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USC's Chad Kreuter missed on Trevor Bauer

If USC head coach Chad Kreuter had things his way a few years ago, UCLA pitcher Trevor Bauer would instead be taking the mound for the Trojans in today's rivalry game at Jackie Robinson Stadium.

Kreuter believed he had the inside track on landing the highly touted right-hander. After all, Kreuter's son Cade -- who now plays at USC -- was a teammate of Bauer's at Newhall's Hart High School.

Kimberly Lajcik/Daily Bruin

Trevor Bauer would be wearing a USC hat if Trojans' head coach Chad Kreuter had his way two years ago.

"I saw Bauer pitch 15 times as a junior and loved him," Kreuter said during a preseason media day earlier this year. "I was hoping that we could do something with him."

Back then, Kreuter admired Bauer's competitive nature, his physical ability and desire to win. Now, he's forced to plan against all of those things.

"He’s a warrior," Kreuter said.

Just when Kreuter thought he was beginning to make progress in his recruitment of Bauer, the 6-foot-1 righty decided to graduate from Hart a year early. Kreuter, who had no idea that Bauer wanted to enroll a year before other class members, was blindsided.

"Maybe he'd be a Trojan if we knew that," he said.

Instead, Bauer seeks his 17th career victory today donning true blue.