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State of Troy - May 2017

Each month, we interview USC Athletic Director Lynn Swann to get his take on the hot topics around Heritage Hall.

usc-beach-volleyball-pepperdine-ncaa-championship-mcgillen-050617-8842.jpgSwann on USC beach volleyball's third consecutive national championship...

Winning a championship is everybody's goal, but it is hard to attain. A three-peat is absolutely remarkable. It is one of the unique historical accomplishments to happen in any sport. For our top pair, Sara Hughes and Kelly Claes, their record is extraordinary. They will not realize how big this is for quite some time, and it is only going to get bigger.

Swann on the reaction to the recently-unveiled Coliseum seating plan after the renovation...

The messaging that went out last week was really well received. Most importantly, people understand it. Of course, there are a few folks fearful of change, but change is inevitable in any renovation and necessary in our situation. We will be sure to communicate with every one of our Trojan Athletic Fund members and season-ticket holders one-on-one to address their concerns as we believe that we have a suitable option for everyone. The fundraising support has been tremendous, and we are extremely grateful to all our loyal alumni and fans. At the end of the day, I believe that the Trojan Family will be happy with the changes that we are making and embrace the new seating grid. We will come together, support this football program, support this cause and turn out in full force for years to come. We will Fight On.

Click here for more information on the Coliseum renovation!

Swann on the APR report...

I'm very proud of our student-athletes for their conscientious efforts in the classroom that have led to a best-ever department APR of 976. To have nearly half of our 21 teams record their highest APR in history is a testament to our focus on the "student" part of the student-athlete equation. We should also acknowledge the emphasis our coaches put on the academic performance of their teams and the support provided by our staff in the Stevens Academic Center.

Swann on Commencement Week...

This is my first time here for graduation week as the athletic director, and it is very exciting. Congratulations to all the seniors and post-grads on earning your degrees. I am looking forward to the Student-Athlete Graduation on Thursday and then the main ceremony on Friday. Unfortunately, some of our student-athletes will miss graduation because they are competing in postseason tournaments. It is one of the difficult aspects of being an athlete. But, our student-athletes put so much time and effort into competing for championships that I know they are willing to make the sacrifice to reach for their goals.

usc-womens-water-polo-princeton-2017-mcgillen-5185.jpgSwann on the rest of the spring sport calendar...

Men's and women's golf are beginning their road to the NCAA Championships. The men are in a great position as head coach Chris Zambri has done an excellent job. They had to battle snowy conditions at the Pac-12 Championships in Colorado, which maybe threw them off their game a bit, but they have an opportunity to win the program's first national championship. Andrea Gaston always seems to put the women's team in a position to succeed in the postseason, so I look forward to seeing what they do as well.

Women's water polo will battle for the NCAA title this weekend in Indianapolis. They will go in as the three-seed. They are used to being on top, but they have taken a couple losses lately. It all comes down to the NCAA Tournament though, and Jovan Vavic knows how to win championships.

Men's and women's tennis also begin NCAA Tournament play this week. The men have been playing beautifully, including winning the Pac-12 Tournament, and I expect them to compete for more hardware at the NCAA Championships. The women's team has really improved late in the season, so they could have a good showing as well.

Women's lacrosse has to travel to Florida for the postseason. Coach Lindsey Munday has had this team ready to play from day one. They have grown in confidence every step of the way. I look for them to continue their outstanding play.

Men's and women's track & field will battle for the conference championship this weekend up in Oregon. They have had a great season. I really enjoyed the Dual Meet win for the Women of Troy over UCLA, but the men fell a little bit short. I think both teams are peaking towards postseason competition.

Baseball continues on with a trip to Utah this week. We hope to put together a late season run after a tough couple of weeks.

Women's rowing is working hard. They have a difficult schedule with all the travel, but I think they will make a good showing at the Pac-12 Championships this week. It's that time of year. Everybody is competing and pushing to win hardware.

USC Baseball - Meet The Freshmen: Position Players

Heading into the 2017 season, USC baseball head coach Dan Hubbs expressed uncertainty but excitement about his new-look roster.

USC's draftees and graduates left five starting spots open for USC's young talent to fill and freshmen Blake Sabol, Christian Moya and Matthew Acosta have all stepped up to the plate.

Sabol, a catcher from Aliso Viejo, CA, has started 16 games this season. Sabol has cardinal, gold and baseball in the blood, as his second cousin is USC legend Troy Polamalu and his older brother played baseball at Oregon and in the New York Mets organization.

Moya, an outfilder from Diamond Bar, CA, has started 12 games. Hubbs called him "an absolute run stopper in center field" and "a guy who shows that he is not scared of Division I baseball from the time he stepped on campus."

Acosta is an outfielder from Chino Hills, CA. He's started more games than any other freshman this season (32) and sports a .250 batting average.

Meet Sabol, Moya and Acosta:

Smart And Sporty

Five Trojan teams recently earned Public Recognition Awards from the NCAA for their outstanding performance in the classroom.

Click here for the full release!

USC baseball, men's volleyball, women's cross country, women's golf and women's tennis teams all earned the awards, which are based upon teams' commitment to academic progress and retention of student-athletes by achieving multiyear Academic Progress Rates (APR) within the top 10 percent in their respective sports. A team's APR comprises eligibility, retention and graduation.

This recognition comes just around a week before the latest class of USC student-athletes graduates. Student-athlete commencement takes place on May 11 at the Galen Center.


Baseball Battle

BASE-Series.jpgCrucial Crosstown Cup points are on the line this week as USC baseball takes on UCLA in a three-game series.

The Trojans currently trail, 95-90, in the Crosstown Cup standings, and need to win two out of three against the Bruins to tie things up.

Click here for the full series preview!

Sophomore C.J. Stubbs will get the start tonight at 6 p.m. in a Throwback Thursday-themed game, during which the first 500 fans will receive a free Randy Johnson hat.

Freshman Chris Clarke -- whose older brother, Zander, plays for UCLA -- takes the mound tomorrow at 7 p.m.

Sophomore Marrick Crouch will close out the series on Saturday at 7 p.m., which marks a Fight On Family Day, (first 300 children in attendance will receive a free coloring bag).

All three games this week will be broadcast on Pac-12 Network.

The Trojans are 261-134 all-time against the Bruins, including a 4-3 extra-innings win in the finale of the Dodgertown Baseball Classic in March. Both teams enter this week's series with a similar record this season -- USC sits at 19-22 (6-12 Pac-12) while UCLA is 21-19 (10-8 Pac-12).

Click here to purchase tickets to this week's games!

Crosstown Cup Update: UCLA 95, USC 90

After a slow start in the fall, despite a big win in football, USC had major ground to make up in the race for the Crosstown Cup against UCLA. The Trojans have blown the Bruins away lately, including four rivalry wins last weekend alone, to close the gap to just five points.


While postseason play could shift things around, the school that reaches 100 points clinches the cup, so everything rides on this weekend's baseball series. UCLA comes to Dedeaux Field on Thursday (6 p.m.), Friday (7 p.m.) and Saturday (7 p.m.) needing to win at least two out of three to grab five massive points. If the Trojans win the series, USC will pull even at 95-all and tiebreakers will decide this year's winner.

Click here for USC-UCLA baseball tickets.

In their only meeting this season, USC baseball defeated UCLA, 4-3 in 10 innings, at Dodger Stadium. The Trojans are hoping to retain the Crosstown Cup after winning, 115-75, last year.

Crosstown Cup Update: UCLA 95, USC 90. It all comes down to @sctrojans_baseball! #FightOn #BeatTheBruins

A post shared by USC Trojans (@usc_athletics) on

Battle With Beavers

USC baseball took one game out of three in its series against No. 1 Oregon State this weekend.

Oregon State's Luke Heimlich, the nation's leader in ERA (0.78), held the Trojans to just one hit and one run in USC's 3-1 loss on Friday evening.

The Trojans bounced back on Saturday, handing the Beavers their first home loss of the season. USC and Oregon State went back and forth all game, with the Trojans getting the run they needed to tie it up in the top of the eighth and ultimately send the game to extra innings.

USC charged out of the gates in the top of the 10th, loading the bases with just one out. Senior Cris Perez stepped up and drove in two runs to help USC earn a 7-5 victory -- only the fourth loss for the Beavers this season.

USC's offense stalled on Sunday, though, as the Trojans fell 10-1 to move to 19-22 (6-12 Pac-12) on the season.

This week, the Trojans host a series against UCLA. With the Bruins leading 95-90 in Crosstown Cup standings, USC must take two out of three to tie up the score. Two months ago, the Trojans topped the Bruins, 4-3, in the Dodgertown College Baseball Classic. This week, they face off on Thursday at 6 p.m., Friday at 7 p.m. and Saturday at 7 p.m.

Tough Breaks

USC baseball lost three close games on a road trip to Cal this weekend.

On Friday night, the Trojans and Bears battled back and forth before USC knocked in five runs in the eighth to take a 9-7 lead. Cal tied it up in the bottom of the eighth, then won the game on a walk-off grand slam in the ninth.

The game would follow a similar script on Saturday, with USC coming back to take a late lead before the Bears came alive again. Cal utilized a three-run bottom of the eighth to win Saturday's game, 9-8.

On Sunday, the Trojans showed promise once again by tying it up with the game on the line in the top of the ninth. With just one out between the Trojans and a loss, USC scored four runs to tie the game, 6-6, and send it to extras. That's where the Bears made their move, though, scoring two runs to win the game, 8-6, in 10 innings.

Despite the losses, which dropped USC to 18-10 (5-10 Pac-12) this season, it was a strong weekend for third baseman Adalberto Carrillo, who went 4-for-8 with 9 RBI. He leads the team and ranks eighth in the Pac-12 with 29 RBI this season.

Next up for the Trojans is a battle in Corvallis with No. 1 Oregon State.


Titans Outduel Trojans

After upsetting No. 8 Cal State Fullerton in the first game of the series, USC baseball fell in the final two this weekend.

On Thursday, the Trojans and Titans went back and forth before USC utilized a six-run fifth inning to take a commanding lead. The Trojans turned their 17 hits into a 13-9 home victory.

USC headed to Fullerton for the final two games of the series. The Trojans outhit the Titans again in Game 2, but couldn't capitalize, falling 13-5. Game 3 featured a pitching battle in which Cal State Fullerton had a slight edge, taking the final game by a 2-1 margin.

The Trojans are now 17-16 on the season heading into tonight's makeup game at UC Irvine. The game was originally scheduled for March 21, but was rained out.


Tom Terrific

Tomorrow evening, USC baseball kicks off a three-game series against No. 8 Cal State Fullerton.

The Trojans are 12-7 at home this season heading into the Thursday night matchup, which will mark a Throwback Thursday event. The first 500 fans to arrive at Dedeaux Field for the game will receive a free snapback hat with USC alum Tom Seaver's name and number emblazoned on the side.

Seaver lettered at USC in 1965 before enjoying a 20-year career in the major leagues, during which he earned three Cy Young Awards, a Rookie of the Year Award and a World Series ring. Seaver was inducted into the USC Athletics Hall of Fame in 1995 and the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1992.

Click here to purchase tickets to USC's Thursday night game!

Cover The Bases

USC baseball won its first game, but dropped the series against No. 21 Stanford last week.

USC's two home runs proved to be the difference in Thursday's 7-5 win over the Cardinal. The next night, the teams headed to extra innings knotted at 3. In the top of the 10th, Stanford's bats lit up, and they charged ahead to an 8-3 win. Despite outhitting the Cardinal on Saturday, the Trojans dropped the rubber match, 6-3.

USC is now 16-14 (5-7 Pac-12) on the season heading into this week's series at Cal State Fullerton.

Check out team photographer John McGillen's photos of Game 3 in the series:

Throwback Thursday

USC baseball aims to snap a four-game skid with a series against Stanford this week.

Click here for the full series preview!

Freshman Chris Clarke gets the start on the mound this evening to kick off the series. Two sophomores will get the start on Friday and Saturday, in CJ Stubbs and Marrick Crouse, respectively.

While the Trojans are looking for consistency in their pitching game, their defense has kept them afloat. USC boasts the seventh-best fielding percentage in the nation at .983.

While USC is 15-12 on the season and right in the middle of the pack in the conference standings, Stanford is 15-9, ranking third-to-last.

Tonight's 6 p.m. matchup will feature a Throwback Thursday deal, where fans can receive a Barry Zito snapback hat.

Tomorrow is Free Dog Friday, where the first 200 students in attendance receive three free hot dogs.

On Saturday, USC hosts the annual Kids Take Over The Ballpark event.

Click here to see all of USC's baseball promos this year!

Kids Take Over The Ballpark

USC baseball takes on Pac-12 foe Stanford this Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Saturday's matchup marks USC's "Kids Take Over The Ballpark" event, where a $20 package includes tickets, prizes and opportunities for children to perform gameday activities. See below for more information and click here for tickets!

kids take over the ballpark.jpg

McGillen Gallery: USC Baseball vs. SDSU

Last night, USC baseball topped San Diego State, 2-0, for the team's third shutout of the season.

Click here for the full recap!

Junior Mason Perryman got the start and went five innings before relievers Connor Lunn and Bryce Dyrda came in to cement the shutout. Perryman improved to 2-0 on the season with the win.

On offense, two familiar faces led the way. Sophomore Lars Nootbaar went 3-for-4 on the night, while senior Corey Dempster knocked in a 2-out RBI single in the bottom of the eighth.

The Trojans are now 15-8 on the season heading into this weekend's series at Arizona.

USC photographer John McGillen captured all the best moments from the Trojans' Tuesday night win at Dedeaux Field.

McGillen Gallery: USC Baseball vs. ASU

USC baseball earned a 2-1 series win over Arizona State this weekend, helping the Trojans move into a second-place tie early in the Pac-12 standings.

The Trojans opened up the series with an extra-inning 5-4 victory over the Sun Devils. Sophomore Lars Nootbaar and senior Corey Dempster both drove in RBIs on what would be a solid weekend for both.

After the 11-inning slugfest, the Trojans showed their fatigue in a 7-0 Saturday loss.

But they got back on track on Sunday, taking the rubber match by a 7-4 margin. Nootbaar and Dempster drove in 3 combined RBI, and Dempster extended his hitting streak to 10 games.

The Trojans are now 14-8 on the season with a 4-2 mark in Pac-12 play. They host San Diego State in a nonconference match tomorrow at 6 p.m. Click here for tickets!

Check out all of John McGillen's photos from Sunday's win over the Sun Devils:

Pac-12 Power

USC baseball opened up Pac-12 play this weekend by hosting Washington State and winning the series, 2-1.

The Trojans started off with a bang, taking the series opener, 12-3, behind a stellar outing from freshman Chris Clarke (7 IP, 7 K, 8 H, 3 R (2 earned)) and an impressive offensive output. On his 22nd birthday, senior Corey Dempster led the Trojans with 3 RBI on 2 hits.

On Saturday, USC downed WSU once again to take the series. Dempster drove in 2 runs on the day, as did sophomore Brandon Perez and freshman Blake Sabol, to help the Trojans rack up a 4-2 win.

After two straight games with 11+ hits, USC struggled in the last game of the series against the Cougars, only connecting 6 times. The Trojans put a game-tying run on the plate in the ninth, but couldn't come through, falling 4-1.

The Trojans now stand at 12-7 on the season (2-1 in Pac-12 play) heading into today's game at UC Irvine at 6:30 p.m.

Catch the latest episode of The Road, featuring head coach Dan Hubbs, Dempster, Clarke and pitcher Brad Wegman:

2 Out Of 3 Ain't Bad

USC baseball took the series against Holy Cross this weekend to improve to 10-5 on the season.

The Trojans opened the series with a 6-3 comeback win on Friday, thanks in part to a 3-for-3 performance from Brandon Perez. On Saturday, however, USC wasn't able to dig itself out of an early deficit to the Crusaders. Down six runs, the Trojans mustered a solid effort inch closer, but fell by a score of 6-4. Perez added two more hits on the day.

The Trojans never trailed in the ribber match, utilizing a strong outing from starter Marrick Crouse to earn a 5-2 win and take the series, 2-1.

Holy Ground

baseball.jpegThree days after posting its second shutout of of the season, USC baseball returns home for a series against Holy Cross.

Click here for the full preview!

Tuesday's 1-0 win at San Diego State helped the Trojans improve to 8-4 on the season, while Holy Cross sits at 1-8. The three games will give three Trojan pitchers the opportunity to improve upon their records so far this season.

Freshman Chris Clarke (1-0, 3.09 ERA), who tossed 5.2 scoreless innings in USC's comeback win over UCLA, will get the start tomorrow. Junior Brad Wegman, who sports a 1-1 record on the season (5.06 ERA) will start Saturday, and sophomore Marrick Crouse (1-1, 14.66 ERA) will kick things off on Sunday.

While USC's pitching has improved as the season's gone on, its offensive output has been consistently impressive. Leading the charge is sophomore Lars Nootbaar, who leads the conference in RBI (15) and is tied for the lead in HR (4).

Nootbaar and the Trojans play Holy Cross Friday at 6 p.m., Saturday at 2 p.m. and Sunday at 1 p.m. All games will be streamed on!

Down Go The Bruins At Dodger Stadium

Written by Max Holm, USC blog contributor

USC baseball traveled up to Dodger Stadium on Sunday to face UCLA in the Dodger Stadium College Baseball Classic. Despite falling in an early hole, the Trojans turned around their fortunes and defeat the Bruins in 10 innings.

Click here for the full recap.

The Trojans trailed 3-0 in Sunday's contest, but came to life in the 6th inning. Lars Nootbaar got the team on the board with a two-run triple to make it a one-run game. Later in the inning, Matthew Acosta came up to bat with two outs and delivered a clutch game-tying single.

Extra innings ensued thanks to lights out pitching from the Trojans' bullpen. Freshman relief pitcher Chris Clarke got the Trojans out of a jam in the fourth inning and went on to throw 5.2 scoreless innings. Clarke allowed just one hit, struck out a career-high five batters and won his first career collegiate game. After Clarke's stellar outing the game went to extra innings.

From there, Nootbaar rose to the occasion again, this time with two outs. The sophomore from El Segundo knocked in John Thomas with a huge single for the game-winning run.

In the bottom of the 10th, sophomore Solomon Bates came in and shut down the Bruins with a 1-2-3 inning. Bates secured the first save of his college career and the Trojans improved to 7-4 on the year.

Click here for the highlights of the Trojans' win over the Bruins.

Next up for the Trojans is a visit to San Diego State on Tuesday, March 7th at 6 p.m. PT.

It's Time for Trojan Baseball

Tomorrow, the USC baseball team kicks off competition in the Dodgertown College Baseball Classic.

The Trojans will play back-to-back-to-back games from Friday to Sunday against USD, Michigan and UCLA, with the final game taking place at Dodger Stadium.

Last year in the finale of the Dodgertown Classic, USC and UCLA battled for 14 innings before the Bruins edged out USC by a 5-3 margin.

The Trojans, who are 6-2 on the season after splitting a road trip to the Tar Heel State, will be hungry for a win over the Bruins on Sunday. Before that, they take on 4-2 USD and 7-2 Michigan at Dedeaux Field.

So far this season, sophomore Lars Nootbaar leads the undefeated-at-home Trojans with a .462 BA and 4 HR.

Nootbaar and the Trojans kick off the event tomorrow at 6 p.m. vs. USD. Exactly 24 hours later, USC takes on Michigan. USC vs. UCLA at Dodger Stadium begins at 3 p.m. on Sunday.

Shutout Success

USC baseball rounded out a trip to the Tar Heel State with a 2-0 win over Duke yesterday to improve to 6-2 on the season.

Click here for the full recap!

After dropping the series (2-1) to Wake Forest, the Trojans got back on track against the Blue Devils. USC's pitching was outstanding, as junior Mason Perryman threw six shutout innings, allowing just four hits and a walk, and earning his first win of the season. With Solomon Bates and Austin Manning behind him, the Trojans pitched their first shutout since a May 10, 2015 game against Stanford.

The win led USC to a split on its East Coast road trip. The Trojans now aim to improve upon their perfect home record when they host USD and Michigan in the first two games of the Dodgertown College Baseball Classic.

After those two matchups, USC battles UCLA at Dodger Stadium. Click here to purchase tickets for the game on Sunday, March 5, at 3 p.m.


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