No. 8 USC Has Big Test at Red-Hot Arizona|
April 1, 2015
LOS ANGELES -- The No. 8 Trojans head back out on the road for the second-straight weekend. This time they take on the red-hot Arizona Wildcats in a three-game Pac-12 series.
ARIZONA- The Trojans are facing a red-hot Arizona squad that has won six-straight Pac-12 games and boasts an overall record of 22-6 and are 7-2 in the Pac-12. The last time the Trojans played at Hi Corbett was in 2013, where the Wildcats swept the Trojan squad in the first year of Dan Hubbs' tenure. Last year at Dedeaux Field the Trojans returned the favor with a sweep of their own. The Trojans lead the all-time series 119-101-1. The Trojans have not won a game against the Wildcats in Tucson since 2009 when they won the final two games of the series. The Trojans have dropped the last six straight here and the last seven of nine.
DODGER STADIUM COLLEGE BASEBALL CLASSIC- It does not appear like any team has ever defeated three different top-10 ranked opponents on consecutive days like the Trojans took care of business against No. 7 TCU, No. 1 Vanderbilt and No. 6 UCLA in the Dodger Stadium College Baseball Classic.
RANKINGS - The Trojans are ranked as high as No. 8 in Baseball America and in the D1baseball.com rankings. In the NCBWA rankings, the Trojans are No. 10. The Trojans are also ranked 15th by Collegiate Baseball. The Trojans haven't been ranked this high since 2003.
FASTEST TO 20 WINS - The Trojans reached the 20-win mark in 25 games, the fastest since they completed the same feat in 1998, the last year they won the College World Series.
STEALING BASES - The Trojans stole 11 bases vs. Towson on Feb. 15, marking the second-most bases stolen in single game in Trojan history. The record is 12, set in 1995 vs. Arizona. Through the first 25 games, the Trojans have stolen 54-of-70 bases on the season. In 2014, they stole a total of 39 bases.
IN THE NATIONAL STATS - The Trojans rank in many national categories. As a team their batting average of .300 ranks 28th nationally. The team boasts a .380 on-base percentage, good for 47th nationally. The Trojans are averaging 1.93 stolen bases per game, 10th-best in the nation. The team's ERA of 2.59 ranks 15th nationally. The team's strikeout-to-walk ratio of 2.52 is 58th nationally.
HOT START - The Trojans started the season 12-0 start, their fastest start since 1988, when they started 15-0.
WINNING STREAK - The Trojans started the season 12-0 on the season and boast the longest winning streak in the country, dating back to last season (13 wins).
IN THE PAC-12 - Garrett Stubbs leads the Pac-12 in stolen bases (15-of-18). His .391 batting average is fifth. Bobby Stahel ranks fourth in the conference with a .409 batting average. Stahel's four triples are tied for the conference lead in that category. Timmy Robinson is tied for fourth with 27 RBI. The team ranks second with a .300 batting average and is tied for second with 186 runs scored. Also the Trojans 294 hits are second to Arizona's 321. The Trojans and the Wildcats are tied with 171 RBI apiece. The team's 2.62 ERA is second in the conference, while Arizona's team ERA of 3.39 ranks seventh. The Trojans are third in the conference with 237 batters struck out.
WEEKLY HONORS -- Mitch Hart threw the first two-hitter since 2009 in his first career complete game as the Trojans defeated Washington State, 11-0. Dante Flores had an outstanding week as the Trojans went 3-1, including a weekend sweep of the Dodger Stadium College Baseball Classic where they defeated No. 7 TCU 7-6 in 12-innings, No. 1 Vanderbilt 6-5 in nine innings and No. 6 UCLA 8-4 at Dodger Stadium to win Pac-12 Player of the Week and NCBWA Hitter of the Week honors. The honors are the first of his career. Overall on the week he went 7-for-16 (.438) with three runs scored, two doubles, one home run and three runs driven in. On Friday in the dramatic 12-inning, 7-6 walk-off victory vs. TCU, Flores went 3-for-3 with one run scored, one double and one sac bunt. Then on Saturday vs. Vanderbilt, Flores went 1-for-4, with his one hit being a towering home run off the scoreboard in right field for his second home run of the day. The big home run in the fourth inning put the Trojans ahead 4-1, answering the Commodores' run in the top half of the inning. Finally at Dodger Stadium on Sunday, the second baseman went 3-for-5 with one run scored and one RBI. Flores came through in the seventh inning with his second hit of the day, launching one off the top of the wall in right field, barely missing in a home run for a stand-up double. He drove in one run and came around to score as the Trojans broke open the game up to make the score 8-4.
IN THE SOCIAL MEDIA WORLD -- Follow the Trojan baseball all year long on twitter, with the baseball specific twitter handle, USC_Baseball. The Trojans are also on Instagram, with the handle SCTrojans_Baseball.
BALLPARK FUN -- For all Friday games, there will be free hot dogs for all USC students. On Sundays this season, there will be an autograph session available to all fans, starting 15 minutes after the game has been completed. Tuesday games will also be Taco Tuesdays.
TROJANS ON THE NET -- USC baseball games this season will be broadcast live on usctrojans.com with video webcasts for majority of home games. For road games you can hear a live radio broadcast on usctrojans.com.
IN THE PAC-12 -- The Trojans were picked to finish sixth in the Pac-12, an improvement from last season when they were selected ninth. They finished the 2014 campaign tied for fifth. UCLA is picked as the favorite, followed by Oregon, Arizona State, Stanford and Oregon State.
RAKING IN THE ACCOLADES -- Junior catcher Garrett Stubbs was named a Preseason All-Pac-12 first team selection by College Sports Madness. The junior led the conference in runners caught attempting to steal in 2013. Freshman phenom Jeremy Martinez was also named Pac-12 Preseason Freshman of the Year by the publication.
CLASS BY CLASS PROSPECTS -- Senior infielder Dante Flores was named the No. 44 senior in all of college baseball by Perfect Game USA. Likewise, junior left-handed pitcher Kyle Twomey was named the No. 55 junior and sophomore catcher/first baseman Jeremy Martinez was named the No. 28 sophomore. Finally, freshman right-handed pitcher Mitch Hart was named No. 9 in the freshman class nationally.
TROJANS IN THE MAJORS -- In the history of the USC baseball program, a total of 109 players had made it to the major leagues. Current major leaguers include Ryan Cook (Oakland A's); Tommy Milone (Minnesota Twins); Brad Boxberger (Tampa Bay Rays); Grant Green (Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim); Lucas Duda (New York Mets); Ian Kennedy (San Diego Padres); JP Howell (Los Angeles Dodgers); Chad Smith (Oakland A's).
COACHING THE TROOPS-- Volunteer head coach Chris Duffy comes to Troy from his alma mater South Mountain Community College, where he was an assistant coach for the past two seasons, assisting with the outfielders, hitters and base-running, while coaching first base and recruiting. He helped coach the team to the Division I Region Championship series for two-straight seasons, including winning the region in 2014. During his two years as a coach he had five outfielders receive NCAA Division I baseball scholarships. He was also an instrumental part of ensuring the success of the student-athletes in the classroom by monitoring academic progress and acting as a student-athlete success coach. Duffy played 10 years of professional baseball, including four seasons as a major league outfielder after being drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the eighth round of the 2001 MLB First Year Player's Draft. After having success as an all-star at virtually every level of the minor leagues, he was rated the best outfielder by Baseball America in 2004.
DEDEAUX FIELD DEDICATIONS -- Prior to the start of the 2011 season, the scoreboard at Dedeaux Field was renamed the Mike Gillespie Scoreboard in honor of former USC player and head coach Mike Gillespie (now the head coach at UC Irvine). Gillespie, who was a player on USC's 1961 national championship, spent 20 seasons as USC's head coach (1987-2006). He led USC as head coach to the 1998 national championship, as well as four trips to the College World Series during his tenure. The batting cages were renamed for the Boone Family, in honor of the Boone family that included former USC players Aaron and Bret Boone. The Boone family became the first family in baseball history to send three generations to the major league All-Star Game (grandfather, Ray, and father, Bob). Bret Boone played at USC from 1988-90 while his brother Aaron played at USC from 1992-94. Both played in the 2003 All-Star Game as a total of five former Trojans (Geoff Jenkins, Barry Zito and Mark Prior) participated in the game.
OPERATION: OMAHA -- From 1948 to 1978, USC dominated the world of college baseball with 11 national championships in 17 appearances at the College World Series (the 1948 CWS was held in Kalamazoo, Mich., with the CWS moving to Omaha, Neb., in 1949). After the 1978 season, the Trojans went through a drought and did not return to Omaha until 1995, when Troy reached the national championship game. Since 1995, the Trojans have made four trips to Omaha (1995-1998-2000-2001), winning their 12th CWS title in 1998. USC has the second-most wins (74) at the CWS and is tied for third for most appearances (21).
MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL HALL OF FAME -- Legendary USC pitcher Randy Johnson became the third Trojan to be named to the Baseball Hall of Fame. He is just the second Trojan to enter the Hall as a player, following in the footsteps of Tom Seaver, who was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1992 with a 98.8 percent vote, which remains the highest percentage ever for an inducted member. Pat Gillick entered the Hall of Fame in 2011 as a front office executive with the Philadelphia Phillies.