What a weekend it was for the USC Trojans pitching staff against the Stanford Cardinal (21-28, 7-18) this past weekend. USC (34-16, 15-9) shutout the Cardinal on Friday and Sunday while falling 3-2 in a comeback effort that fell short on Saturday. Here are the game recaps:
Friday: Making his third career start for the Trojans on Friday night, Kyle Davis threw an absolute gem as the Trojans won the opening game of the three-game series over the Cardinal. Davis, who leads the team with six saves this season, allowed six hits, two walks, and struck out 10 batters in a shutout effort. The junior needed 123 pitches to get through his longest outing as a Trojan. An amazing performance, Davis allowed two singles to start the top of the ninth and had the bases loaded with two outs, but got Alex Dunlap to strike out swinging to end the game. Brett Hanewich also threw well for the Cardinal but made one mistake on the evening and it was a big one. Reigning Pac-12 Player of the Week AJ Ramirez took Hanewich deep to right in the bottom of the third for the only run of the game. It was Ramirez's eighth home run of the season and most by a Trojan since 2010.
Saturday: Saturday's game provided more runs than Friday, but not by much. USC starting pitcher Kyle Twomey allowed no runs in six strong innings, allowing five hits and striking out six but needed 97 pitches. With Tommy Robinson on base after being hit by a pitch in the bottom of the fourth, Dante Flores hit a double that scored Robinson for the game's first run. USC added another run in the bottom of the sixth when Robinson drilled a solo shot to right for his third home run of the season. With a 2-0 lead in the top of the eighth, Brett Wheatley was pulled with the bases loaded and one out and replaced by Tyler Gilbert. Gilbert gave up a walk to the first Cardinal batter he faced to trim the lead to 2-1. The play of the game came in the next at-bat when Austin Barr drove in two after singling to right. Tyler Throne would shut down the Trojans in the eighth and ninth inning to give the Cardinal at 3-2 victory.
Sunday: Mitch Hart got the start on Sunday and turned in his second shutout of the season. Hart needed 122 pitches to get through all nine innings but only allowed five hits and struck out six. Once again, USC got on the scoreboard in the bottom of the fourth. USC got back-to-back doubles from Blake Lacey and AJ Ramirez to pick up their first run. With two runners on base in the bottom of the eighth, Flores drove in Jeremy Martinez to extend the lead to 2-0. Hart pitched a clean ninth inning for the Trojans second shutout in three games.
USC travels to California this weekend for a three-game series against the Bears.