Walking through the Southern California campus with Trojans head coach Dan Hubbs last spring, it was obvious he had an intense, very cool passion for the university and program. He spoke about Trojans lore like he was thumbing through a family scrapbook, and a smile went across his face every time an athletic department employee would walk by and give him a simple “Hey, Coach!” This was where Hubbs always wanted to be.
He also said at the time he’d love nothing more than to turn USC back into a nationally relevant program.
Well, he might have done just that. The Trojans showed improvement last season, but fell short of the ultimate goal — making the NCAA postseason with a chance to reach the College World Series.
This year, though, the Trojans are off to a terrific start, and improved to 2-0 in the Dodgertown Classic with a thrilling 6-5 walk-off win against No. 1 Vanderbilt.
USC entered the bottom of the ninth inning tied with the Commodores. Vandy had lefthander Ben Bowden on the mound, and the talented southpaw recorded a pair of outs before the Trojans could blink in a 5-5 ballgame. Hubbs decided to pinch hit with Adalberto Carillo, and after he drew the count to 3-1, found a fastball up in the zone and hit it just over Bryan Reynolds in left field for the walkoff, and more importantly, a second statement win this weekend against premier competition.