Print and Go Back ESPN.com: USC [Print without images]

Monday, February 21, 2011
Oropesa recaps baseball weekend

By Pedro Moura

USC baseball's first weekend was a success, according to interim coach Frank Cruz.

Not a great success, but a success nonetheless. The Trojans recorded wins over Missouri and Cal Poly and kept up well with North Carolina in the Sunday finale, putting together an impressive comeback and tying the score at 7 but eventually falling 11-7 to the Tar Heels.

"We should have beat them," freshman catcher Jake Hernandez said of North Carolina. "They're a good team, but we're better."

The problem for USC was pitching. Middle relief, as it has been for the last several seasons, was an extreme issue, with Cruz shuffling through his relievers after the Tar Heels knocked starter Logan Odom out of the game in the fifth inning.

These Trojans have offensive firepower, with junior third baseman Ricky Oropesa, first baseman Matt Foat and center fielder Alex Sherrod. But their depth is a little bit lacking, and their experience is a little bit lacking too.

But there are bright spots, surely. See what Oropesa, a consensus preseason All-American, had to sayabout those bright spots following Sunday's loss to UNC: