The USC Trojans open their 2012 college baseball season Friday night in the opener of a three-game weekend home series against the Jacksonville Dolphins at Dedeaux Field. The Trojans look to improve on last season's 25-31 record, though USC was picked to finish eighth in the Pac-12 by conference coaches this season.
Frank Cruz begins his second season as USC head coach and his eighth overall with the Trojans. Cruz served as an assistant coach from 1993-1996 and 2009-2010 before taking over in August 2010.
Senior Andrew Triggs returns to anchor the starting rotation. The right-handed pitcher was 5-4 with a 3.67 ERA with 72 strikeouts and 28 walks in 90 2/3 innings in 2011. Triggs was drafted in the 21st round in the 2011 MLB Draft by the San Francisco Giants, but chose to return to USC to pursue his MBA. Triggs is a co-captain of the team, along with designated hitter and pitcher Brandon Garcia, and center fielder Garret Houts.
Here are the probable starters for the three-game series:
Game 1 - Friday, February 17 (6 p.m. PST): Andrew Triggs (5-4, 3.67 ERA in 2011) vs. Steven Eagerton (9-0, 4.09)
Game 2 - Saturday, February 18 (2 p.m. PST): Ben Mount (1-2, 5.15) vs. Chris Anderson (4-2, 3.91)
Game 3 - Sunday, February 19 (1 p.m. PST): LHP Stephen Tarpley (freshman) vs. Alex McRae (freshman)
For more USC baseball news and notes, be sure to read Conquest Chronicles.