Alex Sherrod went 3-for-5 with a double as the USC Trojans opened the 2011 season with a 9-3 win over the Missouri Tigers at Dedeaux Field. Mike Greco and Garret Houts had two hits and two RBI each as the Trojans banged out 14 hits in their first USC Tournament action, giving USC interim head coach Frank Cruz his first win on the year.■ USC bats overpower Mizzou, 9-3 (mutigers.com)
USC pounded out 14 hits against six Missouri pitchers en route to a 9-3 win Saturday afternoon at the USC Tournament at Dedeaux Field.
USC took an early lead in the second with three straight hits off freshman lefty Rob Zastryzny (Corpus Christi, Texas / Calallen), and tallied a key two-run Garret Houts single to jump to a 3-0 advantage. The Trojans added two unearned runs in the fourth on a two-out booted grounder to third and a dropped fly to center. Zastryzny (0-1) took the loss for the Tigers (1-1).
North Carolina Tarheels
■ Tarheel baseball team hopes to grow (newsobserver.com)
And while this year's incoming class is large, Fox is hoping that last year's incoming group, now with a year under its belt, can build on the experience of finding its stride late.
"It was important," Fox said. "You can't coach experience. You can't teach it. So all these freshmen [now sophomores] know what it's like to play in a regional, ... what it's like to play on the road, what it's like to play at Miami, trying to scratch out a win on Sunday and not losing games in the end."
■ ACC baseball teams strive for gains as new season starts (thetimesnews.com)
Fox said the Tar Heels could be strong defensively and he likes the overall team speed he can send out to cover ground.■ Baseball Media Day Interviews (insidecarolina.com)
But overall, there’s the sense that the Tar Heels can’t take anything for granted.
“We’re motivated because we want to get back to Omaha,” said junior Levi Michael, who has converted from second baseman to shortstop.
Will the depth of the pitching staff make up for the lack of a definite ace on the staff?■ UNC Tarheels Baseball Media Guide (pdf)
“We certainly hope so. I think what it does is it gives you a lot more options and a mixture. It will make sure if nothing else that you will run a fresh guy out there every time that you need to put him on the mound. Not someone that is tired, not somebody who threw 50 pitches two days ago and tells you that he is ready to go but physically he is not. So we like the fact that we have a good mixture. We have some lefties but we have some different types of lefties. We have a power lefty and a funky lefty; we have this and we have that.