Baseball Prepares for Portland State
May 13, 1998
THE TEAM - The No. 6 USC baseball team which won the 2,000th game in school history earlier this season is 39-14 overall and 21-9 for a second-place finish in the Pacific-10 Conference Southern Division (one game behind Stanford) in 1998. The Trojans, who are aiming for their second College World Series trip in the past four years, visit Portland State (16-33) of the Pac-10 North for a three-game series this weekend (May 14-16) that will close out the regular season. Thursday and Friday,s games are at 7 p.m. at Civic Stadium in Portland, and Saturday,s game is at 1 p.m. at Volcano Stadium in Salem. USC has won 10 of its last 12 games.
THE RANKINGS - USC is ranked No. 6 by The Sporting News and No. 7 by Baseball America, USA Today Baseball Weekly/ESPN and Collegiate Baseball. In the preseason polls, USC was ranked No. 5 by Baseball America, USA Today Baseball Weekly/ESPN and The Sporting News and No. 6 by Collegiate Baseball. The Trojans, Six-Pac finish was a little better than expected, as they were tabbed by the conference coaches to finish third in the Pac-10 Southern Division in the preseason (Stanford and Arizona State were No. 1 and 2, respectively).
Portland State is not ranked.
NCAA ANNOUNCEMENT - The NCAA Tournament brackets will be announced on Monday (May 18) at noon on ESPN. The eight host sites are Stanford, Texas A&M, Wichita State, LSU, Miami (Fla.), Florida State, Florida and Clemson.
SCOUTING THE VIKINGS - Portland State, under fourth-year head coach Dave Dangler, is 16-33 overall and finished 8-19 in the Pac-10 North for fourth place. The Vikings close out the 1998 season this weekend against the Trojans after winning three of four against Washington State last weekend. Junior LF Rick Southall is batting .366 with eight home runs and 48 RBI, and his 19 career home runs rank No. 2 on the PSU all-time list. Sophomore RHP Josh Pearce was named the Pac-10 North Pitcher of the Week after a seven-inning, nine-strikeout, two-hit shutout of the Cougars last Saturday.
THE SERIES - USC and Portland State have never met.
PITCHING ROTATION - USC's starting pitching rotation for this weekend,s series against Portland State is as follows: junior RHP Steve Immel (4-1, 5.80 ERA) on Thursday, senior RHP Seth Etherton (10-3, 2.78) on Friday and freshman RHP Rik Currier (5-1, 4.81) on Saturday. For Portland State, it,s sophomore RHP Josh Pearce (2-7, 6.72), junior LHP Adam Flohr (5-9, 8.42) and senior RHP Scott Oyler (3-4, 5.90).
ON THE AIR - All postseason games will be broadcast on the radio by KPLS-AM (830). Larry Kahn and Justin Dedeaux will handle the play-by-play and color, respectively. Games can also be heard over the internet at www.audionet.com/schools/usc.
INJURY UPDATE - Sophomore C Eric Munson, a preseason All-American first teamer, has missed the last 16 games after being diagnosed with a stress fracture in his right foot. His foot will be re-evaluated again before the NCAA regionals. Junior CF Greg Hanoian is nursing a pulled hamstring and has missed the last six games.
LAST THREE GAMES (2-1 vs. Stanford) --
Stanford's Jeff Austin and USC's Seth Etherton locked up in another pitchers, duel last Saturday at Sunken Diamond, but the result was the same as their first meeting as the top-ranked Cardinal defeated USC, 4-2, to clinch the Pac-10 Southern Division championship. Etherton (10-3) struck out eight in 6 1/3 innings and gave up 10 hits, three runs and no walks. Austin threw a complete game and gave up five hits, two runs and one walk and had 10 strikeouts. Junior 1B Robb Gorr and freshman SS Seth Davidson each had two hits for USC. The Cardinal took a 2-0 lead after the first inning and never trailed. Gorr had an RBI double in the fourth inning and junior DH Jason Lane had a sacrifice fly in the seventh inning. The Trojans came back with a 5-2 victory over the Cardinal on Sunday, as freshman RHP Rik Currier (5-1) went 7 2/3 innings and gave up one run, four hits and three walks while striking out seven. Senior RHP Jack Krawczyk came on to earn his 19th save, setting a new school single-season record. Junior RF Brad Ticehurst crushed a three-run home run over the right-field wall in the second inning to give the Trojans a 3-0 lead and Gorr hit a solo homer in the third inning to make it 4-0. Rachels and Ticehurst both had two hits.
The Trojans won the series finale, 5-1, on Monday with another outstanding pitching performance. Junior RHP Mike Penney (7-3) threw a complete game and gave up eight hits, two walks and one run with a career-high nine strikeouts. After the Cardinal went ahead 1-0 after the first inning, Lane had an RBI single and senior DH Jeremy Freitas had a sacrifice fly to make it 2-1 in the top of the second. Lane had a straight steal of home in the fourth inning, then the Trojans scored twice more in the sixth inning as Freitas led off with a double and later scored on an error and Ticehurst walked and scored on an RBI single by Gorr. Lane and freshman CF Rod Perry Jr. each had two hits for the Trojans.
It was the first time this season that No. 1 Stanford had lost a weekend series and lost back-to-back games.
PITCHING RECORDS - Senior RHP Seth Etherton has been named Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week 13 times in his career, more than any other player in Pac-10 history. He has also been named a National Pitcher of the Week four times this season. Etherton recently set the Pac-10 career record for strikeouts and now has 372 ... Senior RHP Jack Krawczyk has 45 career saves, a Pac-10 record and good for third place on the NCAA Division I all-time list. He also has a nation-leading and school single-season record 19 saves in 1998. He has pitched in more games (107) than anyone in USC history.
HITTING THE LONG BALL - USC has hit 89 home runs and has broken the former school record of 85, set in 1984 ... Prior to this season, no Trojan team had ever had more than three players with double-digit home runs. But in 1998, six Trojans are in double figures (Morgan Ensberg with 17, Robb Gorr with 13, Jeremy Freitas, Eric Munson and Brad Ticehurst with 12 each and Jason Lane with 10) ... Ensberg has 36 home runs in his career, good for No. 3 on USC,s all-time list.
COACH OF THE CENTURY - Collegiate Baseball named former coach Rod Dedeaux, who won 11 NCAA titles at USC and had an overall record of 1,332-571-11, its NCAA Division I ,Coach of the Century0/00 in the April 3 issue.
50 YEARS AGO - In 1948, Kentucky won its first NCAA men,s basketball championship, Michigan won its first NCAA ice hockey title and USC won its first NCAA baseball championship. This spring, the Wildcats won the 1998 basketball title and the Wolverines won the 1998 ice hockey title. In addition, both USC and Kentucky won baseball and basketball crowns, respectively, in 1948, 1958 and 1978. Can history repeat itself for the Trojans in 1998?
SIX-PAC STATS (as of May 10) - USC was second in team hitting (.329), third in team ERA (4.95) and fourth in team fielding (.962) ... Seth Etherton was first in strikeouts (134), first in shutouts (two), second in ERA (2.78) and second in wins (10) ... Jack Krawczyk was first in saves (19) ... Morgan Ensberg was tied for second in home runs (17), tied for eighth in stolen bases (15) and 10th in hitting (.357) ... Robb Gorr was seventh in RBI (61), tied for eighth in hitting (.361) and ninth in hits (79) ... Seth Davidson was tied for eighth in hitting (.361) and 10th in stolen bases (12) ... Wes Rachels was tied for eighth in stolen bases (15).
TROJAN TRADITION - No other university can match the collegiate baseball tradition of USC. Troy has captured an unprecedented 11 NCAA championships (no other school has more than five), 36 conference titles and 18 College World Series appearances (second most in the nation). Trojan players have been named All-American first teamers 36 times, and more than 70 former players have gone on to play in the major leagues, including such stars as Tom Seaver, Fred Lynn, Ron Fairly, Randy Johnson, Mark McGwire, Jeff Cirillo and Bret Boone.
CELEBRATE IN '98 - The 1998 season marks the 50th anniversary of USC baseball,s first-ever national championship team (1948). Troy also will commemorate three other NCAA championship anniversaries this year: 40th (1958), 30th (1968) and 20th (1978).
COACH'S CORNER - Mike Gillespie, in his 12th season as the Trojans, head coach, has a 473-264-2 (.641) career record and has led USC to three conference titles (1991-95-96), nine trips to the NCAA Regionals in 11 years (reaching the Regional finals seven times), and a trip to the 1995 College World Series (where Troy finished as the nation,s runner-up). He has been named the Pac-10 Coach of the Year three times (1991-95-96) and was also honored as the 1996 West Region Coach of the Year by the American Baseball Coaches Association. He served as one of the assistant coaches for the 1997 USA Baseball Team. Gillespie was a leftfielder for the 1961 USC team that won the national championship (his 1960 team finished as the College World Series runner-up).
TOUGH SCHEDULE - USC once again boasts one of the nation,s most competitive schedules. Troy plays 36 of 56 games against teams ranked in the preseason polls, including 14 games against teams ranked in the Top 10. In addition, USC,s conference the Pac-10 Southern Division is ranked the second-toughest league in the nation by Baseball America.
TERRIFIC 2,000 - USC's 10-2 victory in the series finale against North Carolina on Feb. 15 was the 2,000th victory in school history. Troy currently has a 2,032-967-17 collegiate record.
A LOOK BACK - USC began the 1997 season winning seven of its first eight games (including two of three over Arizona State in January in the earliest start to conference action ever). The Trojans were then bit by the injury/illness bug, losing catcher Jason Brown for 19 games (knee surgery) and second baseman Wes Rachels (death of his father) for eight games. Despite a thin lineup, Troy won 10 of the next 12 non-conference games, including a season-best nine-game winning streak. USC returned to conference action and hit a roadblock as it was swept at Stanford in the three-game series. The Trojans rebounded to win five of their next six league games and nine of 12, despite losing first baseman Greg Walbridge for three games (perforated eardrum) and outfielder Greg Hanoian for the remainder of the season (shoulder surgery). After a late-season slump, USC finished strong, winning eight of its last 10 games to finish 17-13 in league play (third place) and 39-18 overall. Troy then headed for the South II Regional in Tuscaloosa (Ala.), where Troy reached the final game, losing to host and eventual national champion runner-up Alabama, 9-8, in 10 innings.
OVERVIEW - USC currently has a team ERA of 4.83, though it had been less than 4.00 for the first 39 games of the season.
SETH ETHERTON (#33, RHP, Sr., 6-1, 205, Laguna Niguel) - Senior RHP Seth Etherton, a 1998 Collegiate Baseball preseason All-American first teamer, has established himself as one of college baseball,s finest starting pitchers. Etherton, a 1997 All-Pac-10 first team pick who was the 1996 Pac-10 Pitcher of the Year, returned for his third season as a starter after rejecting a contract offer from the St. Louis Cardinals (he was a ninth-round pick in the 1997 draft). He is 10-3 in 14 starts with a 2.78 ERA in 1998. He has 134 strikeouts and only 23 walks and 84 hits in 106 2/3 innings and opponents are batting .209 against him. Seth is the Pac-10,s career strikeout leader (372) and has moved into USC,s career Top 10 list for wins (34, tied for No. 6). He is one of 12 semifinalists for the Rotary Smith Award, given to the top player in college baseball. Etherton is a four-time National Pitcher of the Week in 1998. He earned that honor from both Louisville Slugger and The Sporting News after throwing a three-hit shutout against North Carolina (Feb. 13) and striking out 13 without walking a batter or allowing a runner to reach second base. He received that honor again from The Sporting News after throwing a two-hit shutout against Oregon State (March 6), striking out 13 while walking two and only allowing one runner to reach second base. The third award, from both Collegiate Baseball and The Sporting News, came against Stanford (April 3), when he had a career-high 15 strikeouts and only four hits and no walks in a 1-0 loss between the top two teams in the country. The fourth honor, from Collegiate Baseball, came against California (April 17) when he had a no-hitter for 7 2/3 innings en route to an eight-inning, one-hit, 11-strikeout performance. He was named Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week after all four contests, as well as against then-No. 4 Arizona on Feb. 20. He has been named Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week 13 times in his career (five times in 1998), more than any other player in conference history. Prior to his no-decision against Arizona State (March 14), he had won 11 straight starts dating back to 1997. Prior to a loss to Stanford (April 3), he had 13 straight wins without a loss. In the Baseball America early draft preview, he was rated No. 41 among college prospects (a figure that has likely since improved). Baseball America also named him the Most Outstanding Player of the senior class in its midseason update.
JACK KRAWCZYK (#35, RHP, Sr., 6-5, 195, Scottsdale, AZ) - One of the nation,s top relief pitchers and the Pacific-10 Conference,s career save leader (45), senior RHP Jack Krawczyk again heads up Troy,s bullpen in 1998. A 1998 Collegiate Baseball preseason All-American second team pick, he had three saves in 1995, 12 in 1996 and 11 in 1997. Jack is 2-1 with a 1.00 ERA and a nation-leading and school record-setting 19 saves in 1998. He once had a stretch of six saves in eight games. He went 3 1/3 scoreless innings against UCLA (April 26) and picked up the win in his longest outing of the season. Krawczyk is No. 3 on the NCAA,s Division I career save list (Tom Hickox of Stetson, who is No. 1, had 48 from 1988-91). He picked up his 27th career save (which broke the school record) against Long Beach State (Feb. 1), his 31st (to tie the Pac-10 record held by Washington,s Brett Merrick from 1993-96) against Arizona (Feb. 21) and his 32nd (breaking the Pac-10 record) against UCLA (Feb. 28). His 19th save of 1998, which broke the school single-season record, came against No. 1 Stanford (May 10). His 107 appearances are No. 1 on Troy,s career list. Baseball America named him to its Midseason All-American senior class.
RIK CURRIER (#28 or #15, RHP, Fr., 5-10, 175, Dana Point) - True freshman RHP Rik Currier, who has made nine starts for the Trojans, has established himself in the pitching rotation. He is 5-1 with a 4.81 ERA in 15 appearances and has 62 strikeouts in 48 2/3 innings. Against Arizona (March 22), he had eight strikeouts in four innings of relief and got the win. Against California (March 29), he won his first career league start and struck out nine in six innings. The second time against Cal (April 19), he won and went 6 2/3 innings and struck out 10, both career highs. He went 7 2/3 innings, giving up four hits and one run with seven strikeouts to beat No. 1 Stanford (May 10). USC defeated top-ranked Stanford both times Currier started, though he had a no-decision in one of those starts.
MIKE PENNEY (#45, RHP, Jr., 6-0, 190, Laguna Niguel) - Junior RHP Mike Penney has gone from being a key middle reliever last season to a regular starter this season. He is 7-3 with a 4.87 ERA in 88 2/3 innings. USC is 11-3 in games that Penney starts. He has three complete games in 1998 (one was only five innings due to rain). Penney struck out a career-high nine in a complete-game victory over No.1 Stanford (May 11) and gave up only eight hits, two walks and one run. He pitched the first nine-inning complete game of his career in a win against Arizona State (March 14) and gave up eight hits, three earned runs and three walks while striking out two. In the Baseball America early draft preview, he was rated No. 72 among college prospects.
JASON LANE (#16 LHP/DH, Jr., 6-2, 205, Sebastopol) - Junior LHP Jason Lane has been an excellent addition, both as a reliever and a starter. Overall, Lane is 6-1 with a 5.84 ERA in 26 appearances (three starts) and 44 2/3 innings. In his first start, he got the win against Arizona State (March 15). He earned a victory in relief against No. 1 Stanford (April 5), giving up one run and three hits in 3 2/3 innings. Lane was the 1997 Northern California Junior College Player of the Year at Santa Rosa JC last season. Regardless of whether he,s pitching, Lane is also the starting designated hitter.
JASON SAENZ (#51, LHP, Jr., 6-2, 195, Santa Ana) A hard-throwing lefthander, junior Jason Saenz began the season as one of USC,s three regular starters and is now in the bullpen. After going only 19 1/3 innings (with 21 strikeouts) in his first two seasons, he eclipsed that mark early in the season and is 1-2 in 17 appearances (seven starts) with a 4.42 ERA. In 36 2/3 innings, he has 34 strikeouts. Saenz struck out a career-high seven in a win against North Carolina (Feb. 15). In the Baseball America early draft preview, he was rated No. 100 among college prospects.
ADDITIONAL PITCHERS - Veteran RHP Steve Immel, a junior, saw a great deal of work as both a starter and a reliever his first two seasons and is continuing to do so again. He is 4-1 with a 5.80 ERA in 19 appearances (three starts) ... Senior RHP Mike Weibling is again being used in long relief, with a 2-0 record and a 6.20 ERA ... Junior RHP Craig Jones is another experienced arm in the bullpen. He is 2-2 with a 8.90 ERA. He had a career-high nine strikeouts in five innings as he started and won against Pepperdine (March 24) ... Three other true freshmen have seen time: RHP Tanner Eriksen (0-0, 27.00); LHP Ronald Flores (0-0, 4.05), the younger brother of USC,s all-time winningest pitcher, Randy Flores; and RHP Shaun Kramer (0-0, 11.37).
OVERVIEW - USC is hitting .327 as a team and is averaging 8.2 runs a game. The Trojans have had a season-high 17 runs three times, coming in consecutive games against UCLA (April 25-26) and San Diego State (April 28). USC has had a season-high 21 hits twice, against UC Santa Barbara (March 3) and San Diego State (April 28). The Trojans have a school-record 89 home runs in 53 games, an average of 1.68 a game. The USC record for home run average is 1.29 a game in 1978. USC hit seven home runs in one game against San Diego State (April 28).
MORGAN ENSBERG (#14, 3B, Sr., 6-2, 210, Hermosa Beach) - Senior third baseman Morgan Ensberg is having a tremendous season. Ensberg, who batted .306 last season, is currently hitting .349 with 17 home runs, 56 RBI, 58 runs scored, 15 stolen bases and 17 doubles. He had a .374 batting average in the Six-Pac. He hit .800 (8-for-10) one weekend against Arizona State (March 14-15) and had a streak of 10 consecutive times reached base, for which he was named Pac-10 Player of the Week. He also hit .583 (14-for-24) in six games against UCLA. He hit three home runs and went 4-for-5 with four RBI against San Diego State (April 28). He hit two home runs and had a career-high six RBI against Arizona State (March 14). With 36 home runs in his career, he is No. 3 on USC,s all-time list (behind only Mark McGwire and Geoff Jenkins).
ROBB GORR (#10, 1B, Jr., 6-0, 195, Vista) - Last year,s starting centerfielder, junior Robb Gorr took over at first base for three-year starter Greg Walbridge and has been stellar at the plate. A year ago, he hit .347 with a team-high 52 RBI, and thus far, he,s been one of the standouts again with a team-high .359 batting average, 13 home runs and a team-best 62 RBI. He had a 10-game hitting streak (20-for-42, .476) at the beginning of the season and has a current 14-game hitting streak (23-for-66, .348). Gorr has hit safely in 47 of 53 games. He leads the team with 27 multiple-hit and 20 multiple-RBI games. He hit two home runs against San Diego State (April 28). He hit home runs in both ends of a doubleheader against No. 1 Stanford (April 5). He was 4-for-6 with three RBI against UCLA (April 26).
WES RACHELS (#24, 2B, Sr., 5-9, 175, Los Angeles) - A steady and experienced player, senior second baseman Wes Rachels again anchors the Trojan infield in 1998. Rachels, who hit .364 with 41 RBI last year, achieved 1997 All-Pac-10 first team and USC MVP honors. He reached base in all but two of the 53 games he played last year and hit safely in all but eight. He is currently hitting .347 with 25 RBI and 15 stolen bases and has reached base in 44 of 50 games. At Arizona (March 20-22), he batted .500 (6-for-12) with six stolen bases. He went 5-for-5 against San Diego State (April 28). He has two home runs, which came in consecutive games against UCLA (April 26) and San Diego State (April 28). With 40 stolen bases in his career, Rachels is No. 8 (tied) on the Trojans, all-time list.
JEREMY FREITAS (#37, LF, Sr., 6-3, 210, Hanford)- Senior leftfielder Jeremy Freitas has been providing a great deal of punch this season. After transferring from Fresno (Calif.) City College and batting .277 with seven home runs and 35 RBI in 1997, he quickly surpassed last year,s home run total in 1998 and has 12 to go with a .331 average and 51 RBI. He hit two home runs against Texas (Feb. 7). Freitas has been named to the 1998 All-American Farm Team by Successful Farming magazine, an honor going to student-athletes with a farming background. He was named team captain of the baseball squad, resulting in a $1,000 scholarship donation to the university.
JASON LANE (#16, DH/LHP, Jr., 6-2, 205, Sebastopol) - Newcomer Jason Lane has shown why he was named the 1997 Northern California Junior College Player of the Year at Santa Rosa J.C. In addition to his contributions as a pitcher, the junior designated hitter is batting .304 with 10 home runs, 38 RBI and 45 runs scored. When Lane comes to the plate as the pitcher, he,s batting .476 (10-for-21) with two home runs. He went 4-for-5 with an RBI against California (March 28).
SETH DAVIDSON (#2, SS, Fr., 6-0, 170, San Diego) - A true freshman who has been one of USC,s big surprises with both the glove and bat, shortstop Seth Davidson is hitting .355 overall and .387 in Six-Pac play. He also has four home runs, 26 RBI and 12 stolen bases. He had a midseason 10-game hitting streak (.390, 16-for-41). Davidson hit his first career home run at Arizona (March 20) and his first grand slam against California (April 18). His suicide squeeze bunt in the top of the 10th inning gave USC the go-ahead run in a victory against Cal (March 28). He feasted on Cal,s pitching, hitting .542 (13-for-24) with three home runs and 11 RBI in six games. He has been invited to the 1998 USA Baseball training camp in June.
BRAD TICEHURST (#8, RF, Jr., 6-1, 200, Los Alamitos) - Junior rightfielder Brad Ticehurst moved into the starting lineup when Greg Hanoian was injured in 1997 and has been there ever since. He,s batting .302 with 12 home runs and 38 RBI in 1998. He blasted a two-run home run and made a fantastic leaping grab to steal a potential two-run home run against Arizona State (March 15). He pulled out of a slump and in the last 13 games, he,s 20-for-42 (.476). In the Baseball America early draft preview, he was rated No. 78 among college prospects.
JEFF DePIPPO (#9, OF/C, Sr., 5-7, 170, Garden Grove) - A versatile player who has been used all around the park, senior Jeff
DePippo is batting .318 with three home runs and 20 RBI. Currently the starting catcher because Eric Munson is injured, DePippo has also been used in all three outfield positions, at designated hitter and as a pinch-hitter. He missed seven games after suffering an off-the-field mishap during the Stanford series that tore cartilage in his rib area, but returned against Cal (April 17).
ROD PERRY, Jr. (#6, CF, Fr., 5-10, 185, Irvine) True freshman Rod Perry, Jr. (.259) has started 19 games while also serving as a late-inning defensive replacement in center field. In his first career start against UC Santa Barbara (March 3), he went 4-for-5 with three RBI. He had a two-run triple in the eighth inning that proved to be the game-winning hit at Arizona (March 20), then slugged his first career home run against the Wildcats the next day (March 21). Perry is also a wide receiver on the Trojan football team.
GREG HANOIAN (#25, CF, Jr., 5-9, 175, Huntington Beach) A shoulder injury ended Greg Hanoian,s 1997 season early and other injuries have hampered his 1998 season. The junior centerfielder separated his right shoulder making a diving catch against Arizona State (March 14) and missed 16 games. He has currently missed the last six games with a hamstring pull and is still day-to-day. He is batting .330 and has scored 28 runs with 16 RBI in 28 games in 1998.
ERIC MUNSON (#3, C, So., 6-3, 220, San Diego) An injury has put on hold what could have been one of the top offensive performances in USC history. Sophomore catcher Eric Munson has been out with a stress fracture in his right foot. He has missed the last 16 games. His foot will be re-evaluated again prior to the NCAA regionals. Though just a sophomore, there,s little doubt that Munson, when healthy, is the top collegiate catcher in the nation. A consensus 1998 preseason All-American, he,s the only catcher and the only sophomore selected to the Collegiate Baseball, Baseball America and The Sporting News first teams. A member of the 1997 USA National Team, he has been invited to the 1998 USA Baseball training camp in June. Munson, who was named The Sporting News, Freshman of the Year last year, was selected to the 1997 All-Pac-10 first team after hitting .336 with a team-leading 13 home runs and 50 RBI as just a freshman. Prior to his injury in 1998, he was hitting .352 with 12 home runs and 41 RBI. In the opener against North Carolina (Feb. 13), he was 5-for-6 with three RBI. He missed the Arizona State series (March 14-15) after a freak accident during batting practice when a foul ball went under the batting cage, bounced up and struck him above the left eye. He came back with a 3-for-4, two-RBI effort against Loyola Marymount (March 17), then batted .462 (6-for-13) with three home runs at Arizona (March 20-22) to win Pac-10 Player of the Week honors. He has 13 multiple-RBI games this season, including a career-high five RBI in the finale at Arizona (March 22). Baseball America recently listed him as the No. 1 prospect among the nation,s sophomore class, and as the Most Outstanding Player among sophomores at the midseason point of the season.
ADDITIONAL HITTERS - Junior Dominic Correa has seen playing time in the middle infield, the outfield and as a designated hitter and is batting .278 ... Reserve sophomore first baseman and pinch-hitter Carlos Casillas is hitting .357 (5-for-14) ... Sophomore Kevin Schultz has seen time at shortstop and has fared well. Schultz has started seven games (appearing in 21) while hitting .240 ... With the top two catchers out with injuries during one stretch, sophomore Josh Townsend (.273) moved into a starting role for five games. In his first career start, against HawaiOEi Hilo (April 6), he got his first career hit. He had a base hit in each of his first three starts ... Reserve catcher Camilo Gomez got his first career hit against HawaiOEi Hilo (April 6). Gomez (.667), a junior, slugged a home run to left field in his first at-bat of the year ... Freshman Josh Persell is hitless in seven at-bats as a pinch-hitter but has two runs scored and one RBI.