USC baseball took a beating from the red-hot Washington Huskies this past weekend, losing all three matchups in the series. Each game told a slightly different tale of missed opportunities and tragic mistakes, both offensively and defensively.
The Trojans started out shaky on the mound Friday night before eventually losing 8-2. Saturday’s match was an even bigger catastrophe in terms of pitching and defense, as the Huskies managed to put at least one run on the board every inning before eventually toppling USC in a 19-4 win.
Sunday’s game proved to be far more competitive as the Trojans battled the Huskies through 14 innings before an unsatisfactory performance by some members of the Trojans’ bullpen decided the game at 8-3 in favor of Washington during the 14th inning.
USC head coach Dan Hubbs reflected on the shortcomings of this weekend’s series.
“We didn’t throw the ball well, obviously, and Washington did an excellent job in hammering any mistakes we made and we made a lot of mistakes,” Hubbs said. “We couldn’t do anything at all this weekend whether that was hitting, pitching or playing defense, which is the most frustrating thing.”
The Trojans also struggled offensively against the impressive Husky pitching staff that held the Trojans to four runs or fewer throughout the series.
“Maybe we put too much pressure on ourselves because the team was hitting the ball so well before this weekend,” Hubbs said. “We kept trying to make plays that we didn’t need to make, and if we had kept things solid and simple then we would’ve been OK. It was obviously a disappointing weekend.”
Hubbs and the team hope that this week brings about a fresh start and an opportunity to rekindle the winning streak.
The Trojans will be hosting the Long Beach State Dirtbags at USC’s Dedeaux Field tonight at 6 p.m.
The last time the two teams met, the Trojans took a tough 2-1 loss on Feb. 25. Since then, the Trojans have gone 6-12 in contrast with the Dirtbags’ 10-8 mark. Both teams are currently .500 for the season.
Despite the fact that the Trojans lost to Long Beach State the first time around, Hubbs said he feels that USC can end its current slump and come out with a win tonight, provided the team comes ready to play.
“I think the guys are still feeling really frustrated about last weekend’s series, but now it’s time to get back in the ring and take on Long Beach State,” Hubbs said. “Our guys battled really hard on Sunday, and I think that’s a good indication of the way they’ll come out against Long Beach.”
As the season approaches the midway point, the Trojans are reaffirming their goals and strategies to ensure a successful second half to the season despite last weekend’s unfortunate showing.
Hubbs feels optimistic that the team can once again start winning tough games.
“Luckily we still have a game tomorrow, and hopefully we’ll be able to start turning things around,” Hubbs said. “Thankfully we’re not quite halfway through the season yet, so we’ve got a lot of time left to get rollin’ and start coming through in big ways during big games.”