Erick Migueles (15) takes a cut as the Utes take on the BYU Cougars at Smith's Ballpark May 8, 2018. (Photo by: Justin Prather / Daily Utah Chronicle).

 

Utah vs USC:

The University of Utah baseball team will host the USC Trojans at Smith’s Ballpark this weekend. Last season, the Utes went 1-2 against the Trojans, and are 9-11 since joining the Pac-12. Utah holds the only series sweep between the two schools in Pac-12 play, which happened in 2017.

 

USC College World Series History:

As 12-time national champions, the USC Trojans hold the record for most College World Series Championships in history. Southern California also ranks fifth in College World Series appearances with 21, trailing only Texas, Miami (FL), Arizona State and Florida State. The Trojans’ last national championship came in 1998 beating conference rival Arizona State. Legendary former head coach Rod Dedeaux is the highest-winning college baseball coach in history with 11 national championships.

 

USC Players to Watch:

Matthew Acosta is the offensive leader for the Trojans, leading the team in batting average, home runs and RBI. Acosta is also second on the team in hits and doubles. Acosta is a 5-foot-11-inch junior outfielder from Chino Hills, California. Acosta hopes to play professional baseball after graduating from USC, and also has dreams of working for ESPN.

Blake Sabol is one of the more consistent batters in Southern California’s lineup. He leads the team in runs scored and triples. Sabol is a 6-foot-4-inch junior utility player from Aliso Viejo, California. Sabol has won a gold medal in the Pan Am Games for Team USA and hopes to pursue a career in real estate once his baseball career comes to an end.

Chris Clarke is one of the most dominant pitchers on USC’s pitching staff. He leads the team with a 1.26 ERA in 14 appearances. Clarke is a 6-foot-7-inch junior pitcher from Westlake Village, California. An interesting fact about Clarke is that his brother Zander played first base at cross-town rival UCLA.

 

USC Coach:

Dan Hubbs is in his seventh season as head coach for the Trojans. Coach Hubbs helped USC break a 10-year College World Series drought in 2015, losing in the final of the Lake Elsinore Regional. He had a seven-year Minor League Baseball career in the Los Angeles Dodgers and Philadelphia Phillies organizations. Hubbs was a pitching coach for California Berkeley before coming to Southern California. As a pitching coach at Cal, Hubbs was involved in the Golden Bears College World Series run in 2011.

 

USC Fun Fact:

The University of Southern California is the only university in the world to have a gold-medal-winning athlete in every summer Olympics since 1912.

 

Utah 2019 Season Update:

The Utes continue to struggle with a record of 8-18 (1-11). Utah is coming into the weekend after being swept in three games against Oregon State.

 

Utah Players to Watch:

Oliver Dunn continues his hot streak at the plate and is currently riding an 18-game hit streak. Dunn has only been held hitless in two games this season. Dunn has been tremendous defensively with only two errors on the season. He has been involved with 44 put-outs and 15 double plays this year.

Rykker Tom is coming off a week where he blasted a triple in the eighth inning to seal a victory over in-state rival BYU. His fielding percentage has also been phenomenal over the last four games. Tom has been one of the more consistent players offensively and defensively for the Utes this season.

Brett Brocoff set a new season-high strikeout mark against Oregon State this past weekend with six. Although Brocoff’s record this season isn’t great, it doesn’t reflect his dominance on the mound this year. In seven outings, Brocoff has accounted for 25 strikeouts and a 4.84 ERA.

 

Utah Fun Fact:

Utah baseball has produced eight All-Americans in its history. The most recent baseball All-American at Utah was C.J. Cron in 2011.

 

This Weekends Matchup:

Smith’s Ballpark will host the Utes and Trojans on Thursday at 6 p.m., Friday at 11:30 a.m. and Saturday at 11:30 a.m. Each game will be televised on Pac-12 networks. You can also follow live stats at utahutes.com.

b.ramsay@dailyutahchronicle.com

@brayden_ramsay

Brayden Ramsay is a Senior at the University of Utah writing for the sports desk. He previously worked for Snow College Athletics before leaving on a Mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints to London, England. After transferring to the University of Utah, Brayden decided to major in Sports Journalism and hopes to one day work for a major sports network. This is Brayden's first year at the Chronicle.

1 COMMENT

  1. As a serious sports journalist, you might want to spend more effort on research. The writing does not reflect any meaningful insights on either team, and especially the USC players to watch. Looks like a 10 minute copy. Even an additional 20 minutes of effort would have paid dividends to the article.

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