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Trojans Finally Lose Despite Tyler Gilbert Gem

March 4, 2015 | by RotoRob | Comments (0)
David Oppenheim has had a big impact on the Southern California Trojans.
David Oppenheim (right) has added teeth to the Trojan attack. (Kyusung Gong, OC Register)

On Tuesday afternoon, the USC Trojans (12-1) finally lost their first game of the season, blowing a lead and allowing UC Santa Barbara to complete a walk-off win.

Don’t blame Trojan starter Tyler Gilbert. In six innings, he gave up just three hits and one run, while fanning 11.

Gilbert, who transferred to USC from a Juco (Santa Barbara City College), remains 1-0 and has now lowered his ERA to 3.52. In 15 1/3 IP, he’s given up 14 hits while striking out an impressive 21 batters. Opponents are hitting just .246 against Gilbert.

The 6′3″ lefty Junior was the 2013 Western State-North Division Pitcher of the Year after going 9-2 with a 2.43 ERA. Gilbert is athletic and brings four pitches to the mix, including a fastball that is gaining in velocity (see video below). He was considered one of the top 15 Juco draft prospects in 2014 before opting to try his hand at Division I ball, and based on his performance so far, is likely to get plucked this year.

Another important Juco transfer for the Pac 12-leading Trojans is Junior outfielder David Oppenheim, who is off to blazing start with a .640 slugging percentage thanks to one homer and four doubles already.

Overall, through 11 games (nine starts), he’s hitting .360 with six runs and four RBI. Oppenheim has only whiffed five times and is getting on base at a .486 clip. He has yet to steal a base.

Last year, Oppenheim played at the College of the Canyons in Santa Clara, where he earned First Team All-State honours after hitting .377. Previously, he played at Pepperdine, but he only managed 15 hits in 29 games as a Freshman. Oppenheim was on the radar for the 2014 draft, but after not getting picked, opted to head back to Division I.

A big season this year could vault him into the 2015 draft.

Back to the mound — where the Trojans will live or die this season — Brent Wheatley returns for USC, which was one of the four remaining undefeated Division I teams until Tuesday.

He’s the team’s No. 1 starter this year after acting as the Saturday starter most of the 2014 season. Last year, Wheatley went 4-3 in 18 games, 14 of them starts. This year, the Junior is off to a 1-0 start with a sparking 2.12 ERA and has struck out 25 batters in 17 IP.

A 6′4″ righty, Wheatley had a 3.58 ERA as a Sophomore, but his command was weak as he had the same amount of strikeouts as he did walks. That’s where he’s really made strides so far this year, with a 25/3 K/BB ratio showing how far this kid has come. Coming out of high school, Wheatley was clocked at 90 mph.

Now it’s your turn. Let us know in the comments below which USC Trojans are catching your eye this season.

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Kyle Davis Racking Up Saves for USC

March 3, 2015 | by RotoRob | Comments (0)
His ERA is a bit higher this year (2.84), but he’s whiffed 10 batters and given up just four hits in 6 1/3 IP. Davis solidified his reputation in the summer when he was named the top reliever in the Cape Cod League.
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USC Trojans Remain Undefeated

February 27, 2015 | by RotoRob | Comments (0)
It has now been a decade since the University of Southern California Trojans have made the NCAA Baseball Tournament. However, with the team winning its first seven games at home and then another two on the road to fuel a 9-0 start, there’s excitement building early on this season for the Trojans.
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Prospect Watch: Tyler Wilson

February 25, 2015 | by RotoRob | Comments Comments Off
Wilson is not someone that will blow hitters away or light up the radar gun, but he always seems to rack up the Ws wherever he goes (his 25 career wins ranks third all-time at Virginia). The fact that his command did not really suffer in the move from Double-A to Triple-A was a great sign.
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Baltimore Orioles Rotation 2015 Preview

February 24, 2015 | by RotoRob | Comments (3)
Showalter is entering his sixth season at the helm of the O’s and his .535 winning percentage is second only to his tenure with the Yankees, when he won at a .539 clip. His time with B-More has enabled him to now move almost 100 games over .500 for his managing career (1,259-1,161) for a fine .520 mark. It’s that pesky 9-13 postseason mark that haunts Showalter.
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