Coffman, Sun Devils take down Trojans
LOS ANGELES -- Center fielder Kasey Coffman fell a double short of the cycle and collected three RBI to lead the 15th-ranked Arizona State baseball team to a 6-3 victory over USC on Saturday at Dedeaux Field.
Coffman went 4-for-5 with a two-run homer, a triple and a pair of singles and scored two runs to lead the Sun Devils (21-1-1, 7-7), who have the opportunity to win the three-game road series Sunday. Catcher RJ Ybarra drove in two runs and designated hitter Nate Causey added two hits.
Starting left-hander Ryan Kellogg (8-0) stayed perfect on the year by allowing two runs on eight hits and striking out one in six innings.
Right-hander Darin Gillies threw two scoreless innings of relief and retired six straight batters after giving up a leadoff base hit in the seventh. Right-hander Ryan Burr took over in the ninth and struck out before coercing a flyout to center field to end the game.
Ybarra stepped to the plate with the bases loaded and no outs in the first inning and knocked a two-run single up the middle to give the Sun Devils an early 2-0 advantage. Coffman and third baseman Michael Benjamin, who both singled to start the frame, scored from second and third, respectively.
USC (13-21, 6-8) cut ASU's lead in half in the bottom of the third with an RBI single by Adam Landecker, but the Devils responded with a pair of runs in the top of the fourth to push their lead to 4-1. Right fielder Trever Allen singled and moved to second on an error before Causey drove him in on a base hit, and Causey scored two batters later on a single by first baseman Dalton DiNatale.
USC used three singles in the seventh to pull within 4-2 and had runners at the corners with one out. Pinch hitter J.R. Aguirre attempted a bunt to bring the lead runner home, but Kellogg ran in and threw him out at home to record the second out of the inning. He then induced a flyout to right field in the next at-bat to preserve ASU's two-run lead.
Coffman drove a two-out pitch over the right field fence for a two-run homer in the top of the ninth inning to extend the lead to 6-2.
USC starting right-hander Wyatt Strahan (1-2) gave up four runs on eight hits in his second loss of the season.
The Sun Devils and Trojans meet in the series finale Sunday at 2 p.m.