(Photo: Dominic Cotroneo/WCSN)
Despite jumping out to an early 2-0 lead, No. 22 Arizona State (34-20, 16-13) wasn’t able to hold on against Southern California (27-28, 14-15), ultimately falling 6-2 and eliminating their chances for a share of the Pac-12 title.
Senior Jordan Aboites had a strong start to this matchup, giving up three runs through 7 ⅔ innings, but it was the last out in the top of the eighth inning that proved to be the blow for the Sun Devils, as Aboites gave up three more runs before manager Tracy Smith pulled him out of the game.
Junior David Greer played a part in both of ASU’s early runs on the night, scoring in the first inning off of a double from Andrew Shaps and crossing home again in the second, this time thanks to a sac fly from Brian Serven.
USC responded in the top of the fourth with a run of their own, Corey Dempster scoring off of a sac fly from Timmy Robinson. The Trojans added to that lead with a two-run homer from Lars Nootbaar in the top of the fifth.
After the home run, it appeared that Aboites regained control of the game, getting through the next two innings without incident, but he then gave up three straight runs with two outs in the eighth before being pulled.
Robinson added one more RBI on the night, singling in Angelo Armenta in the top of the eighth, and then was tripled in by Jeremy Martinez. David Oppenheim also scored on the triple by Martinez.
Player of the Game: Jeremy Martinez, C, USC
Martinez has had a solid year, with a .374 average and an OBP of .463, and he continued that against the Devils Saturday night. Martinez finished the night going 2-for-4 and tripling in USC’s last two runs, putting the game out of reach.
Unsung hero: David Greer
Greer got on base five times tonight, going 1-for-1 with four walks. Greer was the only constant player on base on a night where ASU could have used a little more offense.
ASU will face USC in the rubber match of the series Sunday afternoon at Phoenix Municipal. First pitch is scheduled for 2 p.m.