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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.


Packing Perfection

USC baseball is off to a 4-0 start after sweeping Coppin State and then pulling off a thrilling comeback to top Long Beach State in extra innings. Now, the Trojans will test their mettle on the road at Wake Forest and Duke, playing three against the Deacons (February 24-26) before one versus the Blue Devils (February 27).

USC's bats warmed up quickly this season, scoring 37 runs over the first three games, but the Trojans needed clutch pitching to stay in the Tuesday game against Long Beach State before Lars Nootbaar was able to deliver the game-tying home run in the eighth inning. The sophomore slugger is expected to anchor the middle of the lineup, and he's setting a blistering pace through the opening week. In only 12 official at-bats, he has 8 hits (2 homers), 5 walks and 10 RBI.

Click here to watch highlights of the comeback over LBSU.

In episode two of The Road, head coach Dan Hubbs and the Trojans look back at the opening weekend sweep and ahead to the southern swing through North Carolina.

Season-Opening Sweep

USC baseball kicked off its 2017 season with a three-game sweep of Coppin State this weekend.

Mitch Hart got the start at pitcher on Opening Day and helped the Trojans dial up a dominant 22-2 win. USC lunged ahead early, with 12 runs in the second inning -- the first time scoring more than 10 in an inning since 2009.

In the second game of a double header, the Trojans topped the Eagles again, 6-2.

Sunday marked the third game of the series, during which the Trojans had to come from behind to pull off the victory. Coppin State got out to a 3-0 lead before USC broke out in the sixth inning to take the lead. The Trojans went on to earn a 9-4 win. Starter Marrick Crouse enjoyed his longest career outing with a six-inning performance.

The Trojans get right back to work with a Two Dollar Tuesday matchup against Long Beach State tonight. Fans can purchase tickets for $2 at Dedeaux Field starting at 4 p.m. this afternoon, and $2 food items will be sold throughout the game. First pitch is at 6 p.m.

Check out team photographer John McGillen's photos of the Opening Day action!

Playing Hardball

USC baseball begins its 2017 season this weekend, and the Trojans are ready to return to their roots of fundamental hardball under fifth-year head coach Dan Hubbs.

In the offseason, USC lost a program-record 12 players to the MLB Draft, leaving the roster short on star power, so Hubbs is pushing his young team to employ the game plan that got the Trojans back on the map in the first place. During the buildup to this season, the team has focused on being defensively sound, executing pitch location, and being aggressive and efficient on the base paths.

Click here for the season outlook.

USC will begin the season with four consecutive home games, hosting Coppin State on Friday (6 p.m.), Saturday (2 p.m.) and Sunday (1 p.m.) before a Tuesday matchup with Long Beach State (6 p.m.) at Dedeaux Field. Junior right-hander Mitch Hart will get the ball as the Trojans' opening night starter. Please follow @USC_Baseball on Twitter for updates on weather-related schedule changes.

Click here for tickets.

Here is the first episode of "The Road" which previews the upcoming season:

Take Me Out

Trojan baseball is just around the corner, and there are a number of exciting promotions going on at Dedeaux Field.

Whether you make it out to the home opener, a $2 Tuesday or a bobblehead giveaway night, there are prizes and deals for people of all ages.

Click here to check out all the promos and to purchase tickets!


Crosstown Clash at Chavez Ravine

With the USC baseball season just around the corner, it's time to mark your calendars for the next chapter in the Dodger Stadium College Baseball Classic.

On Sunday, March 5, USC takes on crosstown rival UCLA in a 3 p.m. tilt at the legendary Dodger Stadium.

Last year saw the Trojans and Bruins battle it out for 14 innings, before UCLA eked out a 5-3 victory. This March, the Trojans hope to flip the script.

Tickets are available for purchase online or at the phone numbers below!



To get into the Halloween spirit and give back to the community, members of the USC baseball team attended Mayor Eric Garcetti's Halloween Spooktacular on Sunday.

Junior pitcher Mason Perryman, sophomore catcher/pitcher C.J. Stubbs and redshirt sophomore outfielder Roosevelt Bates represented the Trojans at the event, where they gave out posters and interacted with local children.

The Trojans were joined by other prominent Angelenos, including the recently crowned WNBA Champion L.A. Sparks. Members of USC's Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry also attended the event and handed out toothbrushes to the candy-crazed children.


#USCtotheMLB 2016 Recap

The MLB's regular season is over, and several USC products enjoyed a solid year in 2016.

Ian Kennedy, SP, Royals

In the first season of his 5-year, $70 million deal with the Kansas City Royals, pitcher Ian Kennedy (pictured) had the second-most wins (11) and the second-most strikeouts (184) for the defending World Series champs. He finished the season with an 11-11 record and a 3.68 ERA in 33 games.

Here is how all the Trojans in the MLB fared in 2016:

Lucas Duda, 1B, Mets - .229 BA, 7 HR, 23 RBI in 47 games (back injury sidelined him for the majority of the season, but he's been impressive since returning)

Tommy Milone, P, Twins - 3-5 with a 5.71 ERA and 49 strikeouts in 19 games

Brad Boxberger, P, Rays - 4-3 with a 4.81 ERA in 27 games

Nick Buss, LF, Angels - .198 BA, 1 HR, 8 RBI in 36 games in his first MLB action

Grant Green, 2B, Giants - .261 BA, 1 HR, 7 RBI in 18 games

Andrew Triggs, P, A's - 1-1 with a 4.31 ERA and 55 strikeouts in 24 games

Danny Couloumbe, P, A's- 3-1 with a 4.53 ERA and 54 strikeouts in 35 games

J.P. Howell, P, Dodgers - 1-1 with a 4.09 ERA and 44 strikeouts in 64 games

ian kennedy.jpg

MLB Draft Live Blog

USC baseball players are coming off the board thick and fast at the 2016 MLB Draft.

Follow the selections below:

Swinging Success

all-pac-12-oppenheim.jpgUSC baseball landed a trio of power hitters on the All-Pac-12 First Team - DH David Oppenheim, C Jeremy Martinez and OF A.J. Ramirez - after impressive seasons at the heart of the Trojans' offense. Oppenheim, who hit .387, led the way as USC's first conference batting champion since Geoff Jenkins in 1995 and only the fourth since 1978.

Click here for more.

Martinez, who earned Pac-12 honorable mention status as a freshman and sophomore, was bumped up to the first team after a junior campaign in which he hit .376, good for third in the league, 6 HR and 42 RBI. He slugged a team-best .563, while also doing the job behind the plate, throwing out 24-of-54 would-be base stealers and starting all 56 games, including 54 at catcher.

After leading the team in homers as a junior, Ramirez returned for his senior season and doubled down on the feat. He belted a team-leading 9 long balls, while driving in 44 runs and hitting .301.

In all, nine Trojans earned All-Pac-12 honors. Along with the first team selections, Corey Dempster, Brooks Kriske, Marc Huberman, Joe Navilhon, Frankie Rios and Timmy Robinson picked up honorable mention status.

Historic Finale

IMG_5406.JPGUSC baseball ended its 2016 season by scoring 31 runs on 30 hits against Arizona State, the second highest single-game totals in program history. The 31-9 victory capped a series win for the Trojans, bringing their season-ending record to 28-28 overall and 15-14 in conference.

Click here for the recap.

While 12 of the 14 Trojans that played had at least one hit, Timmy Robinson, Frankie Rios and Angelo Armenta collected four hits apiece. The trio combined to drive in 15 runs and score 14 times.

David Oppenheim went three-for-three to finish the season with a .387 batting average, the top mark in the Pac-12. Jeremy Martinez added two more hits to his career total, which is now over 200, and he ended the season with a .376 batting average, third in the Pac-12.

Here are the highlights from a remarkable performance in Tempe:

Photo Gallery: Baseball Senior Salute

USC baseball closed the home schedule by dropping two of three to Oregon State this weekend. The Trojans opened the series with a 3-1 loss, but responded by clubbing the Beavers, 10-1, on Saturday.

Click here for the recaps.

Sunday's rubber match went to OSU, 4-1, but USC was able to honor its seniors before their final home game. The "group helped turn our storied program around."

USC is now 25-27 overall, 13-13 in the Pac-12, with four more games to go. The Trojans will travel to Cal State Fullerton on Tuesday and then finish the season with a three-game weekend trip to Arizona State.

Here are the Senior Day photos by John McGillen:

One Final Weekend at Dedeaux

On Sunday, nine USC baseball seniors will play beneath the afternoon sun at Dedeaux Field for the final time. Four years after starting their Trojan careers, a lot has changed within the most successful program in college baseball history, and the positive growth is due in large part to this class of talented players who ushered in the start of a new era of USC baseball.

Just two days before the start of the 2013 season, previously-titled associate head coach Dan Hubbs was named the team's head coach, faced with leading a USC program that had settled into mediocrity. It was time to rebuild, and Hubbs would begin that process with the 24th-best recruiting class in the country. The Trojans posted a 20-36 record in Hubbs' first season, but the head coach and his resilient group of freshmen were confident things were headed in the right direction. Four years later, the departing class, which includes Turner Clouse, Kyle Davis, Brooks Kriske, Marc Huberman, David Oppenheim, AJ Ramirez, Timmy Robinson, Reggie Southall and Brent Wheatley, has won 112 total games over three seasons together. Last season, the class led USC to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2005. 

It will be a special weekend for the core group of players that trusted their head coach, invested in each other and saw the rebuilding process through. In the midst of a season in which the Trojans have hovered around .500, the group stands as a reminder that while success in college baseball comes in waves, one committed unit of players can turn things around in a flash.

USC hosts Oregon State, which is just one game back from the Trojans in the Pac-12 standings, for a decisive series beginning Friday at 7 p.m. PT. Saturday's game will begin at 1 p.m. PT and Sunday's will start at Noon. All three games will be televised on the Pac-12 Network. Be sure to follow @USC_Baseball for in-game updates, photos from Senior Day and more!


Building from the Backstop

bench-martinez.jpgUSC junior catcher Jeremy Martinez has been named a semifinalist for the Johnny Bench Award, marking the second consecutive year that a Trojan has been so honored. Martinez took over catching responsibilities from Garrett Stubbs, who won the Johnny Bench Award last season.

Like Stubbs, Martinez has been an anchor and leader of his team, orchestrating the game from behind the plate and keying the offense from the middle of the lineup. He has started 47 games behind the dish, throwing out 22 would-be base stealers in 52 attempts, and he is second on the team in hitting (.376 batting average) and RBI (37). Martinez has prodigious power with five home runs and a .554 slugging percentage, but remarkably, he is the 16th toughest hitter in the nation to strike out.

Click here for more.

Jeff Clement, the No. 3 overall pick in the 2005 MLB Draft, is the only other USC catcher to reach this stage, and he also won the award. Finalists will be announced June 6.
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