USC Comes To Corvallis

USC Shortstop Grant Green leads the Trojans in batting average. (via Scout.com)

USC comes to Corvallis this weekend to take on Oregon State in what should turn out to be a clash of two post-season bound teams. Oregon State comes into the season with a 22-7 overall record and a record of 7-2 in the Pac-10. The Beavers picked up a midweek series sweep of BYU earlier in the week, and have now won 14 of their last 16 games. The Beavers are ranked as high as No. 14 in the nation in the national polls. USC is 17-16 on the year and 7-5 in the Pac-10. The Trojans also played two midweek games earlier this week, against No. 6 Cal State Fullerton and Pepperdine. The Trojans lost to Cal State Fullerton 9-2 on Tuesday, and lost 8-5 at Pepperdine on Wednesday.

The Trojans lost series' and went 1-2 against UCLA and Arizona State before winning a series and going 2-1 against Arizona. USC then swept Oregon in Los Angeles last week to improve to 7-5 on the year in the Pac-10.

USC is led at the plate by shortstop Grant Green, who is batting .367 and has started in 31 of 33 games for the Trojans. Center fielder Anthony Vasquez is hitting .325, and had a 10 game hit streak snapped in the series against Oregon. Bummer, dude. First baseman Ricky Oropesa is hitting .296, and leads the Trojans in home runs with six. Oropesa hit a walk-off home run in Game 1 of the Trojans' series with Oregon, helping USC to win 3-2, and eventually sweep the Ducks.

Over the course of the three game series, Oregon State hitters will likely see Brad Boxberger, Andrew Triggs, and Robert Stock start on the mound. Boxberger is 2-3 in eight starts on the season with a 2.60 ERA. He's struck out 61 batters in 55 innings. Triggs has started five games and has a 3-1 record with a 4.29 ERA. Stock is 3-1 on the year in three starts, and has a 2.41 ERA. He has struck out 44 batters in 34 innings.

Michael Miller has been heating up for the Beaver offense as of late. He hit his first career home run against BYU on Tuesday, helping the Beavers sweep the Cougars. Miller finished that series with a 3-for-6 mark from the plate, as well as five RBI's. He came into the series with seven RBI's on the year. Ryan Ortiz has hit safely in fifteen of the last sixteen games, raising his batting average 130 points from .224 to .354. He had a seven game hitting streak earlier in the 16 games, but is now riding an eight game streak into the USC series. The Beavers have gone 14-2 during Ortiz's hitting streak.

Max Schupe has been taking advantage of the opportunities given to him by the coaching staff. He got a pinch-hit base hit to right against Arizona, his first at-bat of the season. He then went 1-for-4 in Game 1 against BYU, and went 1-for-2 with a double against the Cougars in Game 2. Due to the injuries to some of the starters, it will be intersting to see if Shupe gets any at-bats in the upcoming USC series.

Look for Nate Yeskie to send Tyler Waldron to the hill to start the game on Friday, followed by Greg Peavey on Saturday and Jorge Reyes on Sunday.

The first pitch of Friday's game is scheduled for 5:00 p.m. at Goss Stadium. On Saturday, the Beavers and Trojans will get underway at 2:00 p.m., followed by a 12:00 p.m. series finale on Sunday.

--Jake (jake.buildingthedam@gmail.com)

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