No. 15 Trojans Ready for First NCAA Regional Since 2005|
May 28, 2015
LOS ANGELES -- The No. 15 Trojans (37-19, 18-12 Pac-12) earned their first regional bid since 2005, their 36th regional appearance all-time and will face Virginia (34-22, 15-15 ACC) in the first round of the tournament. The Trojans drew the No. 2 seed in the Lake Elsinore Regional, hosted by UC Santa Barbara. UCSB is the No. 1 seed, Virginia is the No. 3 seed and San Diego State is the No. 4 seed. Their first game is a 3 p.m. PT on Friday, May 29.
The Trojans enter the tournament after beating rival then-No. 16 Arizona State two-out-of three. After dropping game one, the Trojans won games two and three, 7-4 and 6-3, respectively. Timmy Robinson led the way, batting .444 (4-for-9), with two home runs and three RBI. The Trojans finished the season 18-12 in Pac-12 play and a three-way tie for third place with California and Arizona State.
TROJANS IN THE NCAA TOURNAMENT USC's OVERALL PLAYOFF RECORD: 208-77 USC's PLAYOFF APPEARANCES: (40) (League, district & regional games) 18 league playoff appearances: 34-8 35 district/regional appearances: 100-43 (prior to this regional) USC's CWS APPEARANCES (21): College World Series record: 74-26 12 COLLEGE WORLD SERIES TITLES (most of any school in the nation)
VIRGINIA - The Trojans and the Cavaliers have never met in baseball.
ALL-PAC-12 HONORS - The Trojans had four players selected to the All-Pac-12 First Team, the most since 2002. Catcher Garrett Stubbs, outfielder Bobby Stahel, infielder Dante Flores, and center fielder Timmy Robinson. It was the first All-Pac-12 First Team selection for each. The Trojans also landed four on the honorable mention list - First baseman/catcher Jeremy Martinez, outfielder AJ Ramirez, and pitchers Kyle Twomey and Mitch Hart. Martinez is a two-time honorable mention selection
STUBBS RACKING UP THE HONORS - Stubbs, a semifinalist for the Johnny Bench Award is the first Trojan to be named Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year after throwing out 54 percent of would-be base stealers from behind the plate to lead the conference and all 19 of his fellow Johnny Bench Award semifinalists. The senior also boasts a fielding percentage of .993 in 55 starts that earned him a selection as the catcher on the nine-player All-Defensive Team. Stubbs, who also earned his first All-Pac-12 First Team honors in 2015 after being named honorable mention in 2014, ranks seventh in the Pac-12 with a batting average of .330. Stubbs has the highest on base percentage of any Trojan (.421) and has 70 hits with 13 doubles, one triple and one home run as he drove in 22 runs. His team-high 19 stolen bases rank third in the Pac-12. In his four-year USC career, Stubbs has thrown out slightly more than 50 percent of would-be base stealers in his career with 10 pickoffs. Has a career fielding % of .995, with only 5 errors in 1108 chances. He is the first Trojan catcher to be named a semifinalists since Jeff Clement won the award in 2005.
HOME RUN HITTERS - The new baseballs have definitely helped the Trojans, as they have blasted 33 home runs, the most since 2011 (the most in the BBCOR bat era). AJ Ramirez has eight home runs himself, the most by one Trojan since 2010 when Ricky Oropesa had 20 home runs with the old bats.
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 No. 17 in the NCBWA and Collegiate Baseball rankings and 16th in the D1baseball.com rankings. In Baseball America the Trojans are No. 15. The Trojans haven't been ranked this high since 2003.
FASTEST TO 30 WINS - The Trojans reached 30 wins through 40 games, the fastest since 1996.
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 surpassed that total this year. 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. The Trojans have stolen 93-of-125 bases on the season, ties them at No. 6 on the all-time team USC single-season list. In 2014, they stole a total of 39 bases.
IN THE NATIONAL STATS - The Trojans rank in many national categories. Bobby Stahel is 26th in the nation with a .379 batting average and his 86 hits rank 15th. Jeremy Martinez and Timmy Robinson have eight sac flies apiece, good for eighth nationally. As a team the Trojans lead the nation with 44 sacrifice flies. The team's batting average of .293 ranks 47th nationally. The Trojans are averaging 1.66 stolen bases per game, 21st in the nation and their overall 93 stolen bases are the 18th-most in the nation. The team's ERA of 3.45 ranks 55th nationally. The team's seven shutouts rank 11th nationally.
HITTING STREAK - Bobby Stahel's 22-game hitting streak, the longest since James Roberts had a streak of 21 games in 2012 was snapped on Saturday at Oregon State with an 0-for-5 day at the plate. The program high is 28, set by Jacque Jones in 1995.
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 .379 batting average. Stahel's 86 hits also rank second and his total runs scored (51) rank third. Garrett Stubbs and Timmy Robinson's 19 stolen bases apiece tie them for third in the conference. Timmy Robinson is third in the conference with 50 RBI. The team is second in the conference with 567 total hits and leads in both total stolen bases (93) and stolen bases per game (1.66). The Trojans rank third with a .293 batting average. USC's 3.45 ERA is the sixth-lowest in the conference.
WEEKLY HONORS -- AJ Ramirez, who was named to Collegiate Baseball's national players of the week, also won Pac-12 Player of the Week honors had four multi-hit and four multi-RBI games last week for the Trojans. He hit an even 9-for-18 and had a 1.22 slugging percentage. Seven of his nine hits were for extra bases, as he drove in two against CS Fullerton on Tuesday and then followed it up with 10 RBIs in the series win over Utah. His biggest game came on Saturday, when his grand slam was a part of a 3-for-5 day with five RBIs. Mitch Hart threw the first two-hitter since 2009 in his first career complete game as the Trojans defeated Washington State, 11-0 to earn Pac-12 Pitcher of the Week honors. 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.
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.