Baseball Prepares For 10th Straight NCAA Tournament Appearance
May 28, 2002
LOS ANGELES - The No. 17 USC baseball team (34-22) - winner of 12 NCAA championships, more than twice as many as any other school - will host the 2002 NCAA First-Round Regional (May 31-June 2) at Dedeaux Field. The double-elimination regional field includes No. 2 seed and No. 15-ranked Cal State Northridge (40-15), Big West Conference champions; No. 3 seed Maine (40-15), America East champions; and No. 4 seed BYU (29-29-1), Mountain West Conference champions. This is the third time in four years that the Trojans have hosted a first-round regional (1999, 2001 and 2002). USC won the Pac-10 Conference championship with a 17-7 record, winning back-to-back titles and its fourth title in eight years. All USC games of the regional will be broadcast live on usctrojans.com.
REGIONAL TICKET PRICES - An all-tournament pass for the NCAA First-Round Regional, good for every game, costs $50 for adults and $30 for students and seniors. Single-game tickets on Friday and Saturday are $10 for adults and $7 for students and seniors. Single-game tickets for Sunday (or Monday) are $15 for adults and $10 for students and seniors. All-tournament passes can be purchased by calling (213) 740-GOSC. Single-game tickets will only be available on the day of the game.
TITLE RUN - USC went 17-7 this season to win back-to-back Pac-10 Conference championships for the first time since 1995 and 1996. It was the fourth title for the Trojans in the last eight years, the fifth title under head coach Mike Gillespie and the 38th title in school history. In a preseason poll of the Pac-10 coaches, USC was picked to finish second in the conference behind Stanford.
TROJANS IN THE POSTSEASON - USC has a 201-72 overall postseason record. The Trojans have played in 29 league, district or regional tournaments at home and have registered a 65-13 record in those games. The Trojans went 5-0 at Dedeaux Field last year by going 3-0 at the NCAA First-Round Regional (including a dramatic 4-3 win against Pepperdine on a three-run homer in the ninth by Michael Moon) and sweeping Florida International in the NCAA Super Regional.
RANKINGS - USC is ranked No. 17 in the nation by Baseball America, No. 18 by Collegiate Baseball and No. 19 by USA Today Baseball Weekly/ESPN. Cal State Northridge is No. 15 by Baseball America, No. 16 by Collegiate Baseball and No. 17 by USA Today Baseball Weekly/ESPN. Maine and BYU are not ranked in any of the three polls.
CAL STATE NORTHRIDGE NOTES - Cal State Northridge finished the regular season with a 40-15 record and won the Big West Conference title by two games over second-place Long Beach State. Head coach Mike Batesole, headed to Fresno State after the season, is 218-141-1 in his seventh season at Cal State Northridge. The Matadors are batting .305 as a team while their pitching staff has a 4.60 ERA. Two transfer players have made an impact for the Matadors with second baseman Shaun Larkin (Texas Tech) batting .364 with 15 home runs and 48 RBI and former USC outfielder Eric Verbryke batting .335 with 14 home runs and 52 RBI. Junior left-hander Bill Murphy is 9-3 on the season with a 3.43 ERA (102 1/3 IP, 85 H, 60 BB, 127 SO, .224 opponents' batting average). USC leads the all-time series with Cal State Northridge by a 46-19 margin. USC has not faced Cal State Northridge ever in the postseason.
MAINE NOTES - Maine finished the regular season with a 40-15 record and won the America East Conference title after sweeping Northeastern (8-2 and 7-5) at the tournament last Saturday. Head coach Paul Kostacopoulos is 177-135 in his sixth season at Maine. The Black Bears are hitting .317 as a team while their pitching staff has a 4.63 ERA. Junior third baseman/catcher Joe Drapeau is batting .345 and leads the team in home runs (11) and RBI (59). Sophomore right-hander Mike MacDonald is 7-2 with a 3.10 ERA (78 1/3 IP, 71 H, 26 BB, 65 SO, .243 opponents' batting average). The Trojans and Black Bears have met only twice with USC defeating Maine, 12-3, in the last meeting on March 24, 1982. Maine eliminated USC in the first meeting, 2-1, at the 1964 College World Series.
BYU NOTES - BYU finished the regular season with a 29-29-1 record and won the Mountain West Conference title by sweeping San Diego State (6-4 and 5-3) at the MWC Tournament last Saturday in Provo. Head coach Vance Law is 96-80-1 in his third season at BYU. The Cougars are batting .320 as a team while their pitching staff has a 6.74 ERA. Sophomore first baseman Dave Jensen leads the team with a .393 batting average, 10 home runs and 64 RBI. As a team, the Cougars have 98 stolen bases on the season including four players with 10 or more stolen bases (junior Cameron Coughlan has 29). USC leads the all-time series with BYU by a 23-4 margin. The Trojans last met the Cougars on May 27, 1988, at the NCAA West I Regional at Fresno State as USC picked up the 9-8 win. USC also holds a 3-0 lead against BYU in postseason play.
BASEBALL SWEEP CLINCHES LEXUS GAUNTLET - USC's three-game sweep of UCLA last weekend at Jackie Robinson Stadium clinched the first-annual Lexus Gauntlet trophy presented by the Southern California Lexus Dealer Association. Although both teams scored 55 points in the year-long all-sports competition, USC's baseball sweep gave the Trojans the advantage in the tiebreaker. The battle for the Lexus Gauntlet trophy saw the Trojans and Bruins compete against each other in 18 sports. Five points were awarded to the winner of the each sport's season series or, for those sports that did not meet head-to-head, the team that placed higher in the conference championship (10 points were awarded in football, men's and women's basketball and women's volleyball). 'What a great competition it was to come down to the wire like this,' said Garrett. 'We are extremely delighted to win the first-ever Lexus Gauntlet trophy. It just goes to show how evenly matched these two great universities are and what a fantastic rivalry this is. I want to thank the Southern California Lexus Dealers for celebrating this rivalry in such a unique way.' The Southern California Lexus Dealer Association is the title sponsor of every USC-UCLA athletic competition. This is the first time the two universities have partnered with a corporate entity for complete rivalry sponsorship. In the fall of 2001, the schools signed a four-year contract of undisclosed terms with Lexus, America's best-selling luxury automotive manufacturer for two years in a row. For recaps of the year-long competition visit www.gauntlettrophy.com.
PAC-10 CONFERENCE HONORS - Junior Alberto Concepcion was named Pac-10 Player of the Year on May 28 while Mike Gillespie earned Pac-10 Coach of the Year honors. Concepcion leads USC in several offensive categories, including batting average (.383), hits (82), doubles (20), triples (4), total bases (143) and on-base percentage (.482). He also ranks among conference leaders in batting average (2nd), on-base percentage (2nd), doubles (2nd), total bases (2nd), hits (3rd), triples (t-4th), slugging percentage (.668, 5th) and runs (56, 7th). He becomes just the fourth Trojan to ever win the honor (Tim Tolman, 1978; Mark McGwire, 1984; Geoff Jenkins, 1995). Gillespie was named conference coach of the year for the fourth time in his career (1991, 1995, 1996, 2002). Four other Trojans earned All-Pac-10 honors: Brian Barre, Joey Metropoulos, Bill Peavey and Anthony Reyes while Cory Campos, Anthony Lunetta, Michael Moon and Nick Mosich earned honorable mention honors.
WEEKEND RECAP - The Trojans swept the UCLA Bruins (5-4 in 12 innings, 16-10 and 13-3) to win the Pac-10 Conference title outright, finishing one game ahead of Stanford. Brian Barre hit .467 (7-for-15) in the series with two home runs, a double, two RBI and six runs scored to earn Pac-10 Player of the Week honors while Brett Bannister registered two wins in relief appearances (2-0, 0.96 ERA, 9 1/3 IP, 7 H, 2 BB, 10 SO) to earn Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week honors. SUNDAY, MAY 26 AT UCLA - Joey Metropoulos led the Trojans by going 3-for-5 with a double, home run and seven RBI. USC put the game away with six runs in the eighth inning. Brett Bannister picked up his second win in three days by allowing one run on three hits in 3 1/3 innings. Cory Campos threw 2 2/3 scoreless innings to earn his fifth save of the season. Michael Morales hit his first career homer with a three-run shot to left. SATURDAY, MAY 25 AT UCLA - The Trojans banged out a season-high four home runs (Brian Barre, Bill Peavey, Joey Metropoulos and Michael Moon). Peavey and Moon had four RBI each. Cory Campos earned the win by throwing 3 2/3 scoreless innings, allowing two hits. FRIDAY, MAY 24 AT UCLA - Bill Peavey's RBI single in the 12th gave the Trojans their first extra-inning win in four tries this season. Brett Bannister threw six scoreless innings in relief, allowing four hits with a walk and seven strikeouts to earn the victory. Anthony Lunetta went 3-for-4, including his first home run of the season.
FEAST OR FAMINE - In 27 of the Trojans' 56 games this season, the team has either won or lost by a margin of five or more runs. USC is 16-11 this season when the margin of victory or defeat is five runs or more.
STRETCH RUN - The Trojans have gone 22-9 since March 24 when the team was 12-13 overall. USC has hit .327 during that 31-game stretch.
POTENT OFFENSE - The Trojans had their school-record streak of eight games scoring in double digits snapped on April 30 against Pepperdine. USC batted .405 during the streak with 16 home runs, averaging 12.75 runs per game. Four starters during the streak batted over .450 during the eight games: Alberto Concepcion (.600), Bill Peavey (.500), Michael Moon (.486) and Joey Metropoulos (.464).
THERE'S NO PLACE LIKE THE ROAD - With construction at Dedeaux Field, the Trojans played their first 22 games of 2002 on the road (the three-game series against Baylor, Feb. 15-17, was played at Dodger Stadium). The $4 million project at Dedeaux Field, which was completed prior to the Washington series (May 10-12), adds a new clubhouse, players' lounge, expanded coaching offices, Hall of Fame and restrooms. Capacity at Dedeaux Field will be increased to 2,500 with additional seating on the first base side.
600 WINS FOR DEDEAUX - On April 2 in a 13-5 win against UC Irvine, the USC baseball team registered its 600th victory at Dedeaux Field, which opened in 1974. The Trojans have averaged over 21 wins at Dedeaux Field in the last nine seasons. This year, USC is 13-8 and had only 21 games on its home schedule.
ONE CRAZY SEASON - The 2002 season has produced some strange moments for the Trojans: FEBRUARY 23 - The Trojans produced 26 runs on 26 hits in a 26-4 win at UCLA. It was the highest output of runs in the all-time series against UCLA, dating back to 1921, and tied the largest margin of victory (22 runs). The Trojans also defeated the Bruins by 22 runs on March 23, 1958 (23-1). The 26 runs was USC's most runs since May 25, 1990, when USC defeated Houston, 26-11, at the South I Regional in Baton Rouge, La. The number tied the mark for the third-highest number of runs produced in school history (the school record is 35, set on May 5, 1959, vs. Occidental). Ironically, the Trojans held a 24-0 lead in the seventh inning, three short of the football team's 27-0 shutout against UCLA last November at the Coliseum. The Trojans also scored 10 runs in the second inning, all of them with two outs. They were three runs away from tying the school record for most runs in an inning (13, twice...last time vs. UNC Greensboro on May 26, 1994, at the South Regional in Baton Rouge, La.). MARCH 9 - Travis McAndrews hit a grand slam against Notre Dame at the Express College Classic in the third as the Trojans held an 8-4 lead, going into the bottom of the fourth. The game took a scary turn when Notre Dame freshman shortstop Matt Edwards broke his right leg in a collision with left fielder Matt Bok. The game was suspended for 40 minutes as Edwards was taken to a nearby hospital. The Irish were truly in a fighting mode as the team scored 11 unanswered runs after the delay, including six runs in the ninth for a 15-8 win against the Trojans. MARCH 19 - The final game of the 22-game 'road trip' produced the worst loss ever in USC's history with a 31-7 defeat at Loyola Marymount. The loss produced three school records: most runs allowed in a game, largest margin of defeat and most hits allowed (27). LMU's Jonathan Oller hit two three-run homers as part of a 10-run seventh inning. The Lions added eight more runs in the eighth as USC used eight pitchers. Reserve infielder Dale Legaspi pitched the final inning for the Trojans, allowing one run on three hits. The Trojans also committed five errors on the afternoon. USC was playing its fifth road game in seven days and had played the night before in San Diego, arriving on campus at 1:30 a.m. before playing 12 hours later at LMU. APRIL 20 - After going a career-best 5-for-5 the night before, senior first baseman Bill Peavey gets a career-high six RBI on a 3-for-3 afternoon with two home runs in a 15-3 win at Washington State. Peavey's second home run is a solo shot to right that lands on a putting green on WSU's golf course located outside of Bailey-Brayton Field. When a WSU manager goes to get the ball, golfers show him that the ball Peavey hit rolled onto the green and landed into one of the putting green holes for an unconventional 'hole-in-one.' APRIL 23 - With the score tied at 6-6 in the bottom of the eighth and the bases loaded with a 2-1 count on Bill Peavey, USC head coach Mike Gillespie calls for a triple steal against No. 25 San Diego State closer Royce Ring and Michael Morales slides under the tag for the go-ahead run. The Trojans would go on to defeat the Aztecs by a 10-8 score.
COACH'S CORNER - Mike Gillespie, in his 16th season as the Trojans' head coach, has a 642-354-2 (.644) career record and has led USC to the 1998 national championship, five conference titles (1991, 1995, 1996, 2001, 2002), 14 trips to the NCAA Regionals in 16 years (reaching the regional finals 11 times), and trips to the 1995, 1998, 2000 and 2001 College World Series (Troy finished as the nation's runner-up in 1995). He was named the 1998 National Coach of the Year, the Pac-10 Coach of the Year four times (1991, 1995, 1996, 2002) and the West Region Coach of the Year twice (1996, 1998). The starting leftfielder on USC's 1961 NCAA-winning team, he is one of just two men who have both coached and played on championship teams. Gillespie also was named by the United States Olympic Committee as the baseball coach of the year after serving as the head coach for the 2000 U.S. National Team, which posted a 27-3-1 record and the best winning percentage in club history.
A COACHING MILESTONE - Head coach Mike Gillespie will record a milestone this weekend. Saturday's first game in the NCAA First-Round Regional will be the 1,000th game coached by Gillespie in 16 seasons at USC.
MAKING IT TO THE SHOW - Former USC left-handed pitcher Randy Flores became the 86th player in Trojans' history to reach the major leagues on April 23 when he was called up by the Texas Rangers. Flores, the 18th player to have played for head coach Mike Gillespie and reach the majors, still holds school career records for wins (42) and innings pitched (484 1/3) from 1994-97. His 484 1/3 innings pitched is the most by a Pac-10 Conference pitcher as well. Former outfielder/pitcher Jason Lane became the 87th player on May 9 when he was called up by the Houston Astros. Lane was batting .303 with the triple-A New Orleans Zephyrs before getting the call. Last year, Lane was named as the Texas League Player of the Year with the Double-A Round Rock Express after batting .316 with 38 home runs and 124 RBI. On May 18, Mark Prior continued his meteoric rise and becoming the 88th player when the Chicago Cubs called him up. In his much-anticipated major league debut on May 22 against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Wrigley Field, Prior recorded the win by throwing six innings (6 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 10 SO). Prior, who was the No. 2 overall selection in last year's draft, was called up to the Iowa Cubs at the triple-A level and won his first two starts without allowing an earned run (12 1/3 IP, 7 H, 6 BB, 20 SO). In his first start on May 7 against the Tucson Sidewinders, Prior struck out 10 batters in 7 2/3 innings and received curtain calls after hitting two home runs. On May 12, he struck out 10 in 4 2/3 innings against the Las Vegas 51s and hit a bases-loaded triple. He was 4-1 with a 2.60 at Double-A West Tennessee (34 2/3 IP, 25 H, 10 BB, 55 SO).
SHOOTING FOR THE SULLIVAN - Former USC standout pitcher Mark Prior was one of five finalists for the 2002 Sullivan Award, which recognizes the top amateur athlete in the nation and is considered the 'Oscar' of sports awards. Michelle Kwan (figure skating) won the award in a ceremony on April 9 at the New York Athletic Club. The finalists were selected based on their qualities of leadership, character, sportsmanship and the ideals of amateurism during the 2001 calendar year. The award is presented by the Amateur Athletic Union. Prior, who won the 2001 Golden Spikes Award, is only the fourth baseball player in the 72-year history of the award to be named as one of the finalists. He was selected along with Kwan, Natalie Coughlin (swimming), Sean Townsend (gymnastics) and Alan Webb (track and field).
USC: PITCHING PERFECTION - A member of the Trojans' pitching staff won the honor of Pac-10 Conference Pitcher of the Year four straight years. Seth Etherton (now with the Cincinnati Reds) won the honor in 1998, Barry Zito (Oakland Athletics) in 1999, Rik Currier, who earned Co-Pitcher of the Year honors, in 2000 and Mark Prior in 2001.
PLAYING FOR THE U.S.A. - The Trojans have three players with national team experience. Junior pitcher Anthony Reyes was a member of the 2000 and 2001 USA National Team. Freshman pitcher Matt Chico pitched for the 2000 and 2001 USA Junior National Team while junior pitcher Chad Clark pitched on the 1998 USA Junior National Team.
CATCH A RISING STAR - Junior catcher Alberto Concepcion (El Segundo/El Segundo HS) has provided some power in the middle of the lineup this season and is making a push for All-America honors after being named Pac-10 Conference Player of the Year. He was named on May 14 as one of ten semi-finalists for the 2002 Johnny Bench Award, given by the Greater Wichita Area Sports Commission to the nation's top collegiate catcher. Concepcion is batting .383 (82-for-214) with 20 doubles, four triples, 11 home runs and 46 RBI. He leads USC in several offensive categories, including batting average (.383), hits (82), doubles (20), triples (4), total bases (143) and on-base percentage (.482). He also ranks among conference leaders in batting average (2nd), on-base percentage (2nd), doubles (2nd), total bases (2nd), hits (3rd), triples (t-4th), slugging percentage (.668, 5th) and runs (56, 7th). He becomes just the fourth Trojan to ever win the honor (Tim Tolman, 1978; Mark McGwire, 1984; Geoff Jenkins, 1995). This season, he has had separate hitting streaks of 11 and 14 games. Concepcion earned Pac-10 Player of the Week honors by going 9-for-16 (.562) in five games from April 23-28 with three doubles, three home runs, eight RBI, 12 runs and nine walks. On April 26 vs. Arizona, he went 4-for-5 with a two doubles, a home run and two RBI. During the Washington State series, Concepcion went 9-for-14 (.643) with two triples, a home run and 10 RBI. He snapped a 7-7 tie with a three-run homer on April 21 at Washington State in the 13-9 victory. In the April 19 game at WSU, he went 4-for-6 with a triple and four RBI. He had a 14-game hitting streak snapped on March 30 against California. On March 28 against California, he went 4-for-4 with a double, triple and two RBI. Concepcion went 5-for-11 (.455) with one RBI at Long Beach State (Feb. 8-10) and threw out three runners on six stolen base attempts against him. Before the start of the season, he earned 2002 Baseball America Preseason All-America second team and Collegiate Baseball Preseason All-America third team honors. Last year, he batted .321 with seven home runs and 41 RBI. Defensively, he threw out 26 of 100 runners (26.0 %). He batted .299 in his 2000 freshman season with eight home runs and 22 RBI.
SPEED CAMP - Senior first baseman Bill Peavey (Brisbane/Serra HS) is coming off a career season in 2001 where he batted .305 with seven home runs and 48 RBI, which tied teammate Brian Barre for the team lead. He went to a speed and conditioning camp last summer and the 6-4, 240-pound Peavey has improved his hitting and defense. Peavey is batting .355 (71-for-200) this season with a career-high 14 home runs and 68 RBI, earning him All-Pac-10 honors. He had a 17-game hitting streak snapped on April 27 vs. Arizona. On April 2 against UC Irvine, he went 2-for-4 with a double, home run and three RBI. He went 3-for-4 with a home run and two RBI on Feb. 24 in a 6-3 win at UCLA. Peavey hit two home runs on June 9, 2001, against Georgia at the College World Series in Omaha, including one hit over the 30-foot-fence in center field.
CAREER DAYS - Bill Peavey had back-to-back career days during the Washington State series. On April 19, he recorded a 5-for-5 night with three doubles and one RBI. On April 20, he went 3-for-3 with two home runs, including a grand slam in the first, and a career-high six RBI. His second home run, a solo shot in the ninth, landed on a putting green on the golf course situated outside of Bailey-Brayton Field and actually rolled into one of the cups for the unconventional 'hole-in-one'. In four games on the week of April 16-21, Peavey went 11-for-15 with three doubles, three home runs and 10 RBI, earning him Louisville Slugger/Collegiate Baseball National Player of the Week honors.
SUPERMAN IN METROPOULOS - Freshman designated hitter Joey Metropoulos was drafted in the 16th round of the 2001 draft by the Detroit Tigers and is making a push for Freshman All-America honors after earning All-Pac-10 honors. Metropoulos is batting .358 (62-for-173) with 13 home runs and 63 RBI. Metropoulos missed the school record for most RBI in a game by one when he registered seven RBI in a 3-for-5 performance on May 26 at UCLA with a single, double and home run. He also recorded five RBI on April 26 vs. Arizona with a 4-for-5 performance with a double and home run. On April 13 at No. 2 Stanford, he went 3-for-5 with a three-run homer that started a six-run first inning in the Trojans' 16-11 victory. He sprained his right ankle on March 23 against Stanford, but still played in the California series. Metropoulos hit a two-run homer as part of a six-run inning in a 13-9 win on March 30 against California. On March 17 at Pepperdine, he went 3-for-4 with two doubles, a triple and three RBI. He hit a pinch-hit three-run homer on March 8 against TCU at the Dell Diamond in Round Rock, Tx. The homer hit the top of the Round Rock Express' clubhouse in left field, estimated to be around 475-500 feet away from home plate.
MAN ON THE MOON - Sophomore shortstop Michael Moon (Alta Loma/Rancho Cucamonga HS) provided a solid freshman season last year, batting .313 with six home runs and 35 RBI. This year, he is batting .347 (75-for-216) with six home runs and 54 RBI and earned Pac-10 honorable mention honors. He has a five-game hitting streak, batting .435 (10-for-23) and has three home runs during that stretch. On May 25 at UCLA, he went 2-for-3 with a home run and four RBI. Moon registered a career-high five RBI on May 19 at Arizona State with a home run and three-run double and on April 27 vs. Arizona in a 4-for-4 day with a double and a three-run homer. He delivered a three-run homer on May 18 at Arizona State for the go-ahead runs in the seventh in the Trojans' 9-5 win. He has registered four four-hit games this season (Feb. 10 at Long Beach State, March 30 vs. California, April 21 at Washington State and April 27 vs. Arizona). He went 5-for-13 (.385) with three RBI at Long Beach State (Feb. 8-10), including a 4-for-4 afternoon on Sunday, Feb. 10. Last year, Moon went 7-for-13 (.538) with a triple, home run and five RBI at the NCAA Regional to earn Most Outstanding Player honors. He also stole home during the regional on May 25, 2001, vs. Oral Roberts. He delivered one of the most electrifying moments in the history of Dedeaux Field on May 26 during the NCAA Regional. Down 3-2 against Pepperdine with a runner at first, Moon hit a 1-2 pitch from Noah Lowry over the right field wall for the game-winning walk-off homer to cap a three-run rally in the bottom of the ninth.
REYES OF SUNSHINE - With the loss of pitchers Mark Prior and Rik Currier, the Trojans have looked to junior pitcher Anthony Reyes (Whittier/California HS) to assume the No. 1 spot on the weekend rotation. A sore right elbow kept Reyes from pitching until March 17 when he made his first appearance of the season in a limited start (1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 0 SO). Reyes is 4-1 with a 3.08 ERA (52 2/3 IP, 53 H, 14 BB, 44 SO, .265 opponents' batting average) and was named All-Pac-10. He earned 2002 Preseason All-America first team honors by Baseball America and Collegiate Baseball. As the No. 3 starter on the team, Reyes posted a 5-4 record last year with a 3.72 ERA (109 IP, 111 H, 25 BB, 97 SO) and a 6-6 record with a 4.02 ERA in his 2000 freshman season (96 1/3 IP, 98 H, 45 BB, 86 SO).
THE CRUSHER - Listed at 5-9, senior Brian Barre (Garden Grove/Pacifica HS) packs a big punch for the Trojans as the starting centerfielder. Barre currently is batting .335 (74-for-221) with 11 home runs and 37 RBI and was named All-Pac-10. During the UCLA series (May 24-26), Barre batted .467 (7-for-15) with two home runs, a double, two RBI and six runs scored to earn Pac-10 Player of the Week honors for the first time in his career. He hit three doubles against No. 1 Stanford on March 23 and went 3-for-5 with two home runs and five RBI in the Trojans' 15-5 win on March 13 at No. 20 San Diego. On March 1 against No. 6 Miami, Barre went 2-for-4 with two home runs and four RBI and went 5-for-13 (.385) with two RBI against Long Beach State (Feb. 8-10). Last year, Barre led the team in batting average (.345), home runs (13), stolen bases (20), slugging percentage (.560) and on-base percentage (.445). He also tied for the team lead with teammate Bill Peavey in RBI (48). For his efforts, he earned All-Pac-10 honors.
BANNY SQUARED - Freshman pitcher Brett Bannister has been USC's most pleasant surprise this season. Bannister is 7-3 on the season with a 3.81 ERA (75 2/3 IP, 74 H, 30 BB, 68 SO, .252 opponents' batting average). He earned Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week honors for recording two wins during the UCLA series (May 24-26) with 9 1/3 total innings, allowing seven hits, two walks and 10 strikeouts. On May 24, he threw six scoreless innings with seven strikeouts in USC's 5-4 win in 12 innings against UCLA. On May 12 against Washington, he moved back into the starting rotation with his sixth start of the season, allowing three runs in five innings and recorded a no-decision. He threw 6 1/3 innings of relief on April 30 vs. Pepperdine, allowing only one unearned run on six hits with six strikeouts. On March 29 vs. California, he threw five innings in relief for the victory (5 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 4 SO). He made his first collegiate start on Feb. 17 vs. Baylor at Dodger Stadium and threw 5 1/3 scoreless innings (3 H, 2 BB, 5 SO) before leaving the game in the sixth after being struck by a line drive. X-rays were negative and Bannister pitched the following Sunday against UCLA. Bannister recorded his first win on Feb. 12 at UC Riverside (11-7), with 4 2/3 scoreless innings in relief (2 H, 1 BB, 4 SO). He and his brother, Brian, who is a junior pitcher for the Trojans and has been sidelined all season after right elbow surgery, are the sons of Floyd, the former No. 1 draft pick out of Arizona State and major-league pitcher.
CAMP CORY - Junior Cory Campos (Los Angeles/Wilson HS/Los Angeles CC) has been a valuable left-hander out of the Trojans' bullpen this season. Campos is 5-2 this season with a 4.02 ERA and five saves (53 2/3 IP, 57 H, 15 BB, 55 SO, .275 opponents' batting average) and earned Pac-10 honorable mention honors. He had a strong week from April 16-21, going 2-0 with a save and 0.79 ERA (11 1/3 IP, 7 H, 1 BB, 11 SO). He threw five innings, allowing one run on two hits, to get the win on April 16 against Loyola Marymount and did not allow a run in 6 1/3 innings during two appearances on April 19 and 21 at Washington State. He struck out six batters and did not allow a walk in four innings on March 23 against Stanford.
GORDON IN A FLASH - Junior outfielder David Gordon was sidelined through the first part of the season with a broken right thumb, but has made up for it since making his first appearance on March 5 at UC Irvine. Gordon has made 26 starts in 34 games and is batting .329 (28-for-85) with a home run and 22 RBI. He went 4-for-5 with two doubles and four RBI on April 13 at No. 2 Stanford. On March 17 at Pepperdine, he went 3-for-4 with three RBI in the Trojans' 18-6 victory.
MAKING THE TRANSITION - Junior outfielder Travis McAndrews has made the switch to Division I baseball after earning All-America honors last year at L.A. Harbor College. McAndrews is batting .312 (39-for-125) with a two home runs and 24 RBI. On March 18 at San Diego State, McAndrews hit a pinch-hit, three-run homer to break a tie in the seventh in the Trojans' 8-6 win. He hit a grand slam against Notre Dame on March 9 at the Express College Classic in Round Rock, Tx. He was the first Trojan to hit a grand slam since Brian Barre on Feb. 3, 2001, vs. Louisville.
CHICO STATE - Pitcher Matt Chico became the first freshman in head coach Mike Gillespie's 16-year career at USC to start a season opener. Despite picking up the loss on Feb. 8 at Long Beach State, Chico showed promise in the 2-0 defeat by pitching out of several jams. He went 4 1/3 innings, allowing two runs (one earned) on seven hits with three walks and four strikeouts. Chico showed his versatility by being the designated hitter the following day and playing in left field in the series finale on Feb. 10. His best outing came on March 28 against California (7 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 13 SO) in the Trojans' 11-3 win. He is 6-4 on the season with a 5.45 ERA (69 1/3 IP, 81 H, 47 BB, 69 SO, .297 opponents' batting average). On April 20 at Washington State, he threw six scoreless innings, allowing two hits, to earn the victory. Chico earned his first collegiate win on Feb. 22 at UCLA in a 1-0 victory, throwing 7 1/3 scoreless innings (5 H, 5 BB, 3 SO). He was selected in the second round (61st overall) by the Boston Red Sox in the 2001 draft.
CAREER MARKS - Here are some updated numbers for USC players currently in the Top 20 lists:- Brian Barre with 217 hits needs four to tie Jeff Cirillo for 13th place, seven to tie Greg Walbridge for 12th place and nine to tie Brett Jenkins for 11th place.- Barre with 30 home runs needs two to tie Pat Harrison and Brad Ticehurst for seventh place and three to tie Mike Robertson for sixth place.- Barre with 169 runs scored six to tie Walter Dawkins and Morgan Ensberg for fourth place.- Barre with 46 stolen bases needs three to tie Jon Wells for fifth place.- Barre with 122 walks needs two to tie Morgan Ensberg for fourth place and five to tie Wes Rachels for third place.- Bill Peavey with 144 runs batted in needs two to tie Eric Munson for ninth place and five to tie Pat Harrison and Morgan Ensberg for seventh place.
SEASON MARKS - Here are some updated numbers for USC players currently in or close to entering the Top 20 lists:- Bill Peavey with 68 RBI needs one to tie Morgan Ensberg (1998) for eighth place and four to tie Jeff Inglin (1996) for seventh place.- Peavey with 14 home runs needs one to tie Rich Dauer (1974) and Geoff Jenkins (1994) for 18th place and two to tie five players for 13th place.- Brian Barre needs with 70 runs scored needs two to tie Mark Smith (1991) for sixth place and three to tie Gabe Alvarez (1995) for fifth place. The school record is 75, held by Rich Dauer (1974), Mark McGwire (1984) and Geoff Jenkins (1995).- Alberto Concepcion with 20 doubles needs one to tie three players for seventh place and two to tie Morgan Ensberg (1998) and Anthony Lunetta (2000) for fifth place.
ROSTER CHANGE - Freshman J.P. Howell has left the team and will not return.
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 in the last seven years (1995-1998-2000-2001), winning their 12th CWS title in 1998. USC has the most wins (74) at the CWS and is second for most appearances (21) behind Texas (27).
2001 SEASON RECAP - The Pac-10 Conference championship, a return visit to the College World Series and perhaps one of the greatest individual seasons in collegiate baseball history highlighted the 2001 season for the Trojans. USC finished with a 45-19 overall record and an 18-6 mark in Pac-10 play, winning the conference title on the final day of the regular season at Oregon State. The Trojans went 5-0 with sweeps at home in the NCAA First Round Regional and NCAA Super Regional to earn their 21st CWS appearance in Omaha. After an opening 11-5 win against Georgia, the Trojans' season ended with losses against eventual national champion Miami (4-3) and Tennessee (10-2). Pitcher Mark Prior turned in one of the best seasons ever, becoming the first Trojan to win the Golden Spikes Award, given by USA Baseball to the top amateur baseball player in the nation. Prior became only the second player in history to sweep every major national player of the year award. He earned first team All-America honors and was drafted No. 2 overall by the Chicago Cubs while senior pitcher Rik Currier earned third team All-America honors. Prior was named Pac-10 Pitcher of the Year while Currier and outfielder Brian Barre earned All-Pac-10 honors.
TEAM OF THE 20TH CENTURY - No other university can match the collegiate baseball tradition of USC, and it showed when Baseball America awarded the Trojans the title of 'Greatest Program of the 20th Century' in its Feb. 1, 1999 issue. Troy has an unprecedented 12 NCAA championships (no other school has more than five), 38 conference titles and 21 College World Series appearances (second most in the nation). Legendary former coach Rod Dedeaux was named 'Coach of the Century' by both Collegiate Baseball and Baseball America. Trojan players have been named All-American first teamers 80 times, and 88 players have gone on to play in the majors, including such stars as Randy Johnson, Mark McGwire, Bret Boone, Jeff Cirillo, Barry Zito, Geoff Jenkins, Jacque Jones, Tom Seaver, Fred Lynn, Roy Smalley and Ron Fairly.