Los Angeles, CA — Right-hander Caden Aok (3-0) was damn near unhittable striking out a career-high eight batters and giving up a run, tossing 6.1 innings for the Trojans.
Carson Wells and Johnny Olmstead drove in runs in the sixth to help the USC (23-14-1, 10-7) baseball team beat No. 22 UCLA 5-1 at Dedeaux Field.
It was pitching duel for the first five innings, UCLA sophomore Alonzo Tredwell equaled Aoki effort in the early innings, striking out six and leaving donuts on the board during that span.
He got a little help from his defense over those five innings, inducing an inning-ending 4-6-3 double play in the first and having his signal-caller Darius Perry throwing out a pair of base stealers in the fourth.
Senior Kyle Wisch also made an impact on the hill for USC, throwing two shutout innings while allowing no hits, with no walks and two strikeouts.
The Trojans touched Tredwell in the sixth, with Carson Wells smacking a double that tied the game at 1-1 followed by a go-ahead two-run home run from Johnny Olmstead.
UCLA Jack Holman opened the game’s scoring on Saturday with a solo blast in the fourth inning, turning on an 0-1 off-speed pitch from Aoki and sending it above the right field fence. It was his seventh homer of the year, and third in the last five games.
Holman’s solo shot was the only run that the Bruins could pushed across the diamond. USC broke open for five runs in the sixth and held on to that lead to set up a Sunday rubber match with UCLA (22-12-1, 9-6-1).
Sophomore center fielder Malakhi Knight paced the Bruins with two hits in the contest, his seventh multi-hit effort in the last nine games.
GAME NOTES» Aoki struck out eight Bruins hitters. » USC’s highest scoring inning was the sixth, when it pushed five runs across. » Aoki put together 6.1 innings of one-run ball for the Trojans. » Five Trojans had multiple hits in the ballgame. » The Trojans out-hit the Bruins at an 11-4 clip.
UCLA and USC will play the rubber match game on Sunday afternoon at 4:00 P.M. PT. The game will be televised on the Pac-12 Networks.