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Cal Baseball vs. USC Friday Gamethread

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When: 2:30 pm PST
Radio Stream: KALX 90.7 FM
Gametracker

The #13/18/19/21 Bears are back in action against the struggling USC Trojans.  Under interim coach Frank Cruz, USC has gotten off to a 9-16 start and have lost six of their last seven games despite playing all of them at home in Los Angeles.  If USC sticks with their current rotation then Andrew Triggs, who has struggled this year to the tune of a 4.67 ERA.  He was unable to get out of the 5th inning in his last start against UCLA and ultimately took the loss.  Triggs has solid control but also doesn't get many strikeouts, so the Bears will likely be putting lots of balls in play this afternoon.

Cal will counter with Erik Johnson, who is coming off the 2nd most sensational start over the last week after putting just six men on base over eight shutout innings.  He lowered his ERA to 1.06 in the process.  He'll have to be wary of 1st baseman Ricky Oropesa, by far USC's most dangerous hitter.  He leads the Trojans in extra base hits, batting average and on base percentage and has been directly involved in about a third of USC's runs.

Cal's hitters haven't been nearly as dominant as the pitchers, but they've produced more than enough considering that the Bears have only allowed four runs in their last seven games.  And they have particularly produced hits and runs when they need them.  Not surprisingly, Tony Renda and his .354 batting average has been the most reliable hitter, and he's picked up seven hits in Cal's last four games.