"We run LA," was the tweet from USC baseball player Jeremy Martinez on Sunday night after the Trojans defeated UCLA, 8-4, before 14,688 at Dodger Stadium.
Forgive the enthusiasm of Martinez and USC fans, but the 12-time national champion Trojans truly look like as if they have returned to prominence after not making the NCAA playoffs since 2005.
Third-year Coach Dan Hubbs has USC off to a 15-1 start, including wins over No. 1 Vanderbilt, No. 7 Texas Christian and No. 6 UCLA this weekend in a sweep of the Dodger Stadium College Baseball Classic.
"This was obviously an excellent weekend for our baseball team," Hubbs said. "I've been saying it all along, 'It's not about who you play, It's about how you play.' We're a really resilient group. The kids want to be the best team on the field every day we play, and they've been able to accomplish that over and over."
Catcher Garrett Stubbs leads the team with a .443 batting average. Starting pitchers Kyle Twomey (3-0, 2.49 ERA) and Brent Wheatley (1-0, 1.54 ERA) have been outstanding. The bullpen also has performed well. Marc Huberman hasn't given up an earned run in 10 2/3 innings.
USC is expected to move into the top 10 rankings in several national polls. The Trojans are ranked No. 9 in this week's Baseball America rankings.
The Pacific 12 season begins this weekend for USC with a three-game series at home against Washington State.