Trojans look to rebound against Long Beach State
They say baseball is a thinking manâs game. The USC baseball team sure has had a lot of time to think about its loss at the hands of UC Santa Barbara.
The Trojans (20-15) blew a three-run ninth-inning lead against the Gauchos last Wednesday before surrendering the winning run in the 12th.
Since then they have had five days off, their longest stretch of the season. Thatâs five days to think about the disappointment of that loss and to prepare for tonightâs chance at redemption against Long Beach State.
âWeâre excited to get back out there and avenge our loss from Santa Barbara,â said freshman pitcher Wyatt Strahan, who pitched two solid innings in relief against the Gauchos. âWe didnât play our best baseball. But weâve had a week of solid practices and weâre ready.â
USC bested Long Beach (18-19) by a 4-2 score in both teamsâ fourth game of the season. The Dirtbags have played 19 games against teams that have also played the Trojans, going 9-10 against those teams. The Trojans have played 14 games against Long Beach opponents, going 6-8 in these contests.
Tuesdayâs game against the Dirtbags marks the start of a stretch-run of sorts for the Trojans. They have no more weekends off and will have a midweek game for four of the last five weeks of the season.
âWeâve talked about it a little bit,â said Strahan on the difficulty of the Trojansâ remaining schedule. âBut we try to focus more on the single game; not get ahead of anything.â
The strength of their schedule doesnât help either. Of the Trojansâ 20 remaining games, a full half come against teams currently ranked in the top 12. They have one against No. 7 Cal State Fullerton and three each against No. 10 Oregon, No. 11 Arizona and No. 12 UCLA. Four of USCâs last five Pac-12 conference series come against teams currently in the top half of the conference standings â the three ranked teams mentioned above, as well as 26-12 Oregon State, who the Trojans will host at Dedeaux this weekend.