Baseball Assistant Coach Matt Curtis Named Associate Head Coach|
Feb. 16, 2016
Curtis is set to begin his third season with the Trojans in 2016. When he arrived in 2014, he brought with him three years of head coaching experience at Cal State Northridge in addition to 10 seasons as an assistant coach at his alma mater, Fresno State.
Much of the offensive success experienced by the Trojans over the last two seasons can be attributed to Coach Curtis.
In 2015, the Trojans finished with a .296 batting average—the team’s highest since 2002. They were also among the Pac-12 leaders in multiple offensive categories, ranking second in batting average, second in on-base percentage (.374), third with a .411 slugging percentage, first with 377 runs scored, first with 614 hits, first with 347 RBI, third with 35 home runs, third with 110 doubles and second with 857 total bases. The team was also fourth with 857 total bases, led the Pac-12 with 94 stolen bases and was first with 46 sac flies.
Nationally, the Trojans also ranked amongst the top in many offensive categories, including leading the country in sacrifice flies and ranking 18th in total stolen bases. Outfielder Bobby Stahel’s .379 batting average was 26th nationally, while his 86 hits ranked 15th.
Individually, an impressive four Trojans finished in the top 11 in the Pac-12 in RBI, led by Timmy Robinson who was second with 53, Jeremy Martinez and AJ Ramirez who tied for sixth with 45, and Dante Flores finished 11th with 43.
Stahel, who was a finalist for the Gregg Olson Award, presented to the breakout player of the year in college baseball, batted .376, the best batting average of any Trojan since 2008. His team-leading 92 hits were the most in the program since 1998 when Robb Gorr had 96 hits.
A catcher by trade, Curtis worked closely with 2015 senior Garrett Stubbs, who earned the Johnny Bench Award, given to the nation’s top collegiate catcher. He was also named Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year, First Team All-Pac-12 and an All-American. He finished his senior season throwing out 52.8 percent of would-be base stealers, while flashing equal brilliance offensively with a .346 batting average. Overall the Trojans are 68-24 during his two seasons on staff, advancing to the NCAA Regionals for the first time in 10 seasons in 2015.
The Trojans, ranked No. 16 in D1baseball.com’s preseason poll, begin the 2016 campaign on Friday, Feb. 19 at 6 p.m. PT against North Dakota.