USC Pulls Away From Oregon St. To Claim Series

USC scored 6 unanswered runs to come from behind for the second day in a row, and pull away to defeat Oregon St. 6-2 Sunday in LA.

Oregon St. coach Pat Casey shook up the lineup, putting Ryan Barnes in the leadoff spot, and elevating Ryan Dunn to the cleanup position, as well as putting Kavin Keyes at first base, hoping to get some hitting going. And it initially seemed to work, when Barnes started the game with a double, which Tyler Smith quickly followed up with another double 2 pitches later, scoring Barnes.

After a couple of fly ball outs, Ryan Gorton singled to score Smith, putting Oregon St. ahead 2-0. That was about it for the Beavers, though.

The Trojans responded with 4 runs in the bottom of the second inning, powered by 5 singles, and USC never looked back.

USC added single runs in the third and seventh inning, and Oregon St. never mounted much of a threat. Trojans' ace Stephen Tarpley worked into the 8th inning, and allowed only 3 more hits after the 3 in the opening at bat, and improved his season record to 5-1.

Beaver starter Dan Child wasn't hit hard, but gave up 10 hits, all singles, in 3 innings, and suffered his 3rd loss of the season, dropping to 4-3 for the year. With no games this week until Stanford comes to Corvallis on Friday, there was no need to save any pitching, and Casey used Taylor Starr, Scott Schultz, Matt Boyd, Cole Brocker, and Tony Bryant all to keep the Trojans from blowing the game open, which they did pretty well. In all, 13 of USC's 14 hits were singles.

But it was for naught without any offensive support.

With the loss, Oregon St. (28-14, 9-9) fell into 6th place in the Pac-12 race, 3 1/2 games behind Oregon. The Ducks moved past Arizona into first place with a 7-1 win over California that gave Oregon a weekend sweep of the Golden Bears.

Arizona slipped a half game back of Oregon, as the Wildcats were playing a non-conference series this weekend against East Tennessee St. The 'Cats did complete a sweep, beating the Buccaneers 21-6. (No, it wasn't a spring football game, the score not withstanding.)

Stanford, previously tied with Oregon St., pulled a game ahead of the Beavers, with a 7-2 win at UCLA. Arizona St. couldn't capitalize on the chance to catch the Bruins, though, as the Sun Devils lost 7-6 at Washington St. The win allowed the Cougars to claw their way within 1/2 game of the Beavers.

Also, Washington took the deciding game of their series in Utah, as the Huskies edged the Utes 7-6. And just as was the case Friday before the weekend action started, the top 10 teams in the conference are bunched within 5 games of each other.

Andy_Wooldridge@yahoo.com

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