in order again. USC ripped off three doubles and four hits in the bottom have to score three runs and put ASU in a 5-1 hole.
ASU got a pair on with one out but a great stab by the USC first baseman stranded the pair and kept ASU off the board.
Another 1-2-3 frame from the Devils. USC gave itself some insurance with a leadoff single, stolen base, wild pitch and sac fly to make it 6-1
ASU made it interesting, loading the bases with one out but a flyout and groundout ended the threat.