No. 23 Stanford is coming off a marquee moment and the Trojans will have to try to stop their losing skid.Last week, Stanford (15-9) head coach Mark Marquess earned his 1,600th win in a 8-4 victory over Cal. Meanwhile, the Trojans (15-12) have lost four straight games, scoring only six runs across them.Despite their records going in opposite directions, the Trojans have more wins in Pac-12 play, 4-to-3 against the Cardinal.The struggle to score is still plaguing the Trojans. The team has been unable to use free passes from errors such as being hit by pitches or walked to their advantage, often stranding runners.It is a dramatic difference from the team of the beginning of the season that won its first games against Coppin State and Wake Forest in blowouts. Back then, the Trojans’ pitching had been weaker, but the offense saved them. Now the pitching is stronger, giving up fewers runs than some of their earlier losses. However, the offense has been dormant with runners on.Freshman Chris Clarke will most likely start on the mound for the Trojans on Thursday. He took a beating in his last outing, but has otherwise proven to be a strong spot in the rotation, especially given the loss of junior Mitch Hart.The rotation against Stanford will change for USC as the team attempts to make adjustments. Previously, junior Brad Wegman (2-2) had been the No. 2 starter. However, sophomore CJ Stubbs took over his role last week and Wegman has been switched to long relief. Wegman seems to have had more success there, tossing three scoreless innings against Arizona on Saturday and a scoreless inning against Long Beach State on Tuesday.Sophomore Marrick Crouse is still the No. 3 starter. With Stubbs’ promotion, however, junior Mason Perryman has taken over the duties of being the No. 4 starter. Freshman Connor Lunn has also success coming out of the bullpen, throwing 3.2 scoreless innings against Long Beach State in relief of Perryman.Luckily for the Trojans, USC boasts a better record at home (11-5) while Stanford has struggled on the road, going 3-for-4 while visiting opponents.Of all the teams in the Pac-12, Stanford ranks last in runs scored and runs batted in, which is good news for the Trojan pitching staff. If the Trojans score even a handful of runs, they should be in decent shape to win the game.“Our pitching has been doing well, so we’re hoping they can keep doing that and trying to get those timely hits,” redshirt junior Frankie Rios said. “We haven’t been hitting so well lately.”The series will be a good chance for the Trojans to regain their confidence in bringing in runners in scoring position.One troublesome aspect of batting for USC has been the number of strikeouts the team allows on offense. They are second in the Pac-12 in strikeouts, which is not aiding their struggle to score.The Trojans will face Stanford in a three-game series starting Thursday at 6 p.m. at Dedeaux Field.
AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week Why cut off our voice? It isn’t at random. It is a deliberate attempt by certain ideologues who don’t want to hear what law enforcement and other public servants want to say about issues that concern our workplace environment, including safety, compensation and, yes, our pensions. The backers of Proposition 75 are the same folks who, earlier this year, tried to take away pensions from widows and orphans of law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty. Going after our collective-bargaining units is more insidious than going after members of private-sector unions. While we at the Los Angeles Police Protective League have enormous respect for union members – and for all they have accomplished for workers’ rights in this country – we are not a union in one fundamental way. Traditional unions can strike, and law enforcement and firefighters cannot. Police officers and firefighters have no recourse except for collective bargaining and bringing whatever pressure we can to bear by using our political voice. We aren’t calling Proposition 75 un-Democratic or un-Republican. We don’t play partisan politics. We are against Proposition 75 because it is undemocratic – with a small “d.” Proposition 75 singles out the very people who are most committed to helping others in our state – law enforcement and other public workers – and then takes aim at our participation in the political system. The Los Angeles Police Protective League doesn’t look at party affiliation – in our membership, among the candidates we support, or among the causes we take up. That is why we speak for more than 99.5 percent of the officers of the Los Angeles Police Department. And, by police training and common sense, we know to oppose someone who pats you on the shoulder, claiming to be looking out for you, while at the same time trying to stick a knife in your back. Bob Baker is president of the Los Angeles Police Protective League. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! With friends like Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who needs enemies? In his latest version of Arnold doublespeak – say one thing but mean another – Schwarzenegger was ultimately pushed from behind the curtain by his well-heeled money handlers to publicly support Proposition 75. In so announcing, he audaciously claimed he is doing this to “protect” the average public employee. Of course, the truth is that Arnold’s big-business donors want the exact opposite. They want the average police officer and firefighter to shut up. They don’t want public employees to participate in the democratic process. They resent the fact that ordinary police officers, firefighters, teachers and other public employees have been effective in banding together and making their voices heard. The lie underlying the campaign for Proposition 75 is that public employees have money taken from them by unions against their will and spent on political activities they don’t agree with. The state of the law in California for many years is exactly the opposite. Joining a union is a voluntary activity. If a person pays union dues because he is in a closed shop, the only dues that can be collected from him are those that are used for bargaining and related activities. Those dues cannot be used for political activity, and the employee can ask for a yearly activity report as to how the dues are spent to ensure this.