USC Trojans vs UCLA Bruins
The Trojans (19-22, 6-12) begin May baseball with a competitive series at home against rival UCLA (21-20, 10-8). The Bruins will travel to Dedeaux Field in Los Angeles, California following a loss at home to San Diego State earlier in the week. However, the Bruins had won seven of their last eleven ball games leading up to that weekday matchup. USC returns from a hard fought series on the road against #1 Oregon State, where the Trojans lost two of three (however handed State only their fourth loss on the season). Like the series against Cal two weeks ago, this weekend matchup presents an opportunity for USC to excel against level competition during a difficult season schedule. USC is desperately looking for a series win, something to spark a strong run till the end of the season, as they’ve dropped fourteen of their last nineteen games.
Game 1: Thursday May 4 6:00 pm PT (First 500 fans get a Randy Johnson hat!)
Projected Starters: USC Chris Clarke 4-1 5.64 ERA vs UCLA Griffin Canning 4-2 2.56 ERA
Game 2: Friday May 5 7:00 pm PT
Projected Starters: USC CJ Stubbs 0-3 4.12 ERA vs UCLA Moises Ceja 2-4 2.96 ERA
Game 3: Saturday May 6 7:00 pm PT (Fight On Family Day!)
Projected Starters: USC Marrick Crouse 2-6 7.22 ERA vs UCLA Jon Olsen 3-1 3.66 ERA
USC Projected lineup: Matthew Acosta LF, Lars Nootbaar 1B, Corey Dempster RF, Rios Frankie SS, Brandon Perez 2B, Adalberto Carrillo 3B, Cris Perez C, Dillon Paulsen DH, Christian Moya CF
UCLA Projected lineup: Brett Stephens CF, Jeremy Ydens LF, Sean Bouchard 1B, Kyler Cuellar DH, Chase Strumpf 2B, Michael Toglia RF, Jake Hirabayashi 3B, Ryan Kreidler SS, Daniel Rosica C
Prediction: UCLA’s starting pitching rotation has been impressive all year, especially as of late. While the Trojans do have offensive power that can lit up any pitcher any given night, their bats are far too inconsistent. Too many times this year have they failed to put up multiple runs on the scoreboard (two 1-run performances last weekend at OSU). USC’s pitching has also not helped them when they’ve produced. Both the pitching and hitting have been out of sync for majority of the season, however that’s just baseball sometimes. I can see this series going in multiple directions, including potential sweeps for both sides. However based on gut feeling, UCLA comes into town and takes two out of three against the Men of Troy.
Screw that, USC sweeps!
(don’t hold me to that^)