USC Baseball Season 2009

LOS ANGELES — The USC baseball program has been ranked No. 24 in the nation by Collegiate Baseball in its 2009 preseason poll. USC is one of seven Pac-10 Conference teams ranked in the Top 40: No. 5 Stanford, No. 6 Arizona State, No. 21 UCLA, No. 35 Arizona, No. 38 Oregon State and No. 39 Cal.

USC have come prepared this year with there new recruits:

Juan Rivera (P): A pitcher with power and control. This kid was one of the first people the USC Trojans were looking for. He has a great attitude and very headstrong. Played baseball for Grossmont High School, in his last season playing for Grossmont he had a record of 5-1 with a 1.21 era. Drafted by the New York Yankees.

Greg Zabrack (outfield): He was a four-year varsity letterwinner at Campbell Hall High in North Hollywood under coach Juan Velasquez…earned All-CIF first team honors as a senior, batting .420 with seven home runs, eight doubles, four triples and 26 RBI…also named Olympic League most valuable player and Rivals.com all-state for small schools as a senior…earned all-league second team honors as a junior after batting .360 with six home runs…named CIF Player of the Year and earned all-league first team honors as a sophomore after batting .443 with seven home runs, 51 runs scored and 27 RBI…drafted in the 43rd round by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 2008 amateur draft.

Reymies Marmolejos (1B,OF): Played for the Morris Baseball Academy in New York. Coached by Paulino Ramirez and his father Gregorio Marmolejos. Was considered to play in High School but injuries to his ribs made him not participate. He is a complete player that can hit for power and contact. In his final season with the Morris baseball academy he had an average of .567 with 19 home runs and 45 rbi’s. He was to be considered the best kept secret to come into the NCAA. He also trained at ABI Baseball where he was regarded as a college baseball prospect by the trainers and professional scouts. At ABI he was the the only player to hit homeruns to centerfield which is 349 ft., and ended up making the starting lineup in the season games they had. He went on to lead the team with homeruns (16), doubles (8), rbi’s (59). Was selected for the All-City Team in Philadelphia were he batted .351….Scouted by the Anaheim Angels and Seattle Mariners farm System.

Chad Smith (Pitcher): He was a four-year varsity letterwinner at Thousand Oaks (Calif.) High under head coach Frank Mutz…earned Los Angeles Daily News, Ventura County Star and All-Marmonte League first team honors in his senior season after going 8-1 with a 2.00 ERA and 65 strikeouts in 60 innings…member of the Marmonte League champions in his junior and senior seasons…posted a 1.77 ERA in 35 2/3 innings as a junior, allowing 21 hits with four walks and 37 strikeouts for the squad that finished No. 5 in the nation…went 4-0 in 18 innings with a 0.84 ERA and 12 strikeouts as a sophomore…during the summer of 2008, he pitched for the Wenatchee Apple Sox of the West Coast Collegiate Baseball League and had a 1-2 record with a 3.96 ERA (13 appearances, two starts, two saves, 25 IP, 21 H, 15 BB, 30 SO, .221 opponents’ batting average).

USC opens its 2009 season on Friday (Feb. 20) against Long Beach State in a 6:30 p.m. game at Dedeaux Field.

About the Author

Sports Writer for the Los Angeles Times. Lives in Los Angeles, California with family.