Friday, February 18, 2011

Game Day: MU vs. Cal Poly Mustangs & USC Trojans

From @MUTigers on
And yet another schedule change: game time now @ 4 CST vs. #CalPoly & @ 8 CST vs. #USC. Just switched time for #CalPoly game.

[I'm thinking I'll tune in at noon, just in case they changed it back.]

• Cal Poly vs. Missouri - 4PM CT
• USC vs. Missouri - 8 PM CT

• North Carolina vs. MU - Noon CT

A Mizzou fan in L.A. has given me contact information to the USC Baseball office, so I will try to keep up with changes as they hapen and will post here, on Twitter and on Also, check with @MUTigers on Twitter for updates (his Twitter updates also appear in the left-hand column here at

Directions, parking and the inside scoop from a Tiger fan in LA (

Cal Poly Mustangs

Cal Poly to open practice Friday in preparation for 2011 season opener (
Coach Larry Lee and his staff will be working with five returning position starters and nine veteran pitchers when practice gets underway at 1:30 p.m. in Baggett Stadium.
. . .
"We need to have the right pitchers earn their Saturday and Sunday starting roles," said Lee, "to allow us to keep the pitchers more suited to the bullpen in the bullpen. We are more healthy at this point. This is the first year in the last three or four years that we've been relatively healthy on the mound."

Cal Poly fell 17 games below the .500 mark at 10-27 in the first 10 weeks of the 2010 season, but finished 23-32, posting a 13-5 mark in May and climbing from last place to fifth in the Big West Conference.

Cal Poly, which averaged just 6.0 runs and 9.7 hits in its first 36 games of the season, produced 9.8 runs and 13.5 hits a contest in the last five weeks of the year and hope to build on that momentum in 2011.

CollegeBaseballToday predicts the Mustangs will finish 7th in the Big West Conference this season
The pitching staff had a conference-worst 6.75 ERA and will miss weekend starters Matt Leonard (the only starter with a sub-5.00 ERA) and D.J. Mauldin (team-best five wins). The defense was also a sticking point, finishing with a second-to-last .965 fielding percentage. So returning infielders 3B Evan Busby (.286), SS J.J. Thompson (.277) and 2B Matt Jensen (.270) will need to play more solid ball this year

Southern California Trojans

■ Don't see #USC making a regional this year. Austin Wood is a nice start on the mound, but talent overall is an issue vs. big teams. (@KendallRogersYS)

Baseball America lists three Trojans in Top 100 College Prospects list (

Baseball America released its list Monday for the top 100 college prospects in the nation with three USC players gaining recognition. Right-hander Austin Wood was rated at No. 26 for the Trojans with first baseman Ricky Oropesa at No. 33 and right-hander Andrew Triggs at No. 100.

USC is one of eight teams to have posted three players on the list as the Trojans are tied in the Pac-10 Conference for the most players on the list along with Arizona State and California.

Wood was the highest draft pick (4th round, Tampa Bay) in the 2010 draft among Pac-10 Conference players who will be attending college after going 3-0 this summer in the famed Cape Cod Baseball League with a 0.74 ERA.

Oropesa earned 2011 Louisville Slugger Preseason All-America second team honors as announced by Collegiate Baseball. He led the Trojans in the triple crown categories last season with a .353 batting average, 20 home runs and 67 RBI. He also hit 22 doubles, recorded a .711 slugging percentage and led the team with seven stolen bases as he earned Baseball America All-America second team honors.

Triggs was drafted last summer by the Cleveland Indians in the 24th round, but elected to return to school. He was 2-7 last season for the Trojans with a 3.95 ERA. In 70 2/3 innings, he allowed 71 hits with 21 walks, 62 strikeouts and a .257 opponents' batting average.
Chad Krueter fired (, August 9, 2010)

Yes, it's about time. Granted, it's about two years too late, but at the very least, the man responsible for turning the USC baseball program into a perennial Pac-10 bottom dweller is no longer on the school's payroll.

Since Mike Gillespie, who led the Trojans to a College World Series title in 1998, was forced to retire by then-athletic director Mike Garrett following the 2006 season, Kreuter has gone on to compile a 111-117 record as manager at USC - a far cry from the days when the Trojans had arguably the best program in the country under legendary coach Rod Dedeaux.

And to make matters even worse for Kreuter, his predecessor, Gillespie, has led the Anteaters to three consecutive NCAA regionals and even one super regional in just three years as the manager at UC Irvine.

But in all likelihood, it was the 2010 season that proved to be most damaging to Kreuter's coaching career. Despite featuring a competent collection of pitchers and one of the top power hitters nationally in sophomore first baseman Ricky Oropesa, the Trojans finished last in the Pac-10, compiling a mark of 7-20 in conference play. In short, the team that had one of the fielding percentages in the country and seemed incompetent at fielding the most routine double plays, wasn't very good. In fact, they were awful.
CollegeBaseballToday picks the Trojans to finish 9th in the PAC 10 in 2011

There has been almost zero power beyond Oropesa the last few years, so some young talents will have to step in right away and become major players. There was also nearly no threats on the basepaths as USC stole just 34 bases last season.

2011 Bruin Baseball Preview (

Taking the number nine spot is the team that is historically the most successful program in the Pac-10, but has been dreadful for several years now and is in a state of flux still. USC may have the history, but they don't have a single thing to be proud of on the field lately. Four years of Chad Kreuter as head coach led to zero seasons in which the Trojans were postseason eligible, let alone in the postseason, and culminated in a last place finish in 2010. Kreuter was given the heave ho this offseason, but the move came so late in the offseason that instead of hiring a new coach to right the ship, the Trojans had to promote former LMU coach from assistant coach to interim head coach.

In an offseason in which the screams of joy that Kreuter was fired overshadowed the fact that the timing was so bad that the program is just hanging around, the high point of offseason was undoubtedly Austin Wood passing on signing with the Tampa Rays and going to USC. A former Florida St. pitcher who spent last season at a JC, Wood had a 0.58 ERA in the Cape Cod League this summer and gives the Trojans a pitcher they can lean on. They have a hitter they can lean on too in Ricky Oropesa who has insane power and proved it in hitting 20 home runs and driving in 67 runs a year ago. After that there isn't a ton to get Trojan fans excited, although there are a couple of promising freshman. Even at the end of the season, getting rid of Kreuter may still be the highlight of the campaign.
USC Tournament Media Release (

  • RHP Matt Stites vs. RHP Andrew Triggs (2-7, 3.95 ERA in ‘10)
  • Junior right-hander Andrew Triggs (Nashville, Tenn./Montgomery Bell Academy) went 2-7 last season with a 3.95 ERA (70 2/3 IP, 71 H, 31 ER, 21 BB, 62 SO, .257 OBA) and earned Pac-10 Conference honorable mention. He was drafted in the 2010 major league draft in the 24th round by the Cleveland Indians. . . Triggs 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.
Glenn, Trojans baseball team look to tap into potential (

“Last year I was just so worried about not getting cut and then working to get playing time, that at times I stopped being myself out there,” Glenn said. “This year coach Cruz has told me that he wants me to be more aggressive. And I like that, because the one thing I pride myself most on is my speed.”

And if there is one glaring issue that has plagued USC throughout its five-year run of futility, it is base running.

Last year, the Trojans not only finished last in the Pac-10 with 34 stolen bases, but their top base-stealer, junior first baseman Ricky Oropesa, only swiped seven bags.

As a result, Glenn, who has the speed needed to swipe bags on a consistent basis, is looking to help the Trojans improve their non-existent running game.

Baseball Home Opener - iPad and iTunes Giveaway (

Dear Supporters of SC Baseball:

On February 18th, SC Vs. Missouri, the objective is a home sellout crowd !!

To help give us all something extra to promote this opening game we are giving away a single ipad at the bottom of the 8th inning and itunes gift certificates ($50.00 each) at the bottom of the 4th, 5th, 6th, and 7th innings.

Anyone who pays to enter or any SC student who enters (at no charge) will receive a ticket. The ticket stub must be submitted at the main gate (the two gents who collect regular tickets or check student ids) by the bottom of the 2nd inning. The user keeps the other half for the drawings.

Since everyone will be entered (get a ticket at the main box office if you do not have one) use this as a catalyst to "talk up the game" - try and bring 5 to 10 headcount with you.

Spread the word - see you at the game, Feb 18th !!

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