USC Baseball Adds 14 Newcomers for 2021 Season
LOS ANGELES – USC Baseball Head Coach Jason Gill announced the Trojans' 2020 recruiting class this week, with a group of three transfers and 11 freshmen bolstering the ranks.
The group, which was ranked 24th in the nation by Baseball America, looks to make an immediate impact all over the diamond once the Trojans are able to return to the field. The class includes the top-ranked player overall in the state of Washington, the top-ranked third baseman and outfielder in Nevada, and three players in the Top 10 at their position in the state of California.
Here's a look at the 2020 class…
6-2 | 190 | RHP | Thousand Oaks, Calif. | Thousand Oaks HS | College of Southern Nevada
Clarke comes to USC after pitching two seasons at the College of Southern Nevada, compiling a 7-1 record and 2.79 ERA in 49 innings pitched. He earned first team All-Marmonte League and second team All-County as a senior at Thousand Oaks High in 2018. During his prep career, Clarke posted a 1.96 ERA in 93 innings pitched.
Head Coach Gill on Clarke: "We look for Garrett to provide some stability to our staff coming in with two years of experience. He has good command of his pitches and will push guys right away for playing time."
Clarke on why he chose USC: "I chose USC because of the amazing tradition."
6-2 | 185 | RHP | Carpinteria, Calif. | Carpinteria HS | Santa Barbara City College
Another right-handed arm, Spach comes to USC after spending the last two years at Santa Barbara City College, posting a 3.80 ERA during last year's shortened season. A catcher coming out of high school, Spach started every game behind the plate for four years at Carpinteria High, earning All-Tri-Valley League in 2017 and 2018.
Head Coach Gill on Spach: "Toby comes to us after playing for head coach Jeff Walker at Santa Barbara CC. Toby will be right in the mix with our top arms. He has a mid 90's arm that doesn't have a lot of mileage on it. We are excited to add him to the depth of your staff."
Spach on why he chose USC: "The tradition this program has and the coaching staff here are second to none."
6-4 | 225 | RHP | Clarendon Hills, Ill. | Hinsdale Central HS | Nebraska
Wisch spent last season at Nebraska, making one relief appearance before the season was cut short. He was the 13th-ranked right-handed pitcher in the state of Illinois coming out of Hinsdale Central in 2019 even after missing his senior season due to injury. In 2018, Wisch posted a 1.74 ERA, with 65 strikeouts and just 17 walks in 48.1 innings pitched. He played his travel ball for Chi-Town Cream, earning Perfect Game Underclass All-American honors in 2018.
Head Coach Gill on Wisch: "We feel very fortunate that Kyle has found USC as his home. Kyle has had a long relationship with pitching coach Ted Silva and will fit right in with what Coach Silva is doing with our staff. I anticipate him having an immediate impact on our team."
Wisch on why he chose USC: "I chose USC due to the outstanding academics and to play under the USC coaching staff."
6-3 | 195 | RHP/3B | Las Vegas, Nev. | Palo Verde HS
Agassi is a star two-way player coming out of Las Vegas where he played his travel ball for LVR Baseball. He is the top-ranked third baseman in the state of Nevada and the 13th-ranked player at the hot corner nationally according to Perfect Game. Agassi comes to Troy with plenty of athletic prowess in his bloodlines as the son of tennis greats Andre Agassi and Steffi Graf.
Head Coach Gill on Agassi: "Jaden is a two way player out of Las Vegas with a mid 90's fastball that he compliments with a plus change up and breaking ball. He is very athletic and the sky is the limit for him."
Agassi on why he chose USC: "I fell in love with the campus and the Trojan family."
6-0 | 177 | RHP/INF | Federal Way, Wash. | Todd Beamer HS
Clow was a standout both on the mound and at the plate during his prep career, compiling a .421 batting average and 1.25 ERA in four varsity seasons. He earned All-League honors each season (excluding the shortened 2020 campaign) and was named League MVP as a sophomore and Seattle Times All-Area first team as a junior. Clow is the top-ranked player in the state of Washington, according to Perfect Game, and the 22nd-ranked shortstop in the nation for the 2020 class.
Head Coach Gill on Clow: "Nate is a dynamic middle infielder with one of the best left-handed swings in the country. With his good foot speed and instincts on the bases, Nate is a natural player and eventually will compete to be a three-hole hitter in our lineup. Nate has an extremely bright future as a Trojan and beyond."
Clow on why he chose USC: "I fell in love with the Trojan tradition the minute I stepped on campus. It's the nicest school I toured and I like the coaches and their winning mentality. The facilities are second to none, the academics are world class, and the athletic department cares about their athletes."
6-2 | 200 | C | Burbank, Calif. | Maranatha HS
Firestone comes to USC after three varsity seasons at nearby Maranatha High School, allowing just five passed balls his entire prep career. He helped lead Maranatha to a CIF title, earning San Gabriel Valley All-Area first team honors. Firestone played his travel ball for the SoCal Giants and is the 24th-ranked catcher in California according to Perfect Game.
Head Coach Gill on Firestone: "Ethan comes in as a catcher who can really receive. He has continuously gotten better over the last three years of high school and we are looking for that trend to continue. He will add the depth we need at the catching position and will compete for a job."
Firestone on why he chose USC: "The Trojan Family is like no other. Fight On!"
6-1 | 210 | C | Yorba Linda, Calif. | Servite HS
Guillemette played four varsity seasons at Servite, earning All-Trinity League honors twice as well as Scholar-Athlete recognition. He is the sixth-ranked catcher in the state of California, according to Perfect Game, and the 19th-ranked catcher nationally. He played his travel ball with Rox Baseball (2017), Blackhawks National (2018-19) and Northeast Baseball National (2019-2020). Another Trojan from athletic bloodlines, his father Barry played on the PGA tour and grandfather pitched in the Cardinals organization.
Head Coach Gill on Guillemette: "Garrett comes in after playing for head coach Shawn Gilbert at Servite. He's an offensive catcher with good arm strength. We look for Garett to push our veteran players and strengthen our catching position. Garett will be in the mix as a freshman to earn playing time."
Guillemette on why he chose USC: "I chose USC because of the coaching staff and the schooling itself. USC will prepare me for life after baseball and I have never been more excited."
6-8 | 200 | RHP | Sacramento, Calif. | Jesuit HS
A tall righty our of Sacramento, Hurley comes to USC after two prep seasons at Jesuit. Despite losing his junior season to injury and senior year to the COVID-19 pandemic, Hurley earned All-Region second team early in his career and was named a preseason All-American heading into 2020. An all-around athlete, he also was Jesuit's starting goalkeeper in water polo and played basketball as well. Hurley is the 12th-ranked RHP in California according to Perfect Game, and played his travel ball for Walbeck Baseball Academy and Trosky Nation Baseball.
Head Coach Gill on Hurley: "Charlie is a big physical righty out of Sacramento. He was a three-sport athlete at Jesuit, and comes with a heavy fastball. Charlie should make an impact on our pitching staff right away. We believe that with him focusing solely on baseball now, the sky is the limit for this young man."
Hurley on why he chose USC: "I chose USC because the program is heading in the right direction with the new coaching staff and I feel I can help bring back that winning tradition."
6-1 | 170 | INF/OF | Alameda, Calif. | Encinal HS
Lewis comes to USC after four standout varsity seasons at Encinal High School, where he earned All-League honors as a sophomore and junior, before his senior season was cut short due to the COVID -19 pandemic. Lewis hit .371 over the course of his prep career, with a high of .405 and 21 RBI in 2018. He was named the Encinal High Athlete of the Year in 2020 and was on the Honor Roll all four years.
Head Coach Gill on Lewis: "Jeriah is a good all-around steady player who has a very bright future. With our strength and development program, we have high hopes for Jeriah and his development down the road."
Lewis on why he chose USC: "I chose USC because I can achieve great success on and off the field."
6-2 | 165 | INF | Upland, Calif. | Damien HS
Rodriguez played four varsity seasons at Damien, helping to lead the team to a league title in 2019. He was named All-Baseline League in 2018 and 2019, and made Honor Roll the last two years. Rodriguez played four years of travel ball with CBA Marucci as well and is the 20th ranked shortstop in the state of California according to Perfect Game.
Head Coach Gill on Rodriguez: "We are excited to add Alex to our infield group. He is a slick fielding infielder, who can play all three positions. Alex is wiry strong, with a good swing. As he matures and strengthens, we feel his bat will come around and he will continue to improve offensively."
Rodriguez on why he chose USC: "The reason I chose USC was because of the rich tradition of academics and athletics."
5-9 | 180 | INF | Diamond Bar, Calif. | San Dimas HS
Smith comes to USC after earning All-CIF honors at San Dimas High. In addition to earning All-CIF first team as a sophomore, Smith was named All-Valley League that same season before earning Valley League MVP as a junior. He hit better than .300 each of his varsity seasons, with a career high .409 as a junior. Smith played his travel ball for SGV Arsenal and is the seventh-ranked shortstop in California and 23rd-ranked player overall in the state of California according to Perfect Game.
Head Coach Gill on Smith: "D'Andre Smith is my definition of a true baseball player. Not a lot of flash, but he gets the job done on the field. He's a very good defensive middle infielder, who really could play anywhere on the field. He has really good command of his barrel, with plus bat to ball skills. D'Andre is an intelligent baserunner and he will make an immediate impact on our team."
Smith on why he chose USC: "I chose USC because of the tradition it carries."
6-4 | 200 | RHP | Newport Beach, Calif. | Sherman Oaks Notre Dame HS
Stromsborg played in both the field and on the mound at Notre Dame. He posted a 1.50 ERA and 6-0 record as a junior before missing his senior year with an injury. Stromsborg played travel ball for GBG Marucci for four years and for the Brewers scout team his senior year. Hailing from a Trojan bloodline, his father, Ryan Stromsborg, played at USC in 1995-96. Stromsborg is the 19th-ranked right-handed pitcher in California according to Perfect Game.
Head Coach Gill on Stromsborg: "We are excited to have Tyler as a Trojan. His dad played at USC which makes it all the more special. Tyler is a strike-thrower with a heavy fastball. We look for him to be a starter as he matures and grows in our program."
Stromsborg on why he chose USC: "I chose USC for the combination of athletic and academic excellence, in addition to my family's history of athletics at the university."
6-1 | 190 | OF | Henderson, Nev. | Bishop Gorman HS
Wells is the top-ranked outfielder and third-ranked player overall in the state of Nevada according to Perfect Game, and comes to USC after a standout prep career at Bishop Gorman High School. He earned All-State honors and All-Desert Region in 2019, All-Southwest Region in 2018, and was named team Defensive Player of the Year twice (2017, 2018) and Offensive Player of the Year once (2019). He batted .413 with 48 runs scored, 42 hits and 12 RBI in 2019, and batted .351 with 27 runs, 34 hits and 24 RBI in 2018. His brother, Austin Wells, played at Arizona and was a first round pick of the Yankees this past year.
Head Coach Gill on Wells: "Carson comes in as one of the best players in Nevada. As a centerfielder, he can play all three outfield positions and is a top to middle of the order bat as he grows into what is going to be a physical frame. We expect Carson to compete for a starting job as a freshman."
Wells on why he chose USC: "USC is highly-esteemed in education, but also I came to win a championship and this school has the legacy for it. USC has amazing coaches and I believe that they are going to help me get to my best."
6-3 | 200 | INF | San Antonio Texas | Juniperro Serra HS
Originally from Texas, Wickley finished his final two prep years at Serra HS in Gardena and comes to USC as the third-ranked first baseman in California and 15th-ranked first baseman in the nation according to Perfect Game. In two years at Serra, Wickley posted a .333 batting average, .452 OBP and 1.116 OPS, earning All-Del Rey League honors in 2019. He was a 15U Team USA alternate in 2017 and played his travel ball with Banditos Scout Team, earning several Area Code Upperclass and Underclass selections, and Perfect Game All-Tournament honors. Wickley competed in track and field, and football as a prep athlete as well.
Head Coach Gill on Wickley: "Malikai is a physical freshman who has the versatility to play a corner infield or corner outfield position. He has some power in his bat and looks to be a middle of the lineup hitter as he develops in our system."
Wickley on why he chose USC: "I chose USC because being a Trojan means achieving excellence in all aspects. USC has always been my dream school, and I have always wanted to be a Trojan."