Baseball Weekend Recap

Three-up, three-down has become a bit of a theme in Tempe as for the second straight weekend the Sun Devils send a conference opponent back home winless; this time with the USC Trojans suffered three straight defeats at the hands of ASU.

Sensational starting and team pitching and timely offense were the difference makers this weekend, as ASU outscored the Trojans by a cumulative total of 17-2 in the three contests.

With the series sweep the Sun Devils made a bit of school history as for the first time ASU swept USC in baseball, men's basketball and also defeated the Trojans in football in the same school year.

The weekend started off with some flair as the Devils hosted a "Blackout" game that debuted new black hats and jerseys.

Though some of the apparel was new, the end result was a usual outcome for the Devils' starting pitcher, as Brady Rodgers (6-1) continued his sensational play by allowing only one run in eight innings with seven strikeouts in the 5-1 ASU win.

First baseman Abe Ruiz quickly started the production for the Devils with a two-run double scoring Andrew Aplin and Joey DeMichele in the first inning. Shortstop Deven Marrero widened the scoring gap in the seventh with a two-run homerun after the Trojans got on the board to cut the ASU lead to 2-1 in the fifth.

James McDonald capped off the evening with a RBI single to score DeMichele in the seventh, then Robert Ravago, who has pitched impressively of late, closed out the ninth without allowing any damage.

ASU gained widespread productivity from its batting order, as right fielder Kasey Coffman was the only Sun Devil not to safely hit at least once.

Andrew Triggs' record dropped to 3-4 after the loss for the Trojans, as he was credited with all five runs in 6.2 innings pitched.

On Saturday sophomore Trevor Williams (7-2) pitched a gem to shut down USC, registering a four-hit shutout in his first career complete game as a Sun Devil, gaining a 4-0 victory.

As they did the previous evening, the Sun Devils struck early with DeMichele driving in Marrero in the first inning on a sacrifice fly. ASU added two more in the eighth, first on an RBI double by Aplin that scored Coffman, then Marrero batted Aplin in with a single. The next inning, the Sun Devil lead was pushed to 4-0 after catcher Beau Maggi drove in Ruiz.

Ruiz was the standout of the day, batting 3-for-4 with one run scored.

Stephen Tarpley (4-1) was dealt his first loss of the season with three runs allowed in 7.0 innings.

The Sun Devils used a trio of long balls, solid team pitching and some fortuitous Trojan miscues on Sunday to cruise to an 8-1 win and the series sweep.

After USC scored on a suicide squeeze in the top half of the inning, ASU cracked things open with a four-run second, including home runs by James McDonald and Rouric Bridgewater. Also in that inning, USC outfielders dropped two routine fly balls in the afternoon sun and the first pitch thrown by Trojan Bobby Wheatley, coming in place of starter Ben Mount, sailed wild and allowed a Coffman to score.

The Devils kept the production running in the third inning, as Bridgewater added two more RBI with a two-run double and was the batted in by catcher Max Rossiter to stretch the advantage to 6-1 after three.

Abe Ruiz added a solo home run and Bridgewater tacked on an RBI sacrifice fly in the eighth to give ASU a comfortable 8-1 edge to close out the game.

Darrin Gillies (1-3) finally worked his way into the win column with 5.0 innings pitched with two strikeouts. Joseph Lopez, Matthew Dunbar and Ravago each submitted an inning of work with only one hit among them before Jake Barrett sealed the afternoon with a perfect ninth.

McDonald and Bridgewater were the offensive standouts for the Devils, as McDonald batted 3-for-4 with three runs scored and one RBI, while Bridgewater batted in four of ASU's eight runs and hit 2-for-3 on the day.

The Sun Devils will next host rival Arizona for a Tuesday night non-conference encounter, with first pitch scheduled for 6:30 p.m. in Tempe. Tim Healey and Seth Dhaenens will have the call on The Fan AM 1060 and will stream it live online.

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