No. 22/21 USC Hosts Loyola Marymount Before Key Pac-10 Matchup At No. 9/10 Arizona
April 26, 2005
LOS ANGELES -- The No. 22/21 USC baseball team (26-12, 8-4) -- winners of 12 NCAA championships, more than twice as many as any other school -- will host Loyola Marymount (16-23) on Tuesday (April 26) at 7 p.m. before traveling to No. 9/10 Arizona (27-14, 10-2) for a Pac-10 Conference series, beginning on Friday (April 29) at 7 p.m. The series continues on Saturday (April 30) at 1 p.m. and Sunday (May 1) at 12:30 p.m. All four games will be broadcast live, along with Gametracker live stats, on usctrojans.com. Friday's game will be televised on ESPNU with Saturday's game on FSN and Sunday's game on ESPN.
RANKINGS -- USC is ranked No. 21 in the nation by ESPN/USA Today Sports Weekly and No. 22 by Baseball America. Arizona is ranked No. 9 by Baseball America and No. 10 by ESPN/USA Today Sports Weekly. Loyola Marymount not ranked.
LOYOLA MARYMOUNT NOTES -- Loyola Marymount is 16-23 on the season after being swept last weekend at San Francisco. Frank Cruz, a former assistant under Mike Gillespie, is 245-255-2 in his ninth season at Loyola Marymount. The team is batting .281 while the pitching staff has a 6.01 ERA. Chris Pettit is batting .313 (47-for-150) with seven home runs and 30 RBI. USC leads the all-time series with Loyola Marymount by a 116-19-1 margin.
ARIZONA NOTES -- No. 9/10 Arizona is 27-14 on the season and leading the Pac-10 with a 10-2 record. Head coach Andy Lopez is 129-88-1 in his fourth season at Arizona. The team is batting .328 while the pitching staff has a 4.44 ERA. Trevor Crowe is batting .415 with seven home runs and 43 RBI. Friday's starter John Meloan is 7-0 with a 3.30 ERA (71 IP, 70 H, 26 ER, 39 BB, 90 SO, .255 opponents' batting average). USC leads the all-time series with Arizona by a 106-85-1 margin, but the Wildcats have won five of the last seven meetings.
PAC-10 PRESEASON POLL -- In a preseason poll of the Pac-10 coaches, USC was picked to finish fifth in the conference. Stanford (four first-place votes) was picked to win the conference followed by Washington (two votes), Arizona State (two votes), Arizona (one vote), USC, Oregon State, California, UCLA and Washington State.
LOOK, MA!...I'M ON TV! -- The entire Arizona series (April 29-May 1) in Tucson will be televised on three different networks. The Friday game will be televised on ESPNU, Saturday's game on FSN West and Sunday's game on ESPN. USC is 4-0 this season in televised games.
SCHEDULE CHANGE -- Due to scheduling conflicts, the March 22 game between USC and Pepperdine which was rained out has been cancelled. Instead, the Trojans will host Cal State Northridge on Saturday (May 7) in a 2:30 p.m. game at Dedeaux Field.
TROJANS ON THE NET -- All USC baseball games this season will be broadcast live on www.usctrojans.com. A rotation of USC students Kevin Shaw, Dan Page, Rob McPherson, Corey Slutsky, Jordan Moore and former Trojan Josh Persell will handle the majority of the broadcasts while baseball sports information director Jason Pommier will handle selected road games.
COACH'S CORNER -- Mike Gillespie, in his 19th season as the Trojans' head coach, has a 723-428-2 (.628) 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 18 years (reaching the regional finals 12 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 (1991-95-96-2002) and the West Region Coach of the Year twice (1996-98). 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 (until it was surpassed by the 2003 squad). During his tenure at USC, Gillespie has coached 22 players who have played in the major leagues, including Aaron Boone, Bret Boone, Geoff Jenkins, Jacque Jones, Mark Prior and Barry Zito.
RAIN RAIN GO AWAY -- The Trojans' 2005 schedule has been a wreck with the rain storms that have hammered the southern California region. Seven games have been postponed due to rain, including one halted game at Cal State Fullerton. The updated schedule is as follows: Tuesday (April 12) vs. Cal State Fullerton at 7 p.m. (Feb. 18 makeup), Wednesday (April 13) at UC Santa Barbara at 2 p.m. (Feb. 22/23 makeup), Wednesday (April 20) at Cal State Fullerton at 5 p.m. (Feb. 20 halted game completion with Feb. 19 makeup after) and Wednesday (May 25) vs. Long Beach State at 7 p.m. (Feb. 11 makeup). The April 3 game at Washington was delayed and played the following day in Seattle.
WHEN A WIN IS NOT A WIN -- USC had a 7-2 lead in the eighth at No. 3 Cal State Fullerton on Feb. 20 before the game was halted due to rain. The game was resumed on April 20 with the Trojans earning an 11-2 win. USC knocked out Fullerton ace Ricky Romero with seven runs, including Hector Estrella's career-high, five-RBI performance with a three-run homer. Ian Kennedy struck out 10 batters in eight innings for the Trojans.
ON THE MEND -- First baseman Lucas Duda is out a minimum of 1-3 weeks after suffering a fractured left wrist during the March 25 game against Arizona State. Duda collided with a runner during a close play after a sacrifice bunt was made. Pitcher Brett Bannister is being held out for precautionary reasons due to inflammation in his right elbow and is listed as week-to-week. Outfielder Daniel Perales injured his back prior to the Arizona State series and will be out for the remainder of the season.
THE 700 CLUB -- Head coach Mike Gillespie registered his 700th win for the Trojans on Feb. 13 in a 7-5 win against No. 17 Long Beach State at Dedeaux Field.
OPENING WITH A BANG -- With a 6-0 win on Feb. 8 against San Diego State at Dedeaux Field, the Trojans opened the season with a shutout for the first time since 1988 when USC defeated Cal Poly, 4-0. The Trojan pitching staff recorded 16 strikeouts while allowing just one walk.
ORANGE BOWL OFFENSE -- It was not Matt Leinart, Pete Carroll and the USC football team at Dedeaux Field, but it was awfully close. On March 1 against UC Riverside, the Trojans rallied from an 8-2 deficit in the fourth to score 19 unanswered runs for a 21-8 victory. It was the most runs scored by USC since a 26-4 win at UCLA on Feb. 23, 2002. Both teams stranded 13 runners and accounted for one grand slam. Catcher Jeff Clement went 1-for-4 with a grand slam and five RBI. As a note, UC Riverside's Matt Cunningham came to bat in three consecutive innings with the bases loaded, hitting a three-run double in the third, a grand slam in the fourth and lining out to second in the fifth for a seven-RBI night.
BACK-TO-BACK SHUTOUTS -- The Trojan pitching staff recorded its first back-to-back shutouts on March 19-20 against Stony Brook (10-0) and UC Irvine (5-0) since USC accomplished the feat on Feb. 6-8, 1988. Brett Bannister had a complete game shutout against Stony Brook, the first individual CG shutout by a Trojan since Anthony Reyes on May 29, 2001, against Fresno State at the 2001 NCAA First-Round Regional. With another back-to-back performance (April 9-10 against UCLA), the Trojans threw back-to-back shutouts twice in a season for the first time since 1971.
PLAYING FOR THE USA -- Junior catcher Jeff Clement and sophomore pitcher Ian Kennedy were members of the 2004 U.S. National Team last summer. Clement and Kennedy won the gold medal at the FISU II World University Baseball Championship in Taiwan. Clement batted .275 (19-for-69) with three home runs and 15 RBI. He aided the team in the 5-2 semifinal win against Chinese Taipei with a grand slam in the bottom of the eighth and was named most valuable player for Team USA in the 33rd Annual USA vs. Japan Collegiate All-Star Game Series in Japan, batting .429 (6-for-14) with a home run and two RBI. Kennedy went 3-1 with a 3.86 ERA (26 IP, 21 H, 10 BB, 40 SO, .219 opponent's batting average). His 40 strikeouts led Team USA. During the tournament, he earned the win in a 5-3 victory against Japan. Kennedy had a no-hitter working through 7 1/3 innings and did not allow a hit until his 100th pitch.
CATCH A RISING STAR -- Catcher Jeff Clement (Marshalltown, Iowa/Marshalltown HS) is batting .354 (46-for-130) with 11 doubles, 10 home runs and 33 RBI this season and a candidate for the Johnny Bench Award as the nation's top collegiate catcher. He has 31 walks and leads the team with a .491 on-base percentage. Behind the plate, Clement has thrown out 14 of 35 runners (40%) and had one pickoff at second base. Clement went 4-for-5 with a double and home run on April 23 at Cal. He had a season-high, 15-game hitting streak snapped on April 12 against Cal State Fullerton. He went 2-for-3 with two doubles and two RBI in an 8-2 win on Feb. 27 at No. 13 Stanford. It was the second time he hit two doubles in a game (March 17, 2004, at Tulane). He clubbed his first home run of the season with a grand slam on March 1 against UC Riverside. Clement hit a go-ahead, two-run homer in the seventh on March 6 in a 5-4 win against No. 21 at the Maxwell Auto Group Round Rock Classic. He went 2-for-3 with two home runs and four RBI on March 11 in a 6-1 win over No. 21 Texas Tech at the Public Storage Classic at Dedeaux Field. His sixth homer of the season came on March 29 at Loyola Marymount in a 3-for-4 performance with a single, double and two RBI. After playing for the 2003 and 2004 U.S. National Team, Clement will be viewed as a possible first-round selection in the 2005 major league draft in June. Clement is a 2005 Baseball America Preseason All-America first team selection and is rated as the fifth best junior prospect among college players in the nation. On Feb. 12 against No. 17 Long Beach State, he held on to the ball during a collision at home plate to end the eighth inning on a double play. After a fly ball to center with the game-tying run on third, Clement showed another reason why his defensive skills have improved.
CLEMENT (2003 & 2004) -- In his 2004 sophomore season, Clement batted .293 (58-for-198) with 10 home runs and 43 RBI while also being named as a semifinalist for the 2004 Johnny Bench Award. He missed the first four games of the season after being diagnosed with mononucleosis in late January. Clement broke his 2004 home run drought with a three-run shot on March 16 at No. 14 Tulane and added another three-run homer on March 19 at South Alabama. On April 4 at No. 14 Arizona State, he went 4-for-5 with a double, home run and two RBI. He homered in back-to-back games on May 1 and 2 at UCLA. Behind the dish, he threw out 27 of 66 runners this season (41%), including four of five runners on March 6 against No. 1 Stanford. As a 2003 freshman, he earned 2003 Pac-10 Freshman of the Year honors. He batted .298 (62-for-208) and led the Trojans in home runs (21), RBI (53), walks (32), runs (53) and slugging percentage (.649). During the South Alabama series (Feb. 14-16) last year, he hit four home runs and eight RBI (two home runs on Friday and two on Saturday), which earned him Pac-10 Conference Player of the Week honors. During the week of March 18-23, he went 7-for-16 (.438) with three home runs, a double and nine RBI, along with five walks and eight runs scored against San Diego and Arizona, earning him Pac-10 Conference Player of the Week honors for the second time. On March 21 at Arizona, he hit two home runs in the same inning as the Trojans scored eight runs in the third. Clement registered three home runs in the May 16th game against Washington State in a game that was broadcast regionally on television. He earned national attention as a high school senior when he set the national high school career mark with 75 home runs.
CLEMENT'S CAREER CLUBBINGS -- Catcher Jeff Clement would need a ton of homers to catch USC career leader Mark McGwire, but he is now in fifth place on the all-time list:
USC Career Home Runs 1 Mark McGwire, 1982-84 54 2 Geoff Jenkins, 1993-95 45 3 Eric Munson, 1997-99 43 4 Jeff Clement, 2003-05 41 5 Morgan Ensberg, 1995-98 40
BE LIKE IKE -- Sophomore pitcher Ian Kennedy (Huntington Beach/La Quinta HS), nicknamed 'Ike,' returns as the Trojans' No. 1 starter and is a 2005 Baseball America Preseason All-America third team selection. This season, he is 7-1 with a 2.84 ERA (66 2/3 IP, 50 H, 21 ER, 25 BB, 94 SO, .209 opponents' batting average). In Pac-10 games this season, he is 4-0 with a 2.20 ERA (28 2/3 IP, 23 H, 7 ER, 8 BB, 44 SO, .223 OBA). Kennedy recorded two 'victories' in two days on April 20 at No. 2 Cal State Fullerton and April 22 at Cal. In the resumption of a halted game from Feb. 20, Kennedy went eight against against the defending national champion Titans, allowing two runs on six hits with a walk and 10 strikeouts. He pitched seven innings on Feb. 20 and one inning on April 20 for the win. He improved to 7-1 on the season at Cal with seven innings as he allowed two earned runs with no walks and seven strikeouts. On April 9 against UCLA on a televised broadcast, Kennedy threw his first complete game with a three-hit shutout, walking two and striking out a career-high 15 batters in a 9-0 victory. He earned Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week honors for his efforts against UCLA. Kennedy struck out a then career-high 13 batters on April 1 at Washington in 6 2/3 innings. He struck out six straight batters in a 2-1 win against the Huskies. He took the loss on March 4 against Texas A&M at the Maxwell Auto Group Round Rock Classic, but opened the game by striking out the first seven batters he faced and finishing with 10 strikeouts for the game. He struck out the side in the ninth inning in his first appearance on Feb. 8 against San Diego State and outdueled 2004 USA National Team cohort Cesar Ramos in a 4-3 win on Feb. 12 at No. 17 Long Beach State. Against the Dirtbags, Kennedy went six innings, allowing just four hits with one unearned run, two walks and six strikeouts.
KENNEDY (2004) -- Last year, Ian Kennedy was the first freshman to be the No. 1 pitcher since Randy Flores in 1994. He went 7-2 with a 2.91 ERA and one save (92 2/3 IP, 86 H, 30 ER, 31 BB, 120 SO, .244 opponents' batting average). Kennedy was a selection on the 2004 Baseball America Midseason Freshman All-America team. He pitched six innings, allowing two runs to earn the win at No. 1 Stanford on May 21 with the Trojans' 9-3 victory. Kennedy snapped a personal two-game losing streak on April 16 at Washington State, allowing a run in seven innings of work on six hits with a walk and eight strikeouts. He struck out the side in the third and the seventh innings against the Cougars. In a televised game on March 27 against UCLA, Kennedy threw 7 1/3 scoreless innings, scattering seven hits and striking out eight with one walk in a 5-0 win against the Bruins. On March 12 at No. 22 Mississippi State, he earned the victory with 6 2/3 innings, allowing only one run on five hits with two walks and nine strikeouts. He struck out the side in the ninth on March 2 to earn his first collegiate save in a 2-0 win at UC Irvine. Kennedy struck out 10 batters in five innings on Feb. 27 to earn the win against No. 5 Georgia Tech, allowing two runs on five hits. On Feb. 20 against Louisville, Kennedy struck out 11 batters in seven shutout innings of work while giving up two hits and not allowing a walk. He was a member of the 2002 U.S. Junior National Team and started for the team at the 2002 IBAF World Junior Championships in the bronze medal game, but did not get a decision in a 12-3 win (7 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 3 BB, 10 SO).
CADDYJACK -- Junior pitcher Jack Spradlin (Bonita/Eastlake HS/Southwestern College) would be a great addition to anyone's golfing foursome. His father, Jack, played golf at San Diego State and has played on the PGA Tour and Senior PGA Tour. This season, Spradlin is serving as a long reliever and spot starter. He has an 4-1 record with a 3.54 ERA (68 2/3 IP, 64 H, 27 ER, 18 BB, 53 SO, .248 opponents' batting average). He has been on an impressive streak, allowing exactly one run in each of his last five starts for a 1.19 ERA (37 2/3 IP, 28 H, 5 ER, 7 BB, 29 SO). He scattered four hits in eight innings for his third victory of the season on April 8 against UCLA. Spradlin threw his first complete game on April 2 at Washington in a 5-1 victory, scattering nine hits with two walks and four strikeouts. He struck out six batters in three scoreless innings on Feb. 8 against San Diego State, including striking out the side in the fifth. Last season at Southwestern College, Spradlin earned 2004 All-America and all-conference honors after going 7-1 with a state-best 0.58 ERA (six earned runs). He made 14 starts and allowed 65 hits in 93 innings with 24 walks and 92 strikeouts.
KOSS AND EFFECT -- Sophomore Paul Koss (Orange/Orange Lutheran HS) is a key reliever on the Trojans' staff. He is 2-1 this season with a 1.16 ERA and nine saves (31 IP, 20 H, 4 ER, 13 BB, 23 SO, .190 opponents' batting average). He threw a perfect inning on April 23 at Cal for his ninth save. On April 5 against Pepperdine, he allowed just one run in 2 2/3 innings for the save despite facing bases-loaded situations twice. He threw 2 2/3 scoreless innings to earn the save on March 24 against Arizona State. Koss retired four straight batters with two strikeouts to earn his third save of the year on March 12 against No. 19 Wichita State. He earned his first collegiate win on March 6 against No. 21 Nebraska, throwing a career-high 3 1/3 innings. Koss earned saves in back-to-back contests against No. 17 Long Beach State on Feb. 12 and 13.
HAMMERIN' HANK(ERD) -- Sophomore outfielder Cyle Hankerd (Covina/South Hills HS) is batting .324 (44-for-136) this season with a home run and 26 RBI. On April 12 against No. 2 Cal State Fullerton, he hit a bases-loaded double with two outs in the eighth for USC's 4-2 win. Hankerd earned most valuable player honors at the 2005 OCYSF-UC Irvine Tournament (March 18-20) after going 7-for-11 (.636) with two doubles and six RBI. On March 18 vs. Nevada, he went 3-for-4 with two RBI and 2-for-3 with three RBI on March 20 against UC Irvine. He hit a bases-loaded triple on Feb. 13 in a 2-for-4 performance against No. 17 Long Beach State and 3-for-5 with a double, triple and three RBI on March 1 against UC Riverside. Last season, he made 49 starts in 50 appearances as a freshman last year, finishing second on the team with a .333 (47-for-141) batting average with a home run and 29 RBI. He recorded seven RBI during the Arizona State series (April 2-4) and collected his first college home run on April 13 at Pepperdine.
HART OF A LION -- Junior third baseman Billy Hart (Tustin/Mission Viejo HS) had a surprising sophomore season, leading the Trojans with a .367 (58-for-158) average. This season, he is batting .317 (45-for-147) with two home runs and 20 RBI. He hit his first home run of the season on March 11 in a 6-1 win against No. 21 Texas Tech. On March 29 against Loyola Marymount, he knocked in four RBI with a two-run homer and two-run triple. Last season, he had two home runs and 29 RBI. He started the season in the outfield and switched to third base, making 34 starts at the hot corner. During the Trojans' eight-game road trip to the South, Hart led the team with a .476 average (10-for-21) including a 3-for-4 day on March 20 at South Alabama, where he hit two doubles with a bases-loaded triple and career-high four RBI in the 12-7 win. He had a season-long 10-game hitting streak from March 17-April 3, batting .429 (15-for-35) with seven RBI. Hart also played as a reserve quarterback for the USC football team during its back-to-back national championship run.
SHARPE AS A TACK -- Junior Blake Sharpe (Moorpark/L.A. Pierce College) has shown versatility this season after being a middle infielder last season. Sharpe has played in four positions for the Trojans this season (right field, first base, shortstop and second base). He is batting .286 (42-for-147) with 13 doubles, a home run and 17 RBI. He went 4-for-4 with a leadoff homer on April 10 in a 6-0 shutout against UCLA. On March 12 against No. 19 Wichita State, he recorded his first career five-hit game with a 5-for-5 effort and two doubles. He went 2-for-3 with two doubles and four RBI on March 1 against UC Riverside. Last season, Sharpe batted .316 (74-for-234) with two home runs and 28 RBI as a middle infielder. He batted .500 (9-for-18) in four games March 31-April 4, including a 4-for-5 performance on April 2 at No. 14 Arizona State. On Feb. 14 against No. 9 Long Beach State, he went 4-for-4 with a home run and four RBI in a 6-4 win.
WELCOME BACK, KALTER -- Junior pitcher/outfielder Zack Kalter (Phillips Ranch/Western Christian HS/Pasadena CC) is a talented two-player for the Trojans. On the mound for the Trojans this season, Kalter is 2-3 with a 2.25 ERA (36 IP, 42 H, 9 ER, 13 BB, 26 SO, .302 opponents' batting average). At the plate, Kalter is batting .156 (5-for-32). In his 2004 sophomore season at Pasadena (Calif.) CC, Kalter went 7-5 in 14 starts with a 4.15 ERA (95 1/3 IP, 22 BB, 78 SO) and batted .400 (56-for-140) with six home runs, 17 doubles, three triples, 18 stolen bases and 39 RBI. Kalter was rated as the top pro prospect last summer in the New England Collegiate League after batting .353 with five home runs, 21 RBI and 15 stolen bases while going 1-1 with a 1.47 ERA on the mound (43 IP, 35 H, 7 ER, 12 BB, 34 SO).
CUE BALL -- Infielder Matt Cusick (Mission Viejo/Santa Margarita HS) became the first freshman to be the Trojans' leadoff hitter in a season opener since Wes Rachels did it in 1995. Cusick impressed the coaching staff with a strong fall performance. This season, Cusick is batting .272 (37-for-136) with three home runs and 18 RBI. On Feb. 15 against San Diego, he delivered a 'cue shot' in the bottom of the ninth with a walkoff, two-run homer with two outs in USC's 7-5 win. He struck out only five times in 95 at-bats during his senior season at Santa Margarita High and batted .389 with three home runs and 21 RBI. He earned Orange County Register All-County first team honors as Santa Margarita went on to win the 2004 CIF Southern Section Division IV championship.
STAR OF THE INFIELD -- Sophomore Hector Estrella (Rosemead/Northview HS) earned the starting shortstop spot with an excellent fall for the Trojans. Estrella is batting .250 (17-for-76) with three home runs and 15 RBI. He had a career-high five RBI, along with a home run, on April 20 at No. 2 Cal State Fullerton with all five runs coming off Fullerton ace Ricky Romero. Estrella's two-run homer in the second inning held up in a 2-1 win on April 1 at Washington. Last season, Estrella made 16 starts in 27 games and batted .216 (11-for-51) with six RBI and three stolen bases as a 2004 freshman. He batted .345 (40-for-116) with 10 doubles and 26 RBI last summer for the Wenatchee AppleSox of the Pacific International League.
THE RED BARON -- This season, junior Baron Frost (San Diego/St. Augustine HS) will be utilized in the outfield or as a designated hitter. He is batting .246 (28-for-114) with 15 RBI for the Trojans. Frost batted .303 (64-for-211) last year with four home runs and 32 RBI. He led the Trojans with 20 doubles. Frost went 8-for-15 in the Arizona State series (April 2-4) with two doubles, a home run and seven RBI. On April 3 against No. 14 Arizona State, he went 3-for-6 with a double, home run and six RBI. Frost has recorded two doubles in a game four times this season (last: March 20 at South Alabama).
THERE'S ALWAYS ROOM FOR `R LO' -- Freshman Roberto Lopez (La Mesa/Rancho Bernardo HS) has made an early impact in his 2005 freshman season. Lopez is batting .186 (11-for-59) with seven RBI. While playing in center field in the Feb. 13 game against No. 17 Long Beach State, Lopez started a double play to end the eighth inning when he threw a one-hop bullet to the plate to prevent the game-tying run.
MEET YOU IN WILLIAMSPORT -- USC has three players who played in the Little League World Series. In the 1996 LLWS, catcher Jeff Clement played for Marshalltown, Iowa, while infielder Blake Sharpe played for the Moorpark, Calif, team. Infielder Matt Cusick played for the South Mission Viejo squad in the 1997 LLWS.
MAKING IT TO THE MAJORS -- During the history of the USC baseball program, a total of 90 former players have made it to the majors. In fact, during the 2004 season, USC could lay claim to having more former players in the majors than any other university in the nation. A total of 14 former Trojans played or were a part of major league rosters (Aaron Boone, Bret Boone, Jeff Cirillo, Morgan Ensberg, Randy Flores, Geoff Jenkins, Randy Johnson, Jacque Jones, Jason Lane, Justin Lehr, Chad Moeller, Eric Munson, Mark Prior and Barry Zito).
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 most wins (74) at the CWS and is second for most appearances (21) behind Texas (30). The Trojans also have the highest winning percentage for all teams (.740) that have played at least 20 games at the CWS.
BASEBALL HALL OF FAME -- On Feb. 1, 2003, the USC Baseball Hall of Fame opened to the public for the first time. The Hall of Fame was the final part of a $4 million Dedeaux Field renovation project that included a new locker room, seating pavilion on the first base side and stadium seating. All 12 national championship trophies will be permanently displayed as well as the awards won by former Trojan and current Chicago Cub pitcher Mark Prior during his 2001 national player of the year season. The major league uniforms of former Trojans are also on display.