Did you see Friday night’s USC baseball score?
Stanford 22, USC 3.
Stanford hit 6 home runs and had an 8-run seventh inning. David Shaw only beat USC by 14 points last season.
USC (25-27, 8-21) is already in last place and eliminated from making the Pac-12 Tournament next week. So obviously it has nothing to play for.
But Coach Jason Gill is fighting for his job.
Gill was considered a good hire back in 2019 and would argue he’s slowly changing the culture of the moribund program. Some former players would disagree.
But whatever he is doing, it ain’t working.
To be fair, Andy Enfield had a miserable start to his USC career and is popular now despite the fact he is a bang-average coach. But I’m not sure Mike Bohn will wait with baseball especially since he didn’t hire Gill. And remember Gill is still under investigation following player complaints.
It’s a tough job to coach baseball with 11.7 scholarships at a private school like USC. But Mike Gillespie won and I bet he would have loved to recruit some baseball players under the new university policy that allows students whose families make less than $80,000 per year to go for free.
Gillespie was great at bringing in walk-ons. One year he went to the College World Series with a starting outfielder who originally was going to be a team manager.
USC foolishly fired Gillespie in 2006 and has had two winning seasons since then in 2014-15.
It’s a tough job to hire. Bohn can bring in some guy from Cincinnati or whatever but that doesn’t mean it will translate to USC, where a half-scholarship still means you need to pick up $30,000 (plus room and board).
He can throw money at the job like he did with Lindsay Gottlieb (and Lincoln Riley) and try to hire a big-name coach. But again, Gottlieb and Riley don’t operate in the 11.7-scholarship world, and that’s not attractive for an SEC or Big 12 baseball coach.
You know who is probably happy? Long Beach State coach Eric Valenzuela. He was at St. Mary’s and a finalist for the USC job before Gill got hired.
Valenzuela got hired at Long Beach State instead. If he gives out a half-scholarship, the player then has to pay $3,400. A little less than USC.
Bottom line: USC baseball has become a joke. It needs to be fixed. It’s been irrelevant since Gillespie.
Maybe Bohn can hire SportSourceAnalytics (Or “Sports Sorts” as he called it at Riley’s introductory press conference) to hire a baseball coach.