The USC Trojans (4-3) have battled adversity early in the season and are starting to play solid baseball. Luckily for interim head coach Dan Hubbs, a talented core of freshmen have made a huge impact for the Trojans.
Vahn Bozoian, Kyle Twomey, Kyle Davis, Timmy Robinson, Brent Wheatley are among the highly-touted class of freshmen that are on the USC roster. The Trojans feature 17 freshmen on their roster, yet are playing far beyond their years.
In a tightly contested series against Cal State Northridge, USC took two out of the three games, thanks to the help of some fledgling talent.
One man we have not mentioned, catcher and designated hitter AJ Ramirez, stepped up his game at the dish over the weekend. Ramirez drove in two runs Saturday and got a hit in each of the three games. Ramriez, who got the start in all three games over a benched Garrett Stubbs, played quite well behind the dish and at the plate, in place of USC’s best defensive player.
The biggest star has to be fellow freshmen Kyle Twomey. Twomey put the Trojans on his back, in 5-2 clinching-series victory over Cal State Northridge, in what was a terrific a complete game performance. Twomey was dominant from the outset, mowing down the Matadors and striking out five and giving up just five hits on 117 pitches. The day surpassed his first start, in which he struck out seven against Nebraska to begin his college career.
Earlier in the week, Bozoian drove in the game-winning run against LMU with a strong double down the line. The 6-foot-5 Bozoian is a mammoth at the dish and is starting to find his groove, hitting over .400 this season, which leads the team.
On the pitching front, the Trojans starting rotation features another freshmen in Brent Wheatley, younger brother of USC pitcher, Bob. Brent pitched five shutout innings earlier this week against LMU, effectively using his breaking ball to fool the aggressive Lions hitters.
Shutting the game down has plagued the Trojans this season, losing two games thanks to poor performances from the bullpen. Luckily for the USC, freshmen Kyle Davis and Sean Adler have been dealing out of the bullpen. Adler has not allowed a run this season in 3.1 innings of work, recording a save on Saturday night. Davis meanwhile has been an effective innings-eater coming out of the pen.
The Trojans must quickly gather their composure from the recent success over Cal State Northridge and LMU, shifting their focus to their rivals form Long Beach State, a squad that defeated Arizona earlier this season.