Arizona baseball sweeps USC Trojans, remain perfect at home in 2017
Arizona's Alfonso Rivas III swings during the UA-USC game on Sunday, April 2.
Arizona baseball defeated the University of Southern California 8-1 on Sunday, improving to 20-7 on the year and the win capped off a three-game sweep of the Trojans.
Over the course of the three-game series, Arizona outscored USC 22-6 and four of the Trojans runs came in game one of the series.
Arizona remains perfect at Hi Corbett this season with their last home loss coming on May 15, 2016 against ASU.
After getting swept by Oregon State last week, Arizona was able to put that behind them and it wasn’t a topic of conversation amongst the team leading in to the USC series.
“As crazy as it sounds, we did not talk about that sort of thing [sweep against OSU],” said Arizona Coach Jay Johnson. “We had a pretty in-depth meeting of just demanding to improve play and they did that this weekend.”
Coach Johnson singled out Kyle Lewis as a player who stepped up his performance on Sunday for the Wildcats.
“He did not play well in the first couple days of the series and it was not the type of player or character we expected,” Johnson said. “He was right back at it today and I am really proud of him.”
Lewis had two hits, two RBIs and one run in three at-bats.
Rio Gomez earned the start for Arizona and pitched five shutout innings. Gomez struck out one, walked one and gave up five hits against the Trojans. With the win, Gomez improves to 3-3 on the season in eight starts.
“I did not have a whole lot with me today but it is easier when the infield is making plays for you,” said Gomez. “The curveball is coming along a lot better than previous years and that is what has helped a lot this year.”
Arizona struck first in the second inning when a Louis Boyd single scored Mitchell Morimoto.
In the third inning, Arizona’s offense went to work as the Wildcats added three runs to take a 4-0 lead. The Wildcats offense was not done as Arizona added four more runs in the fifth inning to take an 8-0 lead.
USC would finally score in the eighth inning, but it was all the Trojans could muster as they fell 8-1.
The fifth inning was the charm for the Wildcats over the weekend. They scored at least three runs in each game during the frame and it put each game out of reach for USC.
Morimoto had a solid outing for Arizona on Sunday as the leftfielder finished the game with three runs and a hit while being walked twice.
“I think I was just able to get on base and follow Coach Johnson’s plan of just taking pitches,” Morimoto said. “They like to hit the corners and make you expand your zone and a big part of our game plan was getting our pitch.”
The Wildcats got solid performances from their pitching staff as well over the weeknd. Gomez started strong with his five shutout innings on Sunday and the bullpen did the rest.
Arizona is back in action on Tuesday as the Wildcats welcome rival Arizona State to Hi Corbett at 7 P.M.
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