May 13, 2011
LOS ANGELES, Calif. - Arizona State dropped the opener of its three-game series at USC on Friday night, falling 5-1 to the Trojans at Dedeaux Field. USC jumped out to the 5-1 lead after two innings and never looked back on their way to the victory. The loss drops ASU to 35-12, 13-6 in Pac-10 play.
It looked in the early going like Arizona State would jump on USC starter Andrew Triggs. Johnny Ruettiger led off the game with a single and advanced to third on a throwing error by first baseman Ricky Oropesa. He would score when Riccio Torrez hit a ground ball that shortstop James Roberts couldn't handle that gave ASU a 1-0 lead. But Triggs would settle down after that, mowing through the Sun Devil lineup the rest of the way for his third complete game of the season. He struck out six to improve to 4-3 on the year.
Meanwhile, the Trojan offense did jump on ASU starter Brady Rodgers starting in their half of the first inning. They scored three times, including an unearned run. A leadoff walk, two singles, an error and a fielder's choice gave USC a 3-1 advantage. They would make it 5-1 in the second thanks to RBI singles by Kevin Roundtree and Joe De Pinto.
Rodgers (7-3) went seven innings, keeping the Trojans off the scoreboard for the final five. He fanned eight and allowed nine hits, but the five runs, four earned, he allowed in the first two innings were too much to overcome for the ASU offense.
Johnny Ruettiger, Joey DeMichele and Riccio Torrez each had two hits for the Sun Devils, who only managed seven hits as a team. The Sun Devils and Trojans will play game two of the series tomorrow afternoon at 3 p.m. from Los Angeles.