USC swept by Arizona in tough road series

Ben Ramirez slides into home base
Junior infielder Ben Ramirez picked up six RBIs over the weekend against Arizona. (Simon Park | Daily Trojan)

Baseball was swept by No. 18 ranked Arizona over the weekend in Tucson, Ariz.

The Trojans are now 18-16 as they enter the final month of the season while these wins bring Arizona to a formidable record of 27-11.  

In the series opener sophomore first baseman Clay Owens started off the weekend with a home run after he hit two against LMU last Tuesday. The sophomore leads the team with 33 RBIs this season. 

Arizona came back hot in the fourth inning, putting up seven unanswered runs on the Trojans. Freshman outfielder Mac Bingham hit a two RBI triple for the Wildcats against redshirt junior pitcher Isaac Esqueda to end the inning. 

After Arizona’s scoring spree, the Trojans began to chip away at the lead. A two RBI double from freshman outfielder Rhylan Thomas and another homer by Owens brought the score to 8-5, but the Wildcat’s lead proved insurmountable. 

The Trojans were .500 in Pac-12 play before this game, but the loss gave them a losing record of 6-7. 

Thomas’s performance was a small bright spot in a tough loss. The freshman has been hot behind the plate and rode a seven-game hitting streak into this weekend. 

On Saturday, the Trojans started off slow defensively. Arizona was up 3-0 after the second inning following doubles hit by freshman third baseman Jacob Berry and sophomore infielder Nik McClaughry. USC came back slowly and took the lead 4-3 in the fifth inning on a two RBI single by junior infielder Ben Ramirez. 

Ramirez has been fantastic at the plate recently. He had five home runs in seven games coming into the series against Arizona.

The game was tied 5-5 entering the seventh inning. Ramirez brought in another run to take the lead. After, the Wildcats shifted into high gear, scoring five runs in the bottom of the seventh. Homers by two freshmen, catcher Daniel Susac and third baseman Jacob Berry, solidified the 10-6 win and clinched the series for Arizona. 

In Sunday’s game, USC managed to keep up with the Wildcats in the beginning. Arizona scored on a pitching error by sophomore pitcher Alex Cornwell. USC tied the game in the top of the second, but the Wildcats added three runs in the bottom. After a scoring drought from both teams, the score was 4-1 Arizona entering the fifth inning. Ramirez stayed hot at the plate this game, hitting an RBI in the fifth and seventh innings. 

However, USC could not keep up with the Wildcat offense. After freshman catcher Daniel Susac’s two-RBI single for Arizona, the score was 7-2 entering the seventh inning. The final score was 8-4 after Owens batted in a run in the bottom of the seventh. 
The Trojans look to rebound from the tough weekend series against Pepperdine on Tuesday. USC lost their first game against Pepperdine on March 6, and their second game got canceled, which means this match will be a chance to tie the series. First pitch is at 6 p.m. at Dedeaux Field.