March 25, 2007
LOS ANGELES, Calif. - Despite jumping out to a five run lead early on Sunday afternoon, the Sun Devils were unable to hold on, as the USC Trojans avoided the sweep with a 14-13 walk-off victory at Dedeaux Field. After Brett Wallace tied the game with a solo homer in the ninth, Rocky Laguna singled home Eric Sogard for the go-ahead run, but USC's Lucas Duda hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth for the win. ASU falls to 21-8 on year, 2-1 in the Pac-10, and sees their eight game winning streak come to an end.
Although they out hit the Trojans 16 to 15, the Devils stranded 12 runners and went through seven pitchers in the loss. Starter Brian Flores lasted four innings, allowing four runs, two earned, on six hits. He struck out four but also issued four free passes in a no decision.
Ike Davis got the Devils started off in grand fashion to lead off the game. After a walk and back-to-back bunt singles loaded the bases in the top of the first, Davis sent Trojan starter Tommy Milone's offering over the right field fence for his fourth homer of the year and third career grand slam.
The Trojans got one back in the bottom of the first, as Robert Stock doubled home a run off Brian Flores before being throwing out at third trying to stretch the double into a triple.
Eric Sogard added two more runs in the top of the fourth, hitting a towering homer to right for his second homer of the series and sixth of the year. That made it 6-1 Devils. USC would score three times in the bottom of the fourth, including two unearned runs to cut it to 6-4. Andrew Romine made it 7-4 with an RBI ground out in the top of the fifth.
Brian Flores ran into trouble in the bottom of the fifth, putting two runners on with no outs. Ted Aust relieved Flores and promptly induced a double play ball and a pop up to get out of the jam with the 7-4 lead intact. Brett Wallace extended that lead to 9-4 when he deposited a two-run shot into the flower beds beyond the fence in left center for his ninth home run of the year. It was also Wallace's second long ball of the series.
The Trojans came storming back in the sixth, scoring eight times, including a grand slam by Lucas Duda, to take a 12-9 lead. USC was aided by two Sun Devil errors and three walks that resulted in two of the runs being unearned. Joey Parigi, one of four Sun Devil pitchers in the inning, allowed most of the damage, giving up five runs, four earned, including the grand slam.
After ASU scraped runs aross in the seventh and eighth to draw within one, Brett Wallace tied the game off USC closer Paul Koss, sending a solo shot to dead center for his second home run of the game and tenth of the year. Rocky Laguna then gave the Devils the lead back, singling through the right side to score Eric Sogard from home to put ASU up 13-12.
The Trojans came back with two outs in the eighth, as Lucas Duda's two-run shot off Jason Jarvis gave USC the win.
Jarvis took the loss, falling to 0-1 on the year. Brett Wallace finished 4-4 with two home runs, two walks, three RBI and four runs scored. Eric Sogard, Kiel Roling, Joe Persichina and Ike Davis each had two hits in the loss.
ASU now returns to the valley for the second annual Challenge at Chase, a non-conference match-up with Arizona. The Wednesday night game has a 6:40 p.m. start time from Chase Field in downtown Phoenix.