Arizona Baseball

Hot Arizona Wildcats beat USC for 10th victory in last 12 games

EDITOR NOTE: Information for this report provided by Arizona’s media relations department.

The Arizona Wildcats scored two runs in the seventh inning to break a tie game and topped USC 4-2 Sunday afternoon at Dedeaux Field in Los Angeles to earn a series victory on the road.

Zach Sherman tossed two scoreless innings in relief to earn his second win of the season, and Tylor Megill pitched the final 1 2/3 innings to earn his sixth save of the season. The win improved Arizona to 22-12 on the season and 6-6 in Pac-12 play.

USC dropped to 17-14 and 6-9 in the league. It marked Arizona’s first series victory at USC since 2012.

Matt Fraizer hits an opposite-field double that started a rally in the seventh inning for Arizona at USC on Sunday (Arizona Athletics photo)

The Wildcats have earned four straight series victories and have won 10 of their last 12 games. They return to action Tuesday night at Hi Corbett Field with a single midweek matchup against BYU. First pitch is set for 6 p.m., and it’ll be televised by the Pac-12 Network.

A showdown series with No. 2-ranked Stanford (27-5, 9-3) at Hi Corbett begins on Friday.

Arizona appeared to grab an early lead in the second inning, but a call from home plate umpire Randy Sutton erased a run. With two men on and shortstop Jacob Blas at the plate, Ryan Haug broke for third and Matt Fraizer jolted toward second. Blas struck out and USC catcher Blake Sabol’s throw to third to try to get Haug sailed into left field.

Haug jogged home and Fraizer moved over to third. However, Sutton called interference on himself, taking the run off the board and forcing Haug back to second and Fraizer to first. A strikeout then ended the inning and the threat.

The Trojans threatened for the first time off starter Zach Stone in the third inning. After striking out right fielder Jamal O’Guinn to start the inning, Ben Ramirez and Chase Bushor produced back-to-back singles to put two men on with one out. The Wildcats went to the bullpen before Stone faced the lineup for a second time.

Freshman left-hander Gil Luna came on and got Sabol to fly out for the second out of the inning. He then walked Brandon Perez on four pitches to load the bases for left fielder Lars Nootbaar. Luna got Nootbaar to ground out to Alfonso Rivas at first base to end the inning and strand the bases loaded.

The Cats got on the board in the fourth inning, taking advantage of starter Quentin Longrie’s wildness. Cesar Salazar was hit by a pitch to start the inning and moved to second on a wild pitch. After a pop out and a fly out, Fraizer and Blas drew back-to-back walks to load the bases for freshman Blake Paugh.

Paugh delivered a two-strike, two-out single to centerfield to plate Salazar and Fraizer and make it 2-0 in favor of the Wildcats.

The Trojans tied it up in the sixth inning on an RBI single from Nootbaar and a sacrifice fly from cleanup hitter Dillon Paulson. Sherman then came on after Luna tossed three solid innings and got the Wildcats out of the inning without any further damage.

Arizona then responded right away, getting two of their own in the top of the seventh. Fraizer started the inning with an opposite-field double. Blas then drew a walk to put two on with no outs. Mitchell Morimoto dropped down a sacrifice bunt to move Fraizer and Blas up a base.

Fraizer gave Arizona the lead when he scored on a wild pitch and Cameron Cannon brought Blas home with a sacrifice fly to right field.

Sherman got the Wildcats through the seventh, and then after getting the first out in the eighth, Arizona went to Megill to close it out. The senior righty worked around a hit in the eighth and another in the ninth to lock down the save. He struck out ninth-place hitter Chase Bushor to end the game and secure the win for the Wildcats.

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