Baseball comes home from Stanford after losing two of three games to the Cardinals over the weekend. The Trojans now find themselves two games under .500 at 12-14 for the season and they are at an even 3-3 in Pac-12 play. They will look to start building some momentum on Tuesday in their first of four home games this week, as USC hosts Pepperdine at Dedeaux Field on Tuesday night.The team’s last loss to Stanford was a bitter pill to swallow — at one point the Trojans even looked primed to go for a three-game sweep. After grabbing a 1-0 win on Friday night, USC led the Cardinals 8-3 through five innings the next day at Klein Field at Sunken Diamond — the halfway point of the series. At its conclusion, however, the Trojans had dropped the series, blowing the lead on Saturday in an 11-8 loss and dropping the rubber game on Sunday, 8-1.“We just didn’t play very good baseball for the last game and a half,” head coach Dan Hubbs said.Although it is far from time to panic, the margin for error is beginning to thin, as Pac-12 play has ramped up in earnest. USC will face a conference opponent week-in and week-out for the remainder of the regular season and the team finds itself looking for a spark going into its midweek matchup against Pepperdine.Hubbs emphasized that the Trojans have to stay within themselves and execute fundamentals to generate some energy.“We need to throw strikes, play defense and get timely hits,” Hubbs said. “We just need to play consistently and if we do that, I think we’ll be in good shape.”The head coach urged his players to continue to play confidently and with self-belief, saying the results will follow.“I honestly believe we’re going to go on our run,” Hubbs said. “There’s too much talent here not to. The way we won’t … is if we start feeling sorry for ourselves.”The Trojans will look to start their run against a Pepperdine team that sits at 13-13 for the season. The Waves are battle-tested and are coming off of their first in-conference series win of the season against USF. However, Pepperdine has not traveled well so far this spring. Albeit in small sample size, the Waves currently sport a 1-6 record on the road.USC will look to add to Pepperdine’s traveling woes at Dedeaux Field. Tuesday will be an opportunity for the Trojans to rebound from their weekend losses and kick their season into high gear.“There’s plenty of time to turn it around and play the kind of baseball we think we’re capable of playing, and if we do that, then it’ll all work out for us,” Hubbs said. “I still believe that these kids are capable of going on a big run and putting ourselves in a position to go to the postseason.”First pitch between USC and Pepperdine will be at 6 p.m. at Dedeaux Field.
A new champion will be crowned today when the Linden bauxite Flyers Cycle Club stages the 6th Annual Bakers’ Memorial Cycling Classic along the Linden Highway, beginning at 10:00hrs.Defending champion and current national road race champion Geron Williams who recorded two hours 25 minutes and seven seconds in winning the event last year will not be a part of this year’s event as he has returned to his base in the United States, where he is training and competing.Williams’ absence paves the way for a new champion to be crowned.Among those with a very good chance of winning this year’s activity that carries a first prize of $50,000 and a trophy are the in-form Jamal John, Paul DeNobrega, Shaquel Agard, Alonzo Ambrose and Raynauth `Obeahman’ Jeffrey.Not to be left out are Team Evolution’s Orville Hinds and Michael Anthony who both hails from the mining Town of Linden and are both familiar with the terrain and course, which includes 15 hills.Eight prime prizes will be up for grabs and the first six finishers will be rewarded for their efforts.