Tough Pac-12 Road Test on Deck for No. 10 USC at Oregon State|
April 23, 2015
LOS ANGELES -- The No. 10 Trojans (29-10, 10-5 Pac-12) will head out on the road for a tough Pac-12 series at Oregon State (25-12, 8-7 Pac-12), starting on Friday, April 24. The Trojans have won three of their last four contests and have won four of five Pac-12 weekend series.
The Trojans are 50-26 overall vs. the Beavers have won two-of-the last three as they took the series from the then-No. 1 team in the country to close out the 2014 season. The Trojans won on Friday 4-2, dropped the Saturday game 2-0 and then won the regular season finale 3-1 behind a gutty performance from current junior Kyle Davis, who threw a complete game in his first start of the year and only second of his career after getting the save on Friday. He tossed a career-high 14 strikeouts in the win.
The last time the Trojans played in Corvallis was in 2013, when they were swept, but in 2011 the Trojans took two-of-three at Goss Stadium, dropping game one before winning games two and three to take the series. The also took two-of-three in 2009 and are 4-5 in their last nine meetings at Goss Stadium.
GOLDEN SPIKES - Bobby Stahel and Garrett Stubbs were added to the 60-player midseason watch list for the prestigious Golden Spikes Award, given to the top amateur baseball athlete in the nation by USA Baseball. The honor is the first of each's career and they are the first Trojans since Ricky Oropesa was named to the preseason watch list in 2011. Catcher Jeff Clement was named a finalist for the award in 2005 and Mark Prior won it in 2001.
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 the NCBWA rankings. In Baseball America and the D1baseball.com rankings, the Trojans are No. 10. The Trojans are also ranked 11th by Collegiate Baseball. The Trojans haven't been ranked this high since 2003.
FASTEST TO 25 WINS - The Trojans reached the 25-win mark in 31 games, the fastest since they completed the same feat in 1998, the last year they won the College World Series. The Trojans are just two wins away from hitting their entire win total from last season.
HITTING LAST YEAR'S TOTAL - Last season in the Trojans had their first winning season since 2005, and they have already tied their win total from last season at 29-10. Last year they finished 29-24 and were one of the last four teams left out of the NCAA Tournament.
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 32 games, the Trojans have stolen 65-of-85 bases on the season. In 2014, they stole a total of 39 bases.
IN THE NATIONAL STATS - The Trojans rank in many national categories. Bobby Stahel is ninth in the nation with a .414 batting average. As a team their batting average of .298 ranks 36th nationally. The Trojans are averaging 1.67 stolen bases per game, 27th-best in the nation. The team's ERA of 3.00 ranks 25th nationally.
MAJOR LEAGUERS - The Trojans had four major leaguers on rosters to start the season - Pitcher Ian Kennedy (Padres), Pitcher J.P. Howell (Dodgers), 1B Lucas Duda (Mets), Pitcher Brad Boxberger (Rays) and Pitcher Tommy Milone (Twins). Brent Strom is the pitching coach for the Houston Astros and Mark McGwire is the hitting coach for the Dodgers.
HOT START - The Trojans started the season 12-0 start, their fastest start since 1988, when they started 15-0.
IN THE PAC-12 - Bobby Stahel ranks second in the conference with a .414 batting average. Stahel's 65 hits also rank second. Garrett Stubbs' 17 stolen bases lead the conference. Timmy Robinson ranks tied for fourth with 31 RBI. The team ranks third with a .299 batting average, compared to Oregon State's .282 batting average, ranks fifth in the conference. USC's 3.00 ERA is the third-lowest in the conference, while Oregon State's 3.06 ERA ranks fifth.
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 assistant 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.