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Baseball Update

SC lost their game with UW on Sunday in Seattle 6-0.

SEATTLE -- Jason Erickson and Nick Hagadone combined on a three-hit shutout as the Washington baseball team avoided a series sweep with 6-0 win over USC Sunday at Husky Ballpark.

Erickson, a sophomore righty, threw four and two-thirds, holding the Trojans scoreless on three hits and a walk. Hagadone entered the game with two outs and two on in the fifth and and threw four and two-thirds of no-hit relief to finish the game and improve his record to 5-1.

The Huskies improved to 20-18 on the season and evened their Pac-10 record at 6-6. The Trojans dropped to 21-20 and 4-8 in conference play.

USC plays Cal State Fullerton tonight at Dedeaux Field before opening up a 3 game set against Washington St. on Friday night.

The OC Register has a great story on the resurgence of USC reliever Paul Koss.

Koss had a dismal 2006 with injuries and poor performances on the mound. It got so bad that he sought out a sports psychologist to sort it all out.

Over the past 18 months, Koss has learned how to deal with the good, the bad and the stress of being a baseball closer. He has seen his career rise from a sophomore with 14 saves and a 4-1 record, and fall to 0-8 with six saves the next season - all within a few pitches.

And he's OK with it. Need proof? Check his current statistics.

The USC senior currently has a 2-3 record with a 2.86 ERA and owns 14 of the team's 16 saves. He also has struck out 21 batters in 22 innings and is hoping to be on the mound tonight when the Trojans play host to No. 15 Cal State Fullerton.

Koss, a former Orange Lutheran High standout, described last season as nothing more than bad outing - a season-long bad outing.

"I got off to a rocky start and things snowballed from there. Everything went bad it seemed," Koss said. "I would go good then have a bad outing and another bad outing and then a good outing. Then it all got in my head."

I read stories like this and recall conversations with my dad who also played baseball at USC and understand that competition at this level can be very intimidating. We as fans can be very critical of how our players perform on the field, it's what fans do but in the end there are very few of us on these sites that have ever competed on that level so we couldn't possibly know what its like.

To me the difference here is that these are still kids who don't make a dime and may never make it to the big leagues yet they compete just as hard as some of the pros do and go through some of the same things that the pros do. These kids dig down deep to be successful and when things aren't going the way they should they find a way to fix it.

It's a good read.