Taylor Ward had a career night to propel a season-best performance for the Fresno State baseball team in its 14-7 upset of No. 8 USC on Tuesday in Los Angeles.
The junior catcher went 3 for 5 with a career-high five RBIs — a performance that included a three-run, fourth-inning home run — as the Bulldogs (11-11) won on the road for the first time this season while producing season highs in runs and hits (17).
It was Fresno State’s first win against a Top-10 opponent since March 2, 2012, against then top-ranked Stanford at Beiden Field.
Fresno State opened a 5-1 lead on the Trojans (17-4) in the third inning on Kevin Viers’ three-run double and RBI singles from Manny Argomaniz and Ward.
Ward’s three-run bomb in the fourth made it 8-2 and his run-scoring double in the sixth put the Bulldogs ahead 10-4.
Fresno State would pull away with four runs in the eighth, courtesy of a two-run single by Brody Russell and run-scoring singles from Aaron Arruda and Argomaniz.
The Bulldogs used nine pitchers, with William Munro shutting USC out over the final 22/3 innings for the win. Tim Borst worked a scoreless 1 2/3 innings, the only other Fresno State pitcher who didn’t allow a run against the Trojans, who had 12 hits. Bakersfield Christian product AJ Ramirez led USC by going 4 for 5 with three RBIs, including a two-run homer in the fourth.
The Bulldogs moved up to No. 33 in the latest Intercollegiate Tennis Association national rankings, their highest spot since being No. 29 on Feb. 4, 2010.
Fresno State ran a winning streak to six straight matches for the second time this season on Saturday with a 5-2 win over Idaho.
The Bulldogs (12-3, 2-0) have won 12 of their past 13 overall and are led by individual No. 45-ranked Sophie Watts (who is 15-2 on the season), as well as sisters Maiar and Rana Sherif Ahmed (who are both 14-3).