Aided by a pair of USC errors, the Huskies scored four runs on two hits in the seventh inning to break a scoreless tie after starters Bobby Wheatley and Jeff Brigham each went a season-high five innings.
Brigham combined with Washington relievers Tyler Kane, Joshua Fredendall and Nick Palewicz to pitch a three-hit shutout. The Trojans managed only 13 hits for the entire weekend.
In the pivotal seventh inning, Trevor Mitsui led off with a single. Tyler Lamb reached on a dropped fly ball by left fielder Jake Hernandez, a catcher by trade that USC coach Frank Cruz was trying to get into the lineup to try to spark the offense. After a strikeout, B.K. Santy fouled off four consecutive full count pitches before working a walk on the tenth pitch of the at bat.
Washington took the lead on a sac fly to centerfield. Mitsui was able to slide in safely after Dante Flores double clutched when trying to get the ball out of his glove. A hit by pitch reloaded the bases and reliever Martin Viramontes was brought in to quell the rally.
Viramontes did his job inducing a ground ball to shortstop, but James Roberts bobbled the ball. Joe Meggs hustled down the line to beat the throw. The Huskies then added two more runs when Caleb Brown singled up the middle, making it 4-0.
Roberts was charged with two errors on the day, but did reach base three times. He singled in the second inning to extend his hit streak to 21 games. It was one of few positives on the weekend for the Trojans, who are now likely on the outside looking in for a regional spot and have series remaining against Oregon, Arizona and UCLA — all top 15 teams.
Washington has UCLA, Arizona State and Washington State for its final three series as the Huskies try to play their way into a regional bid. For the Huskies on Sunday, Brown, Mitsui and Robert Pehl each recorded multiple hits while Kane picked up his third victory.
Freshman Wyatt Strahan took the loss for USC, who honored the country’s service men and women with Military Appreciation Day.
Louis Zamperini, a 95-year-old World War II POW, USC alum and subject of the New York Times best-seller “Unbroken,” threw out the ceremonial first pitch and the Trojans sported camouflage Salute the Brave caps. Salute the Brave is an apparel company that works on a one-for-one business model. For every product sold, another is donated overseas in a care package to the troops.
Check out the 16-shot photo gallery from Sunday afternoon’s USC/Washington matchup below: