First-inning outburst helps ASU win at USC

A five-run first inning set the tone for No. 12 Arizona State as it took down 17th-ranked USC 11-3 at Dedeaux Field in Los Angeles on Friday night.

Arizona State tallied 17 hits, its most in Pac-12 play and the second-most this season. First baseman Joey Bielek, left fielder Jake Peevyhouse and shortstop Colby Woodmansee combined for nine hits, including two home runs, with seven RBI and six runs scored. Nine players had a hit for the Sun Devils (34-19, 18-10).

A triple and two home runs highlighted the Devils’ first inning, and they scored six runs in the latter third of the game to pick up their 12th win of the season against a ranked opponent.

Right-hander Darin Gillies (3-5) earned the win, responsible for just one run across five innings, the longest relief outing of his career. He stranded eight runners on base, including four in scoring position. He struck out six and allowed six hits and three walks in his 25th appearance of the season.  

Woodmansee tied his career high with four RBI and three hits.

Sewald opened the first inning with a triple and scored the first run on a sacrifice fly to right field by third baseman David Greer. Woodmansee followed with a three-run homer to drive in right fielder Trever Allen and Peevyhouse. Bielek drove a solo home run over the left-field wall two pitches later to cap the frame.

The Trojans (35-19, 16-12) used a pair of leadoff home runs and a sacrifice fly to pull within 5-3 after six innings. USC center fielder Timmy Robinson and second baseman Dante Flores led off the bottom of the second and sixth innings, respectively, with solo home runs.

Gillies took over with the bases loaded and one out in the bottom of the fourth, and limited the Trojans to just one run on a sacrifice fly. USC loaded the bases again in the frame after a two-out walk, but Gillies struck out right fielder AJ Ramirez to end the threat. Gillies stranded two more Trojans in scoring position in the fifth inning with a looking strikeout to Robinson, and used a strikeout and fly ball to leave a pair on base in the eighth.

Greer drove home Peevyhouse with a RBI double in the seventh inning to stretch ASU’s lead to 6-3, and the Devils used four hits in the eighth, including three singles and a two-run double, to push its advantage to six. Allen opened the ninth with a double off the left-field wall, and Woodmansee and designated hitter Dalton DiNatale each notched a RBI single to put ASU ahead by eight.

Starting left-hander Brett Lilek was chased with one out in the fourth inning after he issued three consecutive walks. He allowed two runs on two hits and four walks in his first series-opening start since Feb. 20. Right-hander Eric Melbostad recorded the final two outs in the ninth.

USC starting right-hander Kyle Davis (3-2) put together five consecutive scoreless frames after the five-run first inning, but took the loss after he was replaced prior to the seventh.