Trojans Wrap Up Fall Practices With Cardinal And Gold World Series

Nov. 5, 2007

LOS ANGELES -- The Gold squad defeated the Cardinal squad, two games to one, to win the 2007 USC Baseball Cardinal and Gold World Series to complete the fall practice season for the Trojans.

The Cardinal team won the first game last Wednesday, 5-2, before the Gold team came back to win 17-6 on Thursday and 6-2 on Friday.

The Gold team's top two hitters were the No. 1 and 2 spots in the lineup with junior center fielder Nick Buss (Clinton Township, Mich./San Diego Mesa CC) and sophomore left fielder Mike O'Neill (Riverside/Poly HS).

Buss, who was the most valuable player this summer in the Alaska Baseball League, went 6-for-10 in the series with six runs scored and four stolen bases. O'Neill went 6-for-12 with a double, a triple, two RBI and four stolen bases.

Senior Roberto Lopez (La Mesa/Rancho Bernardo HS), who is moving from the outfield to third base this season, went 5-for-12 with five RBI and two runs scored for Gold. In Thursday's win, senior Derek Perren (Chatsworth/L.A. Pierce College) went 3-for-4 with a home run and four RBI while senior catcher Sebastian Salinas (Riverside/Rubidoux HS) had two doubles, a home run and five RBI.

On the Cardinal side, freshman infielder Joe De Pinto (Sunland/St. Francis HS) went 4-for-10 with a double, a triple and two RBI while senior transfer Mike Roskopf (Prescott, Ariz./North Carolina State) had a 3-for-12 series, including Thursday's 2-for-3 day where he had a double and home run. Freshman Garrett Houts (Fort Collins, Colo./Fort Collins HS) also had three hits in the series, including a 2-for-4 day on Thursday with two triples. Notable pitching performances included junior left-hander Tommy Milone (Saugus/Saugus HS) with three scoreless innings, allowing only one hit and striking out three. Milone was named this summer as the most outstanding pitcher in the Cape Cod Baseball League.

Junior right-hander Ryan Cook (Clovis/Clovis HS) allowed just one run and two hits in three innings of work.

Strong relief efforts came from junior Anthony Encinas(Norwalk/Santa Fe HS) with three scoreless innings (no runs, two hits, one walk, five strikeouts), freshman Andrew Triggs (Nashville, Tenn./Montgomery Bell Academy) with two scoreless innings and freshman Jordan Hershiser (Dallas, Texas/St. Mark's School), who after giving up a two-run homer came back to strike out four of his final six batters.

USC will open the 2008 season with a nonconference series at Florida International (Feb. 22-24).

USC head coach Chad Kreuter quotes:

'I'm excited about the pitching. We came into the fall with 22 arms. We are sifting through a lot of good arms and are trying to come up with the number that will end up on the spring squad. We are hoping for around 15 pitchers. We will have to make some tough cuts. There are a lot of great arms out there, guys that are throwing well that surprised us. The guys that we expected to do well have really taken it up a notch.'

'I think (first-year assistant coach and pitching coach) Tom House has been able to come out and get these guys ready by showing them what is a proven product on the field, through what he has done at the major league level and his previous research. He's a guy that has worked with three-dimensional motion analysis and the kids have really eaten it up. They have bought into the system. Every pitcher has taken ownership of their career and doing the extra work. It has paid off.'

'We are still adding depth. We have a group of young outfielders. Nick Buss has really stepped it up with his play and had a great summer. He has continued to shine. We expect that he will carry that into the season. Mike O'Neill has continued to impress in left field. He's a hit machine. He has proven to be a guy that we will not overlook. We have been hampered a bit with some injuries in the infield, but Grant Green looks great at the plate. Mike Roskopf is proving to swing the bat real well. He broke his wrist early on a popup drill but he rehabbed it quickly and has really started to tear it up at the plate. He has hit a couple of long home runs already, we are excited to see that. It seems to be coming together, but we are still a long ways off. We are going to add a few guys in January, maybe four or five guys which is very uncommon here at USC. We feel if we can add depth it will help. I felt like last year, our demise was that we didn't have depth in our lineup when guys got sore or tired or got hurt. We will try to make a stand and get ourselves to the College World Series.'

'I think besides Roskopf, freshman Joe De Pinto has really stood out among the newcomers. He has a solid approach like Matt Cusick did. He's a guy that really puts the bat on the ball and uses all of the field when he's at the plate. He's a solid defender. Two freshman pitchers that really stand out are Chris McCaffery and Jeff Grijalva. They both seem to throw out their chests, throw hard and throw strikes. They really attack the hitters so those guys are going to be guys that stand out. Daniel Beck and Ryan Cabral also stood out. All of these pitchers are guys whose velocities are above 90 miles an hour. It's exciting to have all of those good arms out there.'

'(First-year assistant coach and recruiting coordinator) Doyle Wilson is doing an excellent job in recruiting for our program. For years, USC has traditionally recruited just in the southern California area and last year, I sort of handpicked a few guys from out of state. My goal now is to handpick around the nation and what Doyle's expertise as a scout and at Chandler-Gilbert (Community College) was to go out and find bodies, good ones at that. We were able to put our resources together and go out and grab a bunch of guys from around the nation. We are going to be able to bring some top-notch recruits here. I won't be surprised if we are in the top five classes for next year.'

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