Trojans Travel to Washington for the Final Weekend of Play|
May 24, 2017
Upcoming Games Schedule
Thursday, May 25
Friday, May 26
Saturday, May 27
LOS ANGELES -- The Trojans (20-32, 7-20 Pac-12) travel to Washington (26-25, 12-15 Pac-12) for the final weekend of the 2017 season. Game one of the series is set for 6 p.m. PT on Thursday, May 25, game two is set for 7 p.m. PT on Friday, May 26 and game three is set for 4 p.m. PT on Saturday, May 27. All three games will be televised on Pac-12 Networks, with play-by-play from Roxy Bernstein and color from analyst Scott Erickson. The trip to Seattle is a trip home for head coach Dan Hubbs, who is a native of Renton, Washington, graduated from Kentridge HS.
AGAINST WASHINGTON -The Trojans are 38-33 all-time against the Huskies. Last year at Dedeaux Field vs. the Huskies the Trojans took game one 4-3, but fell in games two and three, 7-3 and 6-0, respectively. The last time the Trojans visited Husky Ballpark was in 2015 where the Trojans took two-of-three. The Trojans dropped game one 5-1, but won games two and three, both in extras - game two USC won 3-2 in 16 innings, while game three was 4-3 USC in 10 innings. The game-two 16 inning contest was the longest the two teams have played in the series. The Trojans are 4-8 against the Huskies under head coach Dan Hubbs, with the only series in five seasons that the Trojans have won coming in 2015 at Husky Ballpark.
FINDING THE POSITIVES - When the Trojan offense comes alive, it does so in a big way, tallying double-figure hit totals in 23 games. The Trojans are 14-9 in those games. The Trojans tallied a season-high 20 hits in their 22-2 victory over Coppin State in the season opener, but collected 18 hits last Saturday in a 14-9 victory over Oregon, the second-highest hit total on the year. The third-most came on April 13 in a win over Cal State Fullerton.
FAST START -The Trojans started the season 4-0 and were 15-8 through the second week of Pac-12 play (March 28), however the month of April, where the Trojans played four of five weekends against ranked opponents was not kind to the young club, who went 4-13 over the month, including a record of 2-10 against Pac-12 teams over that period. The struggles of the team on the road was evident in that month, as the Trojans went 2- 11 on the road in the month of April.
TOUGH GO - The Trojans' 14-9 victory over Oregon on Saturday snapped a nine-game losing streak. The Trojans have lost 24 for their last 29. Overall six of the Trojans' 32 losses have been by one run. When trailing after the sixth inning, the Trojans are 2-24. The Trojans are 12-4 when scoring six or more runs on the year, but when allowing six or more runs they are 4-22. The worst season in school history was in 2013, where the Trojans went 20-35 overall, 10-20 in Pac-12 play. By virture of playing one last game in 2017 (55 total) the Trojans will not have the lowest winning percentage in program history. The Trojans bounced back after the 2013 season, however, almost making the postseason a year later in 2014 and then doing so in 2015.
IN THE NATIONAL STATS - The Trojans now rank 14th nationally with a fielding percentage of .979. The Trojans also rank 87th nationally with 23 sac flies. The team's three shutouts rank 93rd in the nation. Adalberto Carrillo's six sac flies ranks 38th nationally.
IN THE PAC-12 STATS - The Trojans are fourth in the Pac-12 with a .979 fielding percentage. Frankie Rios ranks fifth with a .352 batting average. Lars Nootbaar shows his patience at the plate as he is tied for third in the Pac-12 with 35 walks. Adalberto Carrillo are tied for 10th with sixth home runs on the year, while Carrillo is second with six sac flies and 11th with 35 RBIs.
TANDUM UP THE MIDDLE - Besides being solid with the gloves, SS Frankie Rios and 2B Brandon Perez have been outstanding with the bats, one and two on the team in batting average, .354 and .326, respectively. In Pac-12 play only, Rios is hitting a cool .364, good for sixth-best in the conference.
SLUMPING BRANDON - The sophomore has been outstanding all season, but Brandon Perez has been struggling over the last four contests, as he sits in an 0-14 hole. His last hit, a single, came in the ninth inning vs. UC Santa Barbara on May 17. He has seen his average drop from .345 to .319 over that period.
GETTING STUBBS GOING - March 7th at San Diego State was the first appearance of the year for the Del Mar, Calif., native, as he has been hampered by a lingering elbow strain. He threw 2.0 innings against the Aztecs, surrendering no runs on just two hits with no walks and two strikeouts. In his next start at LMU, he went a then-season-long five innings, allowing two runs on seven hits with no walks and one strikeout. He threw 4.1 scoreless innings against ASU in relief, surrendering just five hits, with no walks and one strikeout. He made his first collegiate weekend start at Arizona and in his first collegiate Friday night star at No. 1 Oregon State, he arguably had his best collegiate outing, going a career-long seven complete, allowing just two runs (one earned) on seven hits with four walks and four strikeouts. Against UCLA he was also outstanding, going pitch-for-pitch with UCLA ace Griffin Canning. The sophomore went six complete, allowing two runs (two run homer) on seven hits with just one walk and a season-high five strikeouts. At Utah he went seven complete, allowing four runs (three earned) on eight hits with three walks and tied his season-high of five strikeouts. He had a streak of three-straight quality starts, but has been unable to get a win due to lack of run support. The most run support he got over that period was two runs at Utah.
YOUTH ON THE MOUND - Freshman arms have been stepping up for the Trojans, led by frosh LHP Austin Manning, who is 2-4 with three saves on the year. RHP Chris Clarke is third on the team with 18 appearances, highlighted by his 5.2 scoreless innings against UCLA on Sunday in Dodger Stadium to earn his first collegiate win. RHP Connor Lunn has also been impressive, throwing 36.0 innings in 15 appearances, mostly in long relief, but he had his first collegiate start on May 19 vs. Oregon. He has struck out 39 batters. Sophomores Solomon Bates and Quentin Longrie have also been outstanding, with Bates throwing 34.0 innings with 30 Ks and one save in relief, while Longrie has extended, throwing a total of 22.2 innings in 14 appearances, tallying 27 Ks.
INJURY REPORT - The injury bug has hit the Trojan pitching staff hard this year, with multiple guys missing time throughout the season. Going into the final two weekends of the season, the Trojans have nine healthy pitchers available. The biggest blow was ace Mitch Hart going down for the season after having season-ending shoulder surgery on March 14. Junior RHP Mason Perryman missed about a week and a half with a knee injury, while freshman Connor Lunn missed about two weeks with illness. Reliever Bryce Dyrda is also out for the season with elbow tenderness. LHP Quentin Longrie and RHP Marrick Crouse have also been shut down the last few weeks of the season.
DIFFERENT SQUAD, SAME OFFENSE -- The Trojan hitting coaches, Matt Curtis and Gabe Alvarez have been developing a new core of Trojan hitters every year. After leading the Pac-12 in batting average in 2016, the Trojans picked up right where they left off, tallying 22 runs on 20 hits in the 2017 season opener. The Trojans finished off the 2016 season with a 31-9 defeat of Arizona State, scoring the 31 runs on 30 hits. Now in what is believed the be the biggest run total in back-to-back Division I NCAA games, the Trojans scored 53 runs on 50 hits in back-to-back games.
2017 TROJANS -The Trojans boast the youngest team since Coach Hubbs' first season as head coach in 2013. There are 14 newcomers on this year's squad, including 12 freshmen.
BEHIND THE DISH -The Trojans have to replace backstop Jeremy Martinez, who was a semifinalist for the Johnny Bench Award, while finishing second on the team with a .376 batting average with six home runs. Entering the season, RS Fr. Kaleb Murphy, a super athletic and speedy runner, who excelled in the California Collegiate Summer League, earning All-Star honors, will be an impact catcher for the Trojans, along with senior graduate transfer Cris Perez, who brings experience from the ACC Conference with three seasons at Duke. Freshman Blake Sabol will be backing up the duo, along with senior AJ Fritts, sophomore Zack Sharpley and freshman Daniel Edson.
IT'S IN THEIR BLOOD- Sophomores CJ Stubbs and Lars Nootbaar are following in the footsteps of their older brothers who also wore the Cardinal and Gold. CJ's older brother Garrett competed for Troy from 2012-2015 and earned First Team All-America honors, was the 2015 Johnny Bench Award winner and the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year in 2015. He currently is in the Houston Astros organization after being an eighth round pick in 2015. Lars' older brother Nigel was a right-handed pitcher for the Trojans from 2012-14, leaving for the draft in 2014.Lars is poised to have a breakout season in 2017. Currently there is one set of brothers on the team, as freshman catcher Daniel Edson joins redshirt senior utility David Edson as a Trojan.
2016 DRAFT-- A record 12 Trojans were drafted in the 2016 MLB First Year Player Draft, the most in program history since the current draft format was adopted in 1980. The old record was 11 in 1998, when the team was coming off the program's last national championship. C Jeremy Martinez was first off the board, 4th Rd to the St. Louis Cardinals, RHP Brooks Kriske (6th Rd, Yankees), LHP Bernardo Flores (Chicago White Sox), RHP Kyle Davis (14th Rd, Seattle Mariners), RHP Brent Wheatley (17th Rd, Miami Marlins), OF David Oppenheim (18th Rd, LA Angels), LHP Marc Huberman (18th Rd, Chicago Cubs), LHP Andrew Wright (21st Rd, Cincinnati Reds), RHP Joe Navilhon (21st Rd, Detroit Tigers), OF Timmy Robinson (21st Rd, Yankees), RHP Jeff Paschke (22nd Rd, LA Dodgers), OF Corey Dempster (37th Rd, Yankees). Overall the Trojans have had 328 players drafted since the draft's inception in 1965.
IN THE PAC-12 -- The Trojans were picked to finish 10th in the Pac-12 in 2017. Last season the Trojans were selected to finish fifth. The Trojans are looking to channel their 2014 season, when they were voted to finish ninth in the Pac-12, but finished tied for fourth and were one of the last four teams left out of the NCAA Tournament.
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 and on Snapchat with the handle baseball_usc.
TROJANS IN THE MAJORS -- In the history of the USC baseball program, a total of 111 players had made it to the major leagues. Current major leaguers on opening day include Tommy Milone (Milwaukee Brewers); Brad Boxberger (Tampa Bay Rays); Lucas Duda (New York Mets); Ian Kennedy (Kansas City Royals); JP Howell (Toronto Blue Jays); Andrew Triggs, Daniel Columbe (Oakland A's). Trojans are also found throughout the coaching ranks -- Brian Bannister (Boston Red Sox, Vice President, Pitching Development/Assistant Pitching Coach), Jason Brown (NY Yankees, Bullpen Catcher), Rich Dauer (Houston Astros, First Base Coach), Jacque Jones (Washington Nationals, Assistant Hitting Coach), Jason Lane (Milwaukee Brewers), Mark McGwire (San Diego Padres, Bench Coach), Brent Strom (Houston Astros, Pitching Coach).