USC Baseball Hosts Fullerton, Pepperdine, Heads to No. 8 UCLA
THIS WEEK: The USC baseball team hosts games against Cal State Fullerton (Friday) and Pepperdine (Saturday) before heading to No. 8 UCLA on Sunday.
Friday - USC vs. Cal St. Fullerton (Dedeaux Field), March 5, 5 p.m. (USC Live Stream)
Saturday - USC vs. Pepperdine (Dedeaux Field), March 6, 2 p.m. (USC Live Stream)
Sunday - USC at No. 8 UCLA (Jackie Robinson Stadium), March 7, 1 p.m. (UCLA Live Stream)
PROBABLE PITCHING MATCHUPS:
Friday - USC: LHP Isaac Esqueda (0-0, 1.64 ERA) vs. CSF: RHP Tanner Bibee (1-0, 0.75 ERA)
Saturday - USC: RHP Chandler Champlain (1-0, 1.74 ERA) vs. PEPP: RHP Gunnar Groen (0-0, 6.48 ERA)
Sunday - USC: LHP Alex Cornwell (1-0, 4.66 ERA) vs. UCLA: RHP Nick Nastrini (1-0, 2.19 ERA)
BROADCAST INFO: Friday and Saturday's games will be streamed live on Pac-12+ via USCTrojans.com with Ted Enberg on the call and Sunday's game will be streamed on UCLABruins.com. Links to all of the broadcasts are available on the baseball schedule page at USCTrojans.com.
FOLLOW: Fans can also follow the action through live stats on USCTrojans.com. Live, in-game updates will be available for all games from @USC_Baseball on Twitter as well.
GET SOCIAL: Follow USC Baseball on social media to get updates on everything going on with the team this season. The Trojans can be found at @USC_Baseball on Twitter, @sctrojans_baseball on Instagram and USC Trojans Baseball on Facebook.
LAST WEEK: The Trojans dropped 2-for-3 to Cal Poly last weekend, losing the first two games before salvaging the third. In Sunday's win, Alex Cornwell tossed 6.0 strong innings, Ben Ramirez drove in four runs and Nate Clow hit what ended up being the game winning homer while also recording the save.
OPENING WEEKEND: The Trojans opened the season last weekend, taking 2-of-3 from LMU. USC won the opener 3-2 behind homers from Tyresse Turner and Jamal O'Guinn, and a bases-loaded walk in the bottom of the ninth. The Trojans took Saturday's game 5-0 thanks to 6.0 scoreless innings on the mound from Chandler Champlain and a late explosion from the bats. Sunday's contest was a slugfest, with USC losing 9-8 in 11 innings.
2021 SQUAD AT A GLANCE: The 2021 Trojans return 27 lettermen from last year, have three players coming off of redshirt seasons and have added 15 newcomers to the roster.
On the position player side, the most notable returning veterans are INF/OF Jamal O'Guinn (.378/.500/.564), 1B/DH Clay Owens (.346/.400/.577) and Ben Ramirez (.310/.375/.552). Another pair of underclassmen returners who impressed during the 15-game 2020 season are Rhylan Thomas (.356/.412/.422) and Tyresse Turner (.257/.372/.371, 6-6 SB).
On the pitching side, starters LHP Isaac Esqueda (0-1, 1.20 ERA) and LHP Alex Cornwell (2-1, 3.66 ERA) lead the charge, while RHP Chandler Champlain (1.23 ERA) looks to lock down a starting role as well. The Trojans had five relievers post sub-2.00 ERA's last year, losing just RHP/DH Ben Wanger of the group.
SERIES VS. CAL POLY: Trojans lead 25-8. First meeting, 1953. The teams last played in 2019, with the USC taking 2-of-3 in San Luis Obispo.
DRAFTED/SIGNED: The Trojans lost a pair of key players to the MLB last year. RHP Kyle Hurt was selected in the fifth round of the shortened 2020 MLB Draft by the Miami Marlins and chose to sign with the club. Hurt was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers this February. LHP John Beller was later snatched up in the undrafted free agent market by the St. Louis Cardinals.
LAST YEAR: The Trojans had their 2020 season cut short by the Covid-19 pandemic, finishing the year 10-5. During the abbreviated season, USC picked up signature wins over No. 2 and defending National Champs Vanderbilt and No. 22 TCU.
USC TO THE MLB: No other school can claim a larger number of alumni who have made it to the big leagues, with 116 Trojans having played in the MLB. The list includes three Trojans who have made it to the MLB Hall of Fame (Randy Johnson, Tom Seaver, Pat Gillick), nine Cy Young Awards (Johnson 5 times, Seaver 3 times, Barry Zito once), three Rookie of the Years (Seaver, Fred Lynn, Mark McGwire), one American League MVP (Lynn), one World Series MVP (Johnson), 29 World Series appearances and 67 All-Star Game appearances. In all, 341 Trojans have been selected in the MLB Draft.
CHAMPIONSHIP HISTORY: The Trojans have an unparalleled history of championship success at the College World Series, winning 12 total national titles (1948, 1958, 1961, 1963, 1968, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1978, 1998). The 12 titles are double any other team in the country and were won in 21 CWS appearances by the Trojans. USC won five straight NCAA Championships from 1970-74, a feat no other program has accomplished.
FAN POLICY: In accordance with the Pac-12 and Los Angeles County Public Health Department policies, USC will not have fans in attendance at its home games this spring.
MEDIA POLICY: Limited media members will be allowed to apply for credentials to USC baseball home games. Credentialed media members will only have access to a designated media area, and no in-person interviews will be allowed. All postgame and weekly interviews will be conducted virtually and upon request. Please contact Jacob Breems (Breems@usc.edu) for more media information and to apply for credentials.