USC Plays At Loyola Marymount Before Series With No. 17 San Diego
Feb. 5, 2007
Upcoming Games ScheduleTuesday, Feb. 6 at Loyola Marymount - George Page Stadium - 2:00 p.m.LHP Tommy Milone (1-0, 3.00) vs. TBAFriday, Feb. 9 vs. No.17 San Diego - Dedeaux Field - 7:00 p.m.RHP Ryan Cook (0-0, 1.50) vs. LHP Brian Matusz (2-0, 1.54)Saturday, Feb. 10 vs. No. 17 San Diego - Dedeaux Field - 1:30 p.m.RHP Brad Boxberger (0-1, 0.00) vs. TBASunday, Feb. 11 at No. 17 San Diego - Cunningham Stadium - 1:00 p.m.LHP Anthony Vasquez (0-1, 3.00) vs. TBAAll times localAll games broadcast on www.usctrojans.com
LOS ANGELES -- The USC baseball team (2-2) travels to Loyola Marymount (3-0) on Tuesday (Feb. 6) for a 2 p.m. game before a series against No. 17 San Diego (5-1) on Feb. 9-11. Friday and Saturday's games will be played at Dedeaux Field with the series finale on Sunday taking place in San Diego at Cunningham Stadium. Friday's game will start at 7 p.m. with a 1:30 p.m. start on Saturday and 1 p.m. start on Sunday. All four games will be broadcast live, along with Gametracker live stats, on usctrojans.com.
LOYOLA MARYMOUNT NOTES -- Loyola Marymount is 3-0 on the season after a home sweep last weekend against Sacramento State (9-5, 8-1 and 8-5). Head coach Frank Cruz, a former USC assistant coach, is 287-291-2 in his 11th season at Loyola Marymount. The Lions batted .390 as a team last weekend with a 3.67 staff ERA. Eric Farris is batting .571 (8-for-14) with six RBI. USC leads the all-time series with LMU by a 118-21-1 margin.
NO. 17 SAN DIEGO NOTES -- San Diego is 5-1 on the season after taking two of three last weekend at Texas (6-5, 8-13, 4-1). Head coach Rich Hill is 271-202-2 in his 10th season at San Diego. The Toreros are batting .290 as a team with a 4.00 staff ERA. Jordan Abruzzo is batting .391 (9-for-23) with three home runs and 10 RBI. Friday starter Brian Matusz is 2-0 with a 1.54 ERA (11 2/3 IP, 7 H, 2 ER, 4 BB, 21 SO, .171 opponents' batting average). USC leads the all-time series with San Diego by a 17-3 margin.
TROJANS ON THE NET -- All USC baseball games this season will be broadcast live on usctrojans.com with live video webcasts for every home game, courtesy of Trojans' All-Access. A rotation of USC students will handle the majority of the broadcasts while baseball sports information director Jason Pommier will handle selected road games.
TROJANS IN THE MAJORS -- During the history of the USC baseball program, a total of 93 former players have made it to the majors. The 2006 season proved to be a tremendous year for USC as 17 former Trojans played at least one game in the major leagues (Aaron Boone, Brian Bannister, Jeff Cirillo, Morgan Ensberg, Seth Etherton, Randy Flores, Ron Flores, Geoff Jenkins, Randy Johnson, Jacque Jones, Jason Lane, Justin Lehr, Chad Moeller, Eric Munson, Mark Prior, Anthony Reyes and Barry Zito).
`GO CRAZY, FOLKS!' -- Jack Buck, the late legendary broadcaster for the St. Louis Cardinals, would have used his famous call after the team's 2006 World Series championship which involved two former Trojans. Anthony Reyes set the tempo as the Game 1 starter for the Cardinals, allowing just two runs in eight innings while retiring 17 Detroit Tigers in a row. Left-handed reliever Randy Flores was a key in the Cardinals' bullpen, earning the win in Game 7 of the National League Championship series against the New York Mets in Shea Stadium.
THE MILLIONAIRES CLUB -- For the upcoming major league baseball season, a total of seven former Trojans will be making at least $1 million dollars. Barry Zito signed a seven-year, $126-million contract with the San Francisco Giants for a healthy $18 million a year. Randy Johnson was traded from the New York Yankees to the Arizona Diamondbacks, earning over $15 million. Geoff Jenkins (Milwaukee), Jacque Jones (Chicago Cubs) and Mark Prior (Chicago Cubs) also enjoy seven-figure incomes. Morgan Ensberg and Jason Lane signed one-year contracts with the Houston Astros in late January and will make $4.35 and $1.05 million, respectively. Left-handed reliever Randy Flores signed a two-year deal with the St. Louis Cardinals in the offseason. Flores will make $800,000 this season and join the 'club' next year when he makes $1 million.
USING THE CRYSTAL BALL -- In Baseball America's annual list of the Top 100 College Prospects, two Trojans earned recognition. Senior right-hander Paul Koss is rated at No. 54 while junior infielder Matt Cusick is ranked No. 80.
TOP FIVE RE-KREUTER -- First-year head coach Chad Kreuter picked up the nickname 'Ruh' last summer after capping the 2007 recruiting class with catcher/pitcher Robert Stock. Baseball America rated USC's class as the third-best in the nation behind Baylor and South Carolina while the class was rated No. 5 in the nation by Collegiate Baseball. Baseball America also ranked the top five newcomers in the Pac-10 Conference with two Trojans being named: Stock at No. 1 and shortstop Grant Green at No. 3.
TROJANS PICKED SIXTH IN PAC-10 -- USC has been picked to finish sixth in the Pac-10 Conference, according to the preseason coaches poll. The Trojans were slotted behind Arizona State, Oregon State, Stanford, UCLA and Arizona. Cal was picked seventh, followed by Washington State and Washington.
KREUTER'S KORNER -- On June 2, 2006, Chad Kreuter became just the fourth head baseball coach at USC in the past 77 years. Kreuter was named head coach after his father-in-law, Mike Gillespie, announced his retirement. Kreuter took the position after starting the 2006 season as the manager for the Modesto Nuts of the California League, the single A affiliate of the Colorado Rockies. He spent the 2005 season as director of operations for the USC baseball program after retiring from the major leagues. In a career that spanned 17 seasons, Kreuter played in a total of 944 games with a .237 career average, 54 home runs, 274 RBI and .990 fielding percentage. He started with the Texas Rangers in 1988 and later played with the Detroit Tigers, Seattle Mariners, Anaheim Angels, Chicago White Sox, Kansas City Royals and Los Angeles Dodgers. His best season came in 1993 with Detroit, batting .286 (107-for-374) with 15 home runs and 51 RBI. During his career, Kreuter worked with top-flight pitchers such as Nolan Ryan, Randy Johnson, Eric Gagne, Kevin Brown, Charlie Hough, Frank Tanana, Bill Gullickson, Walt Terrell, James Baldwin, Chuck Finley, Mark Langston, Robb Nen, Kenny Rogers and Chan Ho Park. He played collegiately at Pepperdine for three seasons (1983-85).
REVAMPED STAFF -- Chad Kreuter has added two new assistant coaches for the 2007 season, joining pitching coach Dave Lawn, who returns for his seventh season at Troy. Bill Mosiello will handle the infielders after serving as a manager in the New York Yankees' farm system. Mosiello managed for two seasons with the Charleston RiverDogs of the South Atlantic League after spending 15 seasons at the collegiate level with Cal State Fullerton, Tennessee, Mississippi, Oklahoma and Arizona State. Tim Burton joins the staff and will assist with the outfielders. Burton, who also teaches in the USC physical education department, has an eight-year coaching career that includes stops at Riverside Community College and Cal Poly Pomona.
CUE BALL -- For his 2007 junior season, Matt Cusick (Mission Viejo/Santa Margarita HS) moves back to second base after playing at third last season. He was named to the 2007 Wallace Watch by the College Baseball Foundation. This season, Cusick is batting .286 (4-for-14) with two RBI. Last summer, Cusick batted .304 (41-for-135) with two home runs and 12 RBI for the Brewster Whitecaps of the Cape Cod Baseball League. He earned All-Cape Cod League honors and played in the Cape Cod League All-Star Game while having the fourth-highest batting average in the league. He had a .425 on-base percentage and struck out just 12 times.
CUSICK (2006) -- Cusick started every game and earned All-Pac-10 honors as a 2006 sophomore. He was second on the team with a .369 (83-for-225) batting average with four home runs and 35 RBI. He led the team with 43 walks and a .486 on-base percentage. In 225 at-bats, he struck out just 11 times during the season and led the team with 27 multi-hit games, including 10 three-hit games. He had a season-high, nine-game hitting streak from March 21 through April 9 where he batted .471 (16-for-34) with 10 walks and seven RBI. During the UCLA series, he led off two straight games with a home run. His lone four-hit game came on May 13 at UCLA and batted .538 (7-for-13) with a home run and four RBI in the Pac-10 series at Stanford (April 1-2). He hit a home run in a 2-for-4 game with three RBI on March 7 against UC Irvine. Cusick went 3-for-5 with a double, triple and four RBI on March 4 against Georgia.
CUSICK (2005) -- As a freshman, Cusick was the first freshman to be the leadoff hitter in a season opener since Wes Rachels did it in 1995. Cusick was third on the team last year with a .311 batting average (70-for-225), earning him All-Pac-10 honorable mention recognition. He hit four home runs and 35 RBI. Cusick was named most outstanding player at the NCAA First-Round Regional after batting .750 (9-for-12) with five runs, three doubles and four RBI. In fact, he was 9-for-10 in the first three games after a 4-4 performance on June 5 against Pepperdine. He had a season-long, 10-game hitting streak snapped on May 1 at Arizona and hit .439 during the streak. 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.
TOMMY, CAN YOU HEAR ME -- Sophomore left-hander Tommy Milone (Saugus/Saugus HS) is 1-0 this season with a 3.00 ERA. He opened the 2007 campaign with a win against Cal Poly on Jan. 30, going six innings and allowing two runs on six hits with no walks and six strikeouts. Last summer, he went 5-1 with a 2.61 ERA and two saves for the Wenatchee AppleSox of the West Coast Collegiate Baseball League. With eight starts and 11 appearances, he threw 51 2/3 innings and allowed 44 hits, 15 earned runs, walked 10 and struck out 36. He also went 20-for-105 at the plate, batting .190 with 11 RBI. Last season for the Trojans, Milone went 7-4 with a 4.94 ERA in 16 starts and started the season with a 7-0 record. In 98 1/3 innings (second-most on the team), he allowed 126 hits and 54 earned runs while walking 21 and striking out 55. He had only one start out of 16 where he allowed more than two walks. He made his collegiate debut on Feb. 4 against No. 22 Long Beach State where he threw four scoreless innings, allowing three hits. He earned his first collegiate win on Feb. 7 at UC Riverside with 4 1/3 innings in relief. He allowed just two runs in six innings with five strikeouts and no walks in a win against No. 15 San Diego at USC's Public Storage Baseball Classic. On March 12 against No. 16 Stanford, he threw seven innings and allowed two runs to get the win and allowed two runs again in eight innings on April 1 at Stanford in the second game of a doubleheader.
GREEN ACRES: THE PLACE TO BE -- Freshman Grant Green (Anaheim Hills/Canyon HS) becomes the first true freshman to start as USC's shortstop since Seth Davidson in 1998. This season, he is batting .357 (5-for-14) with three RBI. Before his collegiate career, Green was a member of the 2005 U.S. Junior National Team, batting .412 with six RBI and two stolen bases at the 2005 Pan-Am Championships. As a standout infielder at Canyon HS, he earned All-CIF Division I, Orange County Register and all-league first team honors as a senior after batting .453 with four home runs, 22 RBI and 14 stolen bases. He hit the game-winning RBI in the 11th inning of the 2006 North/South All-Star Game. He batted .455 (40-for-88) in his junior season with three home runs, 30 RBI and 14 stolen bases. He was named 2004 Century League Rookie of the Year as a sophomore after batting .430 (31-for-72) with eight doubles and 22 RBI.
IRON CHEF -- Sophomore right-hander Ryan Cook (Clovis/Clovis HS) will be a valuable member of USC's starting rotation. He did not figure in the decision on Feb. 2 in USC's 2-1 win against Long Beach State (6 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 4 SO). Cook spent the majority of his 2006 freshman season as a weekend starter, going 4-4 with a 5.97 ERA. In 13 starts, Cook threw 69 1/3 innings and allowed 93 hits with 34 walks and 31 strikeouts. His fourth win of the season came on April 8 against California, going seven innings and giving up two runs on seven hits with four strikeouts. His longest stint of the season came on April 2 at Stanford with 8 1/3 innings with only one run on four hits while striking out five. Cook earned the win on March 19 against No. 13 Oregon State with five innings, allowing one run on five hits with four walks and three strikeouts. He recorded his first collegiate win on March 11 against No. 16 Stanford with 5 1/3 innings of work, giving up three runs (two earned) on eight hits. He made his collegiate debut on Feb. 5 at No. 22 Long Beach State and did not figure in the decision after allowing three runs on seven hits in 5 2/3 innings
STAR OF THE INFIELD -- Senior infielder Hector Estrella (Rosemead/Northview HS) moves to third base this season after being the team's starting shortstop last year. Last summer, Estrella earned all-tournament honors with the Santa Barbara Foresters squad that won the 2006 NBC World Series in Wichita, Kansas. The Foresters went undefeated and beat the Derby (KS) Twins, 8-7, in the championship on Saturday for the team's first-ever title in the 16-day tournament. He went 2-for-5 in the championship with an RBI and finished the summer with a .380 average (76-for-200) with 40 RBI and a team-leading 24 stolen bases.
ESTRELLA (2006) -- As the team's starting shortstop in 56 of 58 games, Estrella batted .289 (57-for-197) with three home runs and 30 RBI as a 2006 junior. He also had 14 doubles and two triples. He went 5-for-11 (.455) with a double, triple and solo home run in the Florida International series (Feb. 10-12). He recorded a season-high 13-game hitting streak snapped on April 14 at No. 13 Arizona State. On April 11 against UC Riverside, he went 2-for-5 with a grand slam and four RBI in the Trojans' 17-9 victory. He had two doubles in a 2-for-4 night on May 10 at No. 2 Cal State Fullerton and went 3-for-5 with a double and three RBI on May 12 at UCLA. He finished the season with a streak of hitting safely in 13 of the team's final 14 games.
ESTRELLA (2004 and 2005) -- Estrella batted .271 (51-for-188) in his 2005 sophomore season with three home runs and 28 RBI, earning him All-Pac-10 honorable mention recognition. He earned NCAA First-Round Regional All-Tournament honors after batting .222, but playing spectacular defense. On April 29 in a 13-0 shutout at No. 9/10 Arizona, he went 4-for-5 including a two-run triple. 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. He made 16 starts in 27 games and batted .216 (11-for-51) with six RBI and three stolen bases as a 2004 freshman.
THE DUDE -- Junior Lucas Duda (Riverside/Arlington HS) makes the switch to left field after two seasons at first base. He hit a three-run homer in USC's 6-4 win on Jan. 30 in the season opener against Cal Poly. Over the summer, he batted .273 (59-for-216) with eight home runs, 12 doubles and 49 RBI for the Alexandria Beetles of the Northwoods League. He was named as a Northwoods League All-Star and also earned the Silver Glove Award at first base. Last season for the Trojans, Duda appeared in 54 games as a 2006 sophomore. He batted .298 (57-for-191) with three home runs and 36 RBI. He also stole four bases in six attempts. He recorded a 4-for-9 day with two doubles, a triple and two RBI in the doubleheader at Stanford on April 1 and went 6-for-12 with four RBI in the Stanford series (March 10-12). On March 4 against Georgia, he went 3-for-4 with a home run and three RBI with his home run tying the game at eight apiece in the fifth, leading to a 12-11 win. He clubbed his first homer of the season on Feb. 4 against Long Beach State and had a four-hit game on Feb. 7 at UC Riverside. In his 2005 freshman season, he played at first base and also was a designated hitter before suffering a left wrist injury on March 25 against Arizona State. Duda did not play again until April 26 against Loyola Marymount. He finished with a .208 (16-for-77) average with a home run and 11 RBI. Duda was the 2004 CIF-SS Division I Player of the Year and earned the save in Arlington's 4-3 win over Long Beach Wilson (against current USC teammates Spencer Pabst and Ryan Schlack) in the CIF Division I Championship game at Dodger Stadium.
KOSS AND EFFECT -- Senior right-hander Paul Koss (Orange/Orange Lutheran HS) had a strong summer after difficulties as a junior in 2006. Koss is one of three potential closers along with freshmen Robert Stock and Hector Rabago. He has two saves in two opportunities so far in the 2007 season. As a member of the Chatham A's of the Cape Cod Baseball League last summer, Koss went 2-0 with four saves in 11 appearances without allowing a run. In 13 2/3 innings, he allowed six hits, walked seven and struck out 17 and played in the 2006 CCBL All-Star Game. Koss went 0-8 with a 6.28 ERA and six saves last season for the Trojans. In 38 2/3 innings, he allowed 50 hits, walked 20 and struck out 37. After giving up two runs in back-to-back appearances to begin the season, Koss allowed just two earned runs in 20 straight appearances (22 2/3 innings from Feb. 12-April 23). He threw two no-hit innings against Oregon State on March 19 for this third save of the year. A key save came on April 13 at No. 13 Arizona State when he struck out the side in the ninth to preserve the 13-12 victory.
SAVING THE DAY -- Paul Koss is tied for third on USC's all-time saves list with 22. He is tied with Dan Hubbs (1991-93) for third and is four behind Brian Nichols (1985-88). Jack Krawczyk (1995-98) still holds the USC and NCAA career mark with 49 saves.
KOSS (2005) -- Koss recorded 14 saves as a 2005 sophomore, placing him fifth on USC's all-time single season list. He went 4-1 with a 2.81 ERA (51 1/3 IP, 39 H, 16 ER, 21 BB, 42 SO). He retired the final 11 batters he faced in a dramatic 9-8 win in 10 innings on June 12 at No. 2 Oregon State in the NCAA Super Regional to earn his fourth victory of the season. During the NCAA First-Round Regional, he recorded three saves with 3 2/3 scoreless innings (four hits, no walks and three strikeouts). He recorded his tenth save on May 15 against Washington State with two no-hit innings. 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.
STOCK MARKET -- After bypassing his senior year in high school to enroll at USC in the fall of 2006, catcher/right-handed pitcher Robert Stock (Westlake Village/Agoura HS) will be one of the most interesting stories in college baseball as a 2007 freshman. He is expected to be the team's No. 1 starting catcher, but also has the ability to be one of the team's closers on the mound. As a member of the 2004 and 2005 U.S. Youth National Team, Stock was named 2005 Baseball America Youth Player of the Year after his junior season at Agoura High. He batted .456 with six home runs and 25 RBI while posting a 5-3 record with a 2.69 ERA with a fastball clocked as high as 95 miles per hour. Behind the plate, he committed only one error and threw out almost 70% of all base runners. He also played in the 2006 Aflac All-American Classic in San Diego where he was the starting pitcher for the West squad and allowed two unearned runs in one inning before striking out the side. In the game, he showed his hitting prowess later in the game with a solo home run to center field. He batted .400 with eight home runs in his sophomore season. Baseball America named him as the top player in the nation in his age group three years in a row (age 13, 14 and 15). Along with his Baseball America honors, Stock was named Player of the Year by the Los Angeles Times and earned All-CIF first team honors. His Agoura team reached the CIF Division I final, losing to Lakewood, 2-1, despite Stock throwing six shutout innings and going 3-for-3 at the plate.
IT'S ALL BEEN DUNN -- Sophomore right-hander John Dunn (Torrance/West HS) should be one of the workhorses of the pitching staff. Dunn set the USC single-season record for most appearances (40) last year, going 3-2 on the season with a 4.00 ERA. In 63 innings, Dunn allowed 58 hits, walked 32 and struck out 33 with opponents batting .258 against him. He allowed only one home run in 225 at-bats against him and did not allow a run in 16 2/3 innings from Feb. 7 through March 4. He recorded 3 1/3 scoreless innings, allowing two hits, on May 16 at Pepperdine and struck out four in two innings of work on May 14 at UCLA. He earned the Pac-10 win in the second game of a doubleheader on April 1 at Stanford with 2 2/3 scoreless innings. The Cardinal had the bases loaded in the 11th and 12th innings, but Dunn did not allow a run in the Trojans' 3-2 victory. During the series against No. 13 Oregon State, Dunn threw 4 1/3 scoreless innings in two appearances, including a win on March 18 where he had 2 2/3 no-hit innings, to earn his first Pac-10 Conference Pitcher of the Week honor. He threw in all three games during the Georgia series (March 2-4) and did not allow a run in six innings. Dunn recorded his first collegiate win on Feb. 14 at UC Santa Barbara with 3 2/3 scoreless innings, allowing just one hit with two walks and two strikeouts and threw three perfect innings on Feb. 18 against Vanderbilt at the Public Storage Baseball Classic, striking out four.
MAGIC BUSS -- Sophomore Nick Buss (Clinton Township, Mich./De La Salle HS/San Diego Mesa CC) might be the catalyst for the Trojans on offense and defense this season. He is batting .267 (4-for-15) this season. Buss earned All-Southern California second team and All-Pacific Coast Conference first team honors as a 2006 freshman after leading San Diego Mesa CC with a .382 (66-for-173) batting average. He scored 30 runs and recorded 22 RBI while stealing 21 bases in 25 attempts. He was selected in the 35th round of the 2006 amateur draft by the Los Angeles Dodgers.
REMEMBER THE ALAMO -- Sophomore outfielder/pitcher Anthony Vasquez (San Antonio, Texas/Texas A&M) adds another two-way player to the lineup. He is batting .111 (1-for-9) as the team's right fielder. On the mound, Vasquez is 0-1 with a 3.00 ERA (6 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 4 BB, 3 SO, .273 opponents' batting average). He played with the Seguin Steelers during the summer as the team finished seventh at the 2006 NBC World Series in Wichita, Kansas. In his 2006 freshman season at Texas A&M, Vasquez went 0-1 on the mound with a 3.78 ERA and two saves while batting .231 (3-for-13) with two RBI. In 23 appearances as a pitcher, he threw 33 1/3 innings while allowing 37 hits, nine walks and 25 strikeouts with opponents batting .270 against him. He went four innings and allowed one earned run on six hits on March 24 against Texas Tech while striking out a season-high five batters. He pitched a season-high 5 2/3 innings on April 22 at Baylor, allowing one run on seven hits with a walk and four strikeouts. Vasquez finished the season by allowing only one earned run in his final 10 appearances (nine innings).
PARTRIDGE IN A PERREN TREE -- Sophomore first baseman Derek Perren (Chatsworth/Granada Hills HS/L.A. Pierce College) surprised the USC coaching staff with a strong fall to earn a spot in the starting lineup. He is batting .231 (3-for-13) this season, but has made several defensive gems. He earned all-conference first team honors as a 2006 sophomore for coach Bob Lofrano at L.A. Pierce College in Woodland Hills, Calif. He batted .318 (57-for-179) with seven home runs and 44 RBI. During the season, he had five hits in one game against Valley College, one away from the school record.
OWEN ON THE OFFENSIVE -- Senior J.J. Owen (Santa Ana/Mater Dei HS/Cal Poly) should see time as a designated hitter this season and can be used as a catcher or first baseman for the Trojans. Owen went 2-for-3 as a DH on Feb. 4 against Long Beach State.
RIVERSIDE RABAGO -- Freshman infielder/right-handed pitcher Hector Rabago (Riverside/Poly HS) is one of several two-way threats on the Trojans' roster. He was a four-year varsity letterwinner at Poly High where he was a three-time all-county selection as well as a two-time Riverside Press Enterprise first team selection. He earned All-CIF Division I first team honors after batting .437 with seven home runs, 32 walks, 31 runs and 26 RBI in his senior season. He helped Poly to the 2006 CIF Division I semifinals and was the Ivy League co-most valuable player and earned all-league honors. In his junior season, he was named 2005 Los Angeles Times Player of the Year for the Inland Empire area after batting .384 with nine home runs, 30 runs and 44 RBI while going 6-1 on the mound with a 2.30 ERA. In 45 2/3 innings as a junior, he struck out 53 batters while earning All-CIF Division I honors as a junior.
FAMOUS RELATIVE -- Senior catcher Johnny Bowden's great-great-grandfather is the brother of Florida State head football coach Bobby Bowden's grandfather.
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 second-most wins (74) at the CWS and is third for most appearances (21). The Trojans also have the highest winning percentage for all teams (.740) that have played at least 20 games at the CWS.
DEDEAUX FIELD: EXTREME MAKEOVER -- One of Chad Kreuter's first tasks as head coach was to make Dedeaux Field one of the top collegiate facilities on the West Coast. The traditional red-colored outfield wooden fence was torn down and replaced with a safer chain-linked fence which is covered by green padding. In June, the batting cages on the third base side will be redone and future plans will add improved lighting and a new video scoreboard.
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 are 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.