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USC loses weekend road series to No. 5 Arkansas

first_imgThe USC Trojans went 1-2 in this weekend’s series against the No. 5 Arkansas Razorbacks at Baum Stadium, taking the Trojans record to 8-3 on the season.Junior infielder Brandon Perez catches a fly-ball. Alex Zhang | Daily TrojanThe Razorbacks ended the Trojans’ seven-game winning streak in game one of this weekend’s series. The Trojans lost to the Razorbacks by a score of 4-0; however, the game was closer than the score suggested.Star junior pitcher Blaine Knight pitched for the Razorbacks in game one against USC sophomore pitcher Chris Clarke. The Trojans managed to get seven hits off of Knight, who has a 0.53 ERA after three starts, however they were unable to score despite leaving eight runners on base throughout the game. The Razorbacks gained all the momentum in the first inning thanks to a 2-run homerun from senior outfielder Luke Bonfield. While the Razorbacks only had one more hit than the Trojans throughout the game, eight, they were able to score runners in scoring positions which helped them see off the game.Game two, however, saw the Trojans go back to their winning ways as they beat No. 5 Arkansas 3-1 on Saturday. USC junior pitcher Quentin Longrie pitched 7.1 strong innings allowing only one run with four strikeouts to help lead the Trojans to victory.Game two was a real team display from the Trojans as two of the runs scored were scored from sacrifice RBI’s. Unlike on Friday, the Trojans were able to score runners in scoring positions to close out game two. The scoring started late, as sophomore center-fielder Matthew Acosta singled in the top of the sixth to score junior shortstop Chase Bushor for the Trojans first run. Then, in the seventh, sophomore outfielder Brady Shockey hit a sacrifice fly to the outfield with junior second baseman Brandon Perez on third, scoring in the second run for the Trojans. In the bottom of the eighth inning, however, junior outfielder Eric Cole blasted a solo shot into left to score for the Razorbacks keeping the game close at 2-1. However, in the ninth, the Trojans scored one more run courtesy of a sacrifice bunt from Perez scoring Acosta and leading the Trojans to an upset 3-1 victory at Baum Stadium.“Quentin pitched a great game,” said head coach Dan Hubbs to USC Athletics. “That’s all you can ask of your starter. […] Overall this was a big win for a young team that’s still learning how to win.”Sunday’s rubber-match ended in a heartbreaker for the Trojans as they lost 7-6 on a walk-off single with bases loaded in what was a competitive game. The game had to be cut short to eight innings of play due to the Trojans’ travel arrangements, and unfortunately for the Trojans, the game was lost in the final inning of play.Freshman pitcher Kyle Hurt took the mound for the Trojans on Sunday and was in control of the game. He threw for 4.2 innings allowing only one earned run on three hits and five strikeouts. Meanwhile, the Trojans also looked great on the offensive side as they had 10 hits through eight innings of play. However, the Trojans were unable to close the game for the first time this season which resulted in a disappointing loss.The Razorbacks took an early one-run lead in the second, however, the lead didn’t last long as the Trojans scored a run in the fourth to tie the game up at 1-1 through four innings of play. The Trojans then had a big fifth inning as they managed to put 4 more runs on the board and take the lead. However, in the sixth, the Razorbacks fought back and scored four runs of their own to tie the game up at 5 runs apiece.Despite giving away the lead in the sixth, the Trojans did not put their heads down. In the seventh, sophomore catcher Blake Sabol hit an RBI single to retake the lead 6-5, giving the Trojans all of the momentum. The Trojans then went scoreless in the eighth after shutting out the Razorbacks in the seventh to go into the bottom of the eighth inning with a one-run lead and star sophomore closer Connor Lunn on the mound.Having not given up a run all season, it looked like a foregone conclusion that the Trojans would walk away from Arkansas with two victories when Lunn went to pitch. However, the Razorbacks showed composure and managed to score 2 runs in the final inning of play to steal game three from the Trojans.Despite losing two out of three games this weekend, the Trojans managed to keep every game relatively close against a great opponent in Arkansas.Next weekend, the Trojans will face off against three more ranked opponents in the Dodger Stadium College Baseball Classic.last_img read more

Manager of the Year Dave Roberts applied every day of his own struggle to running the Dodgers this season

first_imgHe hit .272 and stole 65 bases and the world little noted nor long remembered. But his manager did.“Dave was out there working on his throwing every day before games,” said Tim Torricelli. “And he was an absolute sponge. He asked me questions about everything you think of. So, no, I wasn’t surprised at all when he started managing in the big leagues.”Playing in the big leagues? Many were surprised at that.Roberts did not get there for five more years, at least not for good. General manager Dan Evans and manager Jim Tracy allowed him to shoot for the Dodgers’ centerfield job in 2002 and he took it, and he stole 45 bases and hit .272, but he was 29 then. When he stole the Base Heard Round The World for the Red Sox in Game 4 of the 2004 World Series, he was 32.Roberts never had managed a club before Andrew Friedman hired him to run the Dodgers this year. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Considering that he was named National League Manager of the Year on Tuesday, with 16 first place votes to Joe Maddon’s eight, you’re tempted to say experience is overrated.But every day of Roberts’ long quest, and the ability to trust the existence of light behind the darkness, contributed to 2016.He proved that, in managing or any kind of executive position, who you are is more important than what you know. Maddon and Terry Francona did, too.Roberts, who is the first Dodgers’ manager to win the honor since Tommy Lasorda in 1988, also proved that civility is not the antonym of strength. Three times he removed a starting pitcher from a no-hitter or a perfect game. He took brazen chances in the postseason, when the Dodgers beat Washington in the Division Series and when Clayton Kershaw saved Game 5 for Kenley Jansen. He lived with the hits and misses.The Dodgers won their fewest games (91) since 2012 and gave up their most runs since 2010. Yet they won a fourth straight N.L. West title. Yet they were forced to use 15 starting pitchers and played without Kershaw for nearly two-and-a-half months. They were Dodger Blue Cross for most of the season, and Roberts kept throwing minor league pedestrians like Andrew Toles and Rob Segedin into late-season drama, and everything kept working.A frivolous, fractious clubhouse came together. Professionals like Howie Kendrick, who left his second base comfort zone to play left-field and third base, made that happen. So did Roberts’ knack of reaching out or backing off and knowing when to do either or both.J.P. Howell formerly was the Dodgers main lefthanded setup man. Roberts did not include Howell on the postseason roster. Instead he selected Grant Dayton, who came from the wilderness of the Marlins’ system. Mentally, Howell remained on board.“We’ve tried to come together as a group, every year since I’ve been here,” Howell said, “but we never did. You’d come in and go home. It was like a job. Now it’s a family, and Dave’s the leader of the family.“My favorite managers are the ones who can relate to each individual. There’s egos involved in the clubhouse, different cultures, different people. Dave made it possible for us to police it. None of his opinions are negative.”Roberts is not the first manager to let his position players know when days off are coming, but the Dodgers appreciated it nonetheless.“Twelve more hours to relax,” Howell said. “You know you shut it down. You don’t want to show up and find out you’re not playing and say, hey, last night I could have gone to the movies.“You don’t play for yourself here anymore, you play for Dave. If you have a bad outing, he’s wearing it, too. We could win 5-3 and I could give up 3 runs, and he’s bummed for me. The old-school way would be to say, ‘Just clean it up.’ The way he expresses his opinions, it’s clean.”Roberts’ reward is to absorb more upheaval in 2017. It’s tough to find a good sponge.center_img They don’t make cuddly movies about baseball teams like the 1996 Visalia Oaks.That club was The Walking Dead.The Oaks were pasted together from different organizations, including some Japanese players on loan. They lost 90 of 150 games. They played at three different parks. Somehow four of them found their way to the major leagues. Dave Roberts and Rod Barajas played in World Series.Roberts was an outfielder for Visalia, or wanted to be. He was still fighting the effects of two shoulder operations. For 30 games he was a designated hitter. last_img read more