USC looks to move on from tough weekend


first_imgLooking to erase the bad memories of the three-game sweep it suffered last weekend against California at Dedeaux Field, the USC baseball team travels to Arizona State tonight to take on the Sun Devils in the first of another three-game set in Tempe, Ariz., this weekend.USC (15-17, 2-7) will likely send senior Kevin Couture to the mound in tonight’s 6:30 p.m. matchup. The right-hander is 2-1 with a 6.99 ERA in nine starts this season. In his last outing against the Golden Bears, the senior lasted just two and one-third innings, giving up nine runs (seven earned) on nine hits. The Trojans lost the game, 16-9.After dropping two of three last weekend to Washington State, No. 3 the Sun Devils (28-3, 6-3), undefeated at home and tied for first place in the Pac-10, will send out right-hander Seth Blair to start the series tonight. The junior is 5-0 with a 3.09 ERA in 13 starts this season. In his last start at Washington State, Blair pitched a solid six and one-third innings, giving up five runs (two earned) on seven hits with seven strikeouts. Arizona State lost the game, 6-5.Saturday’s 6:30 p.m. matchup likely will pit USC sophomore Ben Mount (3-2, 3.57 ERA) against the Sun Devils’ Merrill Kelley (7-0, 3.77 ERA). Sunday’s 12:30 p.m. series finale will showcase USC sophomore Andrew Triggs (1-5, 4.19 ERA) and Arizona State sophomore Jake Borup (6-1, 3.35 ERA).The Sun Devils have compiled a 3.03 staff ERA on the season, compared to the Trojans’ 4.65. Arizona State is hitting .346 as a team, while USC is batting .287.The Trojans’ pitchers will need to be careful with Sun Devils’ sophomore infielder Zack MacPhee, a Pac-10 Player of the Year candidate. He is batting .445 on the season with six home runs, 43 RBI and 13 stolen bases.But USC has some firepower of its own. Sophomore Ricky Oropesa leads the Pac-10 with 11 home runs to go along with his team-leading .328 batting average and 33 RBI. Sophomore Matt Foat also provides some power for the Trojans, heading into the weekend series with five home runs, 28 RBI and a .322 average.USC heads into tonight’s matchup looking for its first Pac-10 series win of the season. The Trojans have lost their first three Pac-10 series against Stanford, Oregon State and California.Arizona State leads the all-time series against USC by a slim margin, 94-93.last_img

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