Trojans Make First-Ever Appearance At Pacific This Weekend
March 17, 2010
Upcoming Games ScheduleFriday, March 19 at Pacific - Klein Family Field - 6:30 p.m.RHP Andrew Triggs (1-1, 3.12) vs. RHP Marcus Pointer (4-0, 1.91)Saturday, March 20 at Pacific - Klein Family Field - 6:30 p.m.RHP Ben Mount (2-1, 2.57) vs. LHP David Rowse (3-0, 2.57)Sunday, March 21 at Pacific - Klein Family Field - 1:00 p.m.RHP Kevin Couture (2-0, 3.80) vs. RHP Jake Hummel (2-0, 2.08)or RHP Hunter Carnevale (0-2, 8.25)All times local All games broadcast on www.usctrojans.comRankings based on Baseball America
LOS ANGELES -- The USC baseball team (9-8) continues a stretch of 12 of 14 games on the road this weekend at Pacific (10-6). The series, Friday-Sunday (March 19-21), has a 6:30 p.m. start for Friday and Saturday with a 1 p.m. start on Sunday. The Trojans are making their first-ever appearance in Stockton.
PACIFIC NOTES -- Pacific is 10-6 on the season after taking two of three games last weekend and dropping a 5-4 game on Tuesday at Sacramento State. Head coach Ed Sprague is 141-209 in his seventh season at Pacific. The Tigers are batting. 343 as a team with a 4.67 staff ERA. Brian Martin is batting .444 (28-for-63) with 14 RBI while Friday's starter Marcus Pointer is 4-0 with a 1.91 ERA (28 1/3 IP, 14 H, 6 ER, 9 BB, 17 SO, .144 OBA). USC is 3-0 all-time against Pacific in a series that started in 1955.
· Through the first weekend of play, Pac-10 Conference teams had a combined 27-4 record.
· Andrew Triggs is rated as the No. 38 overall college prospect by Baseball America for the 2010 major league draft (he is a draft-eligible sophomore).
· Ricky Oropesa is rated as the No. 23 college sophomore by Baseball America while Triggs is rated No. 28. Shuhei Fujiya is rated No. 22 among college seniors.
· The Trojans have four pitchers on the staff that stand 6-6 or taller: Chris Mezger (6-10), Ben Mount (6-8), Jordan Hershiser (6-8) and Logan Odom (6-6).
· On February 28, USC played UCLA at Dodger Stadium in the concluding game of the Dodgertown Classic in front of a crowd of 14,588.
· Matt Hart opened the season with a nine-game hitting streak.
· As of March 17, Ricky Oropesa is tied for third among Pac-10 players with four home runs while Matt Foat is fourth with 43 total bases.
TROJANS ON THE NET -- USC baseball games this season will be broadcast live on usctrojans.com with video webcasts for every home game, courtesy of Trojans All-Access.
TROJANS PICKED EIGHTH IN PAC-10 -- USC was picked to finish eighth in the Pac-10 Conference, according to the preseason coaches poll. The Trojans were slotted behind Arizona State, Oregon State, UCLA, Stanford, Arizona, Washington State and Cal and ahead of Washington and Oregon.
TROJANS IN THE MAJORS -- In the history of the USC baseball program, a total of 96 players had made it to the major leagues.
IT'S ONLY A GAME -- Perhaps one of the best college baseball stories in the nation this season is sophomore infielder Taylor Wrenn (Lakeland, Fla./Manatee College), who is simply happy to be playing the game.
On January 8, Wrenn suffered a severe allergic reaction to a medication he was taking and fell into a coma over the course of three days. After recovering from the life-threatening bout, Wrenn returned to the field and will look to play as soon as possible.
THE LEGENDS OF OMAHA -- College baseball fans will be able to vote for the College World Series Legends Team to commemorate the final CWS to be played this year at Rosenblatt Stadium.
Fans are invited to vote on ncaa.com/cwslegends as members of the media and head coaches will also be able to vote.
A total of 12 former Trojans have been nominated: Bill Seinsoth, Stan Charnofsky, Wes Rachels, Bob Lillis, Bud Hollowell, Rod Dedeaux, Jason Lane, Ron Fairly, Geoff Jenkins, Fred Lynn, Russ McQueen and Roy Smalley.
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 college baseball at Pepperdine for three seasons (1983-85).
HOG HEAVEN -- Doyle Wilson is in his third season at USC as assistant coach after seven seasons as the head coach at Chandler-Gilbert (Ariz.) Community College. With a lengthy scouting background, Wilson compiled a 255-140 record at Chandler-Gilbert. He was a two-time all-conference catcher at Arkansas and played for the Razorbacks in the 1985 College World Series. Wilson is the recruiting coordinator and works as lead hitting coach.
FULL HOUSE -- Tom House, who pitched for the Trojans in 1967, is in his third season as the pitching coach. After spending eight seasons in the major leagues, House was the pitching coach for three major league teams before becoming the founder and CEO of the famed National Pitching Association in San Diego. His principles are based in three-dimensional motion analysis, mental and emotional profiles and nutritional assessments. In 2009, Collegiate Baseball expanded its Coach of the Year Award by renaming it the Tom House Teaching Professional Award for his lifetime research and coaching expertise.
TAKING ANOTHER CRUZ -- Frank Cruz begins his second tour of duty at USC after 12 seasons as head coach at Loyola Marymount (1997-2008) and is in his second season as USC's volunteer assistant coach. Cruz served as assistant coach at USC from 1993-96 under former head coach Mike Gillespie. He was an assistant coach for Team USA in 2000 and served as head coach in 2004, guiding the squad to the program's first-ever gold medal at the FISU World University Championships in Taiwan.
CITY OF ORO -- Sophomore infielder Ricky Oropesa (Rancho Cucamonga/Etiwanda HS) is coming off a solid freshman campaign, earning Louisville Slugger Freshman All-America and Pac-10 Conference honorable mention honors after batting .314 (58-for-185) and leading the Trojans with 13 home runs and 48 RBI.
Oropesa is batting .324 (22-for-68) this season with seven doubles, four home runs and 15 RBI.
His fourth homer of the season led the way to a 9-0 shutout on March 15 at Hawai'i after recording his first five-hit game the day before with two doubles and two RBI. He hit a two-run homer in the first as part of a 6-2 win over New Mexico on March 7 in the first game of a doubleheader. He broke a 4-4 tie in the ninth inning with a leadoff solo homer on Feb. 21 at Cal Poly with the Trojans going on to win by a 9-4 score.
He hit two home runs in a game twice last season, both around a span of one week. He hit two on April 21, 2009, against Loyola Marymount with the second one coming on April 29 at No. 6 Cal State Fullerton, where he had five RBI. He hit home runs in back-to-back games on April 9 and 10 against Oregon. He hit an opposite-field home run against UCLA's highly-touted freshman Gerrit Cole on March 21. On March 14, he hit his first collegiate home run and had a season-high four RBI.
As a 24th round draft selection in the 2008 draft by the Boston Red Sox, Oropesa batted .563 with six home runs, two triples and 16 RBI as a senior in high school and .547 as a junior with 11 home runs and 46 RBI.
PULL THE TRIGGER -- Sophomore right-hander Andrew Triggs (Nashville, Tenn./Montgomery Bell Academy) had Tommy John surgery on his right elbow prior to his senior season of high school, but bounced back after two years on the sidelines. Triggs earned Pac-10 Conference honorable mention recognition last season as a freshman, going 5-3 with a 3.96 ERA (75.0 IP, 79 H, 33 ER, 20 BB, 50 SO, .276 OBA).
This season, Triggs is 1-1 with a 3.12 ERA (26 IP, 23 H, 9 ER, 9 BB, 25 SO, .235 OBA).
He gave up just two runs (one earned) on five hits with a career-high nine strikeouts on March 5 against New Mexico. He allowed four runs in seven innings with a walk and seven strikeouts in a 9-4 win on Feb. 19 at Cal Poly, the season opener for both teams.
He earned his fourth win of the season last year on April 18 at No. 14 Oregon State, allowing just two runs in eight innings. On March 22 against UCLA in his second start, he threw seven scoreless innings against the Bruins, allowing just three hits with seven strikeouts for the win. He celebrated his 20th birthday on March 16 with his first collegiate win in his first start against Winthrop (7 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 1 ER). He threw six strong innings in relief on March 7 at Tulane, allowing two runs on five hits with a walk and three strikeouts.
RESCUE ME -- Sophomore infielder/outfielder Matt Foat (Rescue/Ponderosa HS/Sierra College) started his Trojan career in style with a 4-for-5 and four RBI night in the season opener on Feb. 19 at Cal Poly. He hit .462 (6-for-13) for the weekend with five RBI.
This season, he is batting .353 (24-for-68) with eight doubles, one triple, three home runs and 18 RBI.
He went 8-for-17 (.471) in the four-game series at Hawai'i (March 12-15) with five doubles, one triple, one home runs and six RBI. His key game was March 13 in a 3-1 win, knocking in two runs thanks to a double and triple.
He earned 2009 All Big-8 Conference first team honors at Sierra College after batting .395 (70-for-177) with 18 doubles, six home runs, 36 RBI and nine stolen bases.
DON'T GO BREAKING MY HART -- Junior infielder Matt Hart (Tacoma, Wash./Washington State/Santa Ana College) has gotten off to a good start this season.
He is batting .317 (19-for-60) with six doubles, a triple and seven RBI.
He opened the season with a nine-game hitting streak that was snapped on March 7. He went 3-for-4 with two doubles on Feb. 20 at Cal Poly.
MOUNTAIN CLIMBER -- Sophomore right-hander Ben Mount (Coto de Caza/Tesoro HS) is 2-1 this season with a 2.57 ERA (28 IP, 22 H, 8 ER, 5 BB, 22 SO, .218 OBA).
He threw a complete game on March 13 at Hawai'i in a 3-1 victory, allowing only one run on five hits with no walks and eight strikeouts. He earned his first collegiate win on March 7 in a 6-2 win against New Mexico, going 5 2/3 innings and allowed two runs (one earned) on six hits.
He earned a no-decision against Loyola Marymount on Feb. 23 in his first collegiate start, going six innings and allowing one earned run on two hits with no walks and six strikeouts.
DE PINTO BEANS -- Junior infielder Joe De Pinto (Sunland, St. Francis HS) has recovered from an ACL injury to his left knee suffered last summer. He is batting .292 (21-for-72) with four doubles, two triples and six RBI this season.
In 53 starts, he batted .277 (53-for-191) last season with three home runs and 22 RBI while finishing second on the team with 11 stolen bases.
De Pinto went 4-for-4 on March 25 in the first game of a doubleheader against Brown last year. He had a six-game hitting streak and recorded three-hit games on March 13 and 16 against Winthrop. He had an inside-the-park home run on March 8 at Tulane while his first collegiate home run came on Feb. 28 against Western Carolina, hitting a three-run shot to left at Dedeaux Field.
In 2008, he made 34 starts in 42 games as he batted .203 (24-for-118) with five RBI and two stolen bases.
SPARE THE ROD -- Sophomore outfielder Alex Sherrod (Marrieta, Ga./Walton HS) is batting .302 (16-for-53) this season with two home runs and 10 RBI.
On March 2 at Long Beach State, he hit a three-run homer to start a seven-run third inning during the Trojans' 10-5 win.
He started in 31 games last season for the Trojans in right field. He batted .296 (34-for-115) with 11 RBI. This season, Sherrod might be utilized as a pitcher as well.
He hit a two-run double in the ninth to help USC defeat No. 14 Oregon State on April 18 in Corvallis and set up a 9-2 double play in the bottom of the ninth on April 19 to send the game into extra innings.
CHIP OFF THE OLD BLOCK -- Freshman outfielder Cade Kreuter (Newhall/Hart HS) is the oldest son of current USC head coach Chad Kreuter. He is batting .316 (6-for-23) with two home runs and 10 RBI this season.
He went 3-for-4 with a home run and four RBI in the 5-0 shutout on March 9 at Pepperdine. He hit a two-run homer in the eighth inning on Feb. 21 at Cal Poly to give USC the 4-3 lead with the Trojans eventually winning, 9-4.
KNEEL BEFORE THE KING -- Senior outfielder Mike O'Neill (Riverside/Poly HS) made 51 starts in 52 games last season, finishing second on the team with a .319 (61-for-191) batting average. He had three home runs, 17 RBI and seven stolen bases.
This season, he is batting .214 (12-for-56) with four doubles, one home run and six RBI.
He gave the Trojans a 2-1 lead on Feb. 23 vs. Loyola Marymount with a two-run home run in the eventual 6-5 victory.
He hit his first home run of the season last year on April 14 against No. 6 Cal State Fullerton. He recorded his first career three-hit game on March 31 at No. 23 Cal Poly and later went 5-for-5 with a triple and scored the winning run in the bottom of the ninth on May 19 against UC Riverside.
YOU SPIN ME ROUND -- Sophomore catcher Kevin Roundtree (Glendora/Glendora HS) is batting .409 (9-for-22) this season with a home run and five RBI.
He hit his first collegiate home run on March 14 at Hawai'i and on March 12 in Honolulu, he went 3-for-3 at the plate with two stolen bases while throwing out two runners at second.
THOUSAND POINTS OF LIGHT -- Sophomore right-hander Chad Smith (Thousand Oaks/Thousand Oaks HS) worked himself into the weekend rotation after a solid freshman campaign. He is 1-2 this season with a 4.43 ERA (20 1/3 IP, 15 H, 10 ER, 11 BB, 21 SO, .197 OBA).
On March 15 at Hawai'i, he allowed just two hits in six scoreless innings with two walks and eight strikeouts to earn his first victory of the season.
Smith went 3-4 last season with a 3.40 ERA (45 IP, 51 H, 17 ER, 16 BB, 38 SO, .273 OBA) with one save. He made four starts in 18 appearances.
COUTURE OF DUTY -- Senior right-hander Kevin Couture (Coronado/Coronado HS) is 2-0 this season with a 3.80 ERA (21 1/3 IP, 29 H, 9 ER, 6 BB, 11 SO, .345 OBA).
He threw 5 2/3 innings in a 12-2 win on March 14 at Hawai'i after hurling seven shutout innings on March 9 at Pepperdine. On Feb. 21, he allowed three runs on six hits in seven innings of work at Cal Poly, where he earned the no-decision.
Couture finished 3-3 last season for the Trojans, making nine starts in 15 games with a 5.66 ERA (49 1/3 IP, 59 H, 31 ER, 25 BB, 40 SO, .298 OBA).
He earned Pac-10 Conference Pitcher of the Week honors at the start of the 2009 season after striking out a career-high 10 batters in seven scoreless innings on Feb. 21 at Long Beach State. He allowed just two hits and one walk as USC shut out the 49ers, 4-0.
He made 14 starts in 2008, going 6-2 with a 4.27 ERA (84 1/3 IP, 89 H, 40 ER, 19 BB, 65 SO, .276 OBA). He closed out the season with a then-career high eight strikeouts in seven scoreless innings on May 25 at Washington State. On May 6 against Cal Poly, he tossed six scoreless innings to earn the win and threw eight innings on April 2 at No. 17 San Diego and gave up just one earned run on seven hits with six strikeouts to get the victory in the 3-2 decision. On Feb. 26 at San Diego State, the hometown native made his collegiate debut and sparkled with six scoreless innings, allowing just two hits with three walks and six strikeouts.
In 2007, Couture went 2-1 with a 5.79 ERA in 25 appearances. In 37 1/3 innings, he allowed 42 hits with 16 walks and 45 strikeouts with opponents hitting .290 against him. He earned his first collegiate win on Feb. 17 at San Diego State with 1 2/3 innings, allowing one earned run on three hits.
KING OF HIS CASTILLO -- Senior catcher Keith Castillo (Huntington Beach/Mater Dei HS) is batting .276 (8-for-29) this season with a home run and one RBI.
He appeared in 28 games last year with 17 starts, batting .159 (11-for-69) with a home run and eight RBI. He went 2-for-4 with a home run and three RBI in a 6-4 loss on March 8 at Tulane.
He finished the 2008 season by hitting .406 in his final 11 games. Castillo finished with a .242 average (16-for-66) with four doubles, a home run and eight RBI.
NO STICK IN THE MUD -- Junior right-hander Chris Mezger (Boulder, Colo./Fairview HS) is 1-0 this season with a 1.74 ERA (10 1/3 IP, 10 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 9 SO, .256 OBA). With a nickname of 'Stick', he is the team's tallest player at 6-10.
He picked up his first collegiate win on March 2 at Long Beach State with 4 2/3 innings, allowing one run (unearned) on four hits.
Mezger is a linguistics major and currently holds a 3.78 grade-point-average.
STOCK MARKET REDUX -- Freshman catcher Richard Stock (Westlake Village/Agoura HS) is following in the footsteps of his brother, Robert, at USC. His brother played from 2007-09 as a catcher/pitcher for the Trojans and was selected in the second round (67th overall) in the 2009 MLB draft by the St. Louis Cardinals.
This season, he is batting .273 (3-for-11) with one home run and two RBI. In his collegiate debut on Feb. 20 at Cal Poly, he blasted a mammoth pinch-hit home run on the first pitch in the ninth inning.
HOUTS IN THE HOUTFIELD -- Sophomore outfielder Garret Houts (Fort Collins, Colo./Fort Collins HS) is batting .438 (7-for-16) this season.
He made 19 starts in 33 games last season, batting .232 (13-for-56) with one home run and six RBI.
Houts recorded his first collegiate home run last year on March 7 at Tulane in a 2-for-4 performance.
TAYLOR MADE -- Sophomore shortstop Taylor Wrenn (Lakeland, Fla./Manatee College) is batting .308 (8-for-26) this season.
He batted .500 (5-for-10) in the Hawai'i series (March 12-15). He made back-to-back starts to open the 2010 season at Cal Poly.
ONE IF BY LAND, TWO IF BY SEA -- Freshman Adam Landecker (Calabasas/Calabasas HS) is batting .261 (6-for-23) this season and has made seven starts in 12 games.
He went 0-for-1 in his collegiate debut on Feb. 21 at Cal Poly.
GLENNGARRY GLENN ROSS -- Freshman outfielder Alex Glenn (McDonough, Ga./Henry County HS) is batting .154 (2-for-13) this season with one RBI.
He was a 2009 ESPN Rise Magazine all-area first team selection in his senior season and was drafted in the 37th round of the 2009 MLB draft by the Florida Marlins.
GRECO-ROMAN WRESTLING -- Sophomore infielder/outfielder Mike Greco (Scottsdale, Ariz./Army) redshirted last season for the Trojans after making 43 starts in 46 games at Army during the 2008 season. Greco, who was scheduled to be in the starting lineup, was hit by a pitch on Feb. 17 during a practice and will be out approximately 4-6 weeks with a fractured left wrist.
He batted .250 (39-for-156) for Army with two home runs, 11 doubles, three stolen bases and 27 RBI.
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 tied for third for most appearances (21).
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 in 2007 and replaced with a safer chain-linked fence which is covered by green padding. The 2008 season added the RDRBI (Rod Dedeaux Research for Baseball Institute) and a brand-new Daktronics scoreboard with video capabilities to Dedeaux Field. The batting cages on the third-base side were completely renovated with the addition of a baseball-specific weight room. Fieldturf has been placed behind home plate prior to the 2009 season as a further improvement. A plan is currently in the works to modernize the field lighting system as well.
TROJAN 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 pitcher Mark Prior during his 2001 national player of the year season. Prior made a sizable donation to help complete the project. The major league uniforms of former Trojans are also on display.
THE 'OTHER' HALLS OF FAME -- Former USC pitcher Tom Seaver was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1992 with a 98.8% vote, which remains the highest percentage ever for an inducted member. In the summer of 2006, legendary coach Rod Dedeaux (who passed away on January 5, 2006) was a member of the inaugural class for the College Baseball Hall of Fame in Lubbock, Texas. Another USC addition was made in 2007 when former outfielder Fred Lynn is inducted. He appeared on three consecutive USC national championship squads (1971, 1972 and 1973) and had a career .320 average with 28 home runs and 111 RBI. He also earned 1971 All-College World Series honors for the Trojans.