USC trips up Diamond Dawgs

Ian Kennedy outdueled Tim Lincecum in a battle of ace pitchers as USC spoiled the Pac-10 home opener for Washington with a 2-1 victory at Husky Ballpark before 526 fans on a frigid Friday evening. With the win, the Trojans snapped the Huskies' home winning streak at 10 games and improved to 2-2 in league play and 16-8 overall, while the Huskies dropped to 1-3 in the Pac-10 and 17-11 overall.

Kennedy, a right hander named to Baseball America's preseason All-America third team and ranked fifth among sophomores, earned the win to improve to 4-1, allowing the Huskies' only run on six hits and two walks while striking out 13. He faced jams with runners at second and third in the first two innings, but got out of both.

In the first, with Brent Lillibridge at third and Kyle Larsen at second, Nick Batkoski grounded out to second to end the inning. Then in the second, after allowing a leadoff double to Matt Lane and a single to Curt Rindal, he struck out the side, getting Andy Lentz looking and Mike Rundle and Taylor Johnson swinging.

Kennedy struck out the side again in the third, giving him six straight whiffs, before Batkoski led off the bottom of the fourth with a fly out to right. Matt Lane then blooped a single to left but Kennedy slammed the door again, striking out the last two batters in the fourth and the side again in the fifth. The Huskies finally got on the board against Kennedy in the bottom of the seventh as Rindal led off with a single and Johnson walked. Trojan coach

Mike Gillespie went to his bullpen after Kennedy threw 124 pitches, bringing in closer Paul Koss. Koss walked Lillibridge to load the bases and then Zach Clem hit an infield single off the glove of first baseman Matt Cusick to score Rindal and make it 2-1 USC. Unfortunately, as in the first two innings, the Huskies could not take advantage of their opportunities, as with the bases loaded Larsen grounded out to first base to end the inning. Koss then closed out the Huskies, retiring six of seven batters in the eighth and ninth to earn his record his fifth save of the season.

For the Huskies, Lincecum pitched well, allowing the two runs on five hits and six walks with five strikeouts in seven innings, but suffered the loss to even his record at 4-4. In the second he gave out a one out single to Darin Viera and Hector Estrella drove a 1-0 pitch into a strong wind and over the wall in left center field for his first career home run.

USC's Jeff Clement, Baseball America's preseason first team All-America catcher, reached base in all five plate appearances, singling and walking four times.

On Saturday, the Huskies look to even the series at a game apiece when they host the Trojans at 1 p.m. at Husky Ballpark. Kyle Parker (4-3,4.65) will start for Washington and Jack Spradlin (1-1, 4.89) for USC.


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