Pigskin: Young guns steal the spotlight during Wednesday’s practice

first_imgKatie Chin | Daily TrojanThe USC football team returned to Howard Jones Field on Wednesday for their second practice since the start of the school year. Team roles began to become more defined as the team approaches its opening matchup against Western Michigan next Saturday — and the practice also featured a special guest.Freshmen Take the StageThe Trojan freshmen have been at the height of media interest this week, not only for their contributions to practice, but also because this is the first week they’ve been available for interviews.Freshman defensive tackle Marlon Tuipulotu thanked the upperclassmen for helping ease his transition to college ball.“They’re all helping out the young guys,” he said, naming in particular redshirt senior Kenny Bigelow Jr. and senior Josh Fatu. Along with his work as a mentor, Fatu is also standing out on the practice field as well, taking most of the first-team reps at nose tackle.Freshman defensive lineman Jay Tufele praised Talamaivao, redshirt junior Toa Lobendahn and redshirt junior Chris Brown. “They’re amazing athletes, and going against them is like going against the best in the world,” Tufele said.Though not technically a first-year player, redshirt freshman Tyler Vaughns was raring to finally make his Trojan debut after spending 2016 confined to the practice field.“I have a fire in me,” Vaughns said, before adding that he would “hopefully be starting” against Western Michigan.Making Dreams Come TrueTaylor Hammond, a 10-year-old who has been battling leukemia for four years, made an appearance at Wednesday’s practice as one of the wishes on his “life list.”Taylor got to take part in a drill with the Trojans: Redshirt sophomore quarterback Sam Darnold threw him a pass, which Taylor ran to the end zone with defenders chasing after him, falling to the ground one by one in his wake.Taylor’s father, Brian Hammond, was also in attendance and was passing out bracelets to players, fans and reporters, encouraging everyone to keep children like Taylor in their thoughts when they wear the bracelets. Taylor, his father and his brother were able to pose for the media to complete his true celebrity experience.“[Taylor] is the definition of ‘Fight On,’” head coach Clay Helton said.Injury UpdateThis week USC football continues its rigorous practice schedule leading up to their home opener against Western Michigan next Saturday. Notable absences included freshman offensive lineman Alijah Vera-Tucker and senior guard Viane Talamaivao, as they remained sidelined with hamstring and foot injuries, respectively.Redshirt sophomore tight end Daniel Imatorbhebhe remained limited in his involvement with a hip flexor injury that has had him playing tentatively for a couple of weeks. Helton has admitted he wants to proceed with caution to prevent the injury from getting any worse.last_img read more

Mike Trout belts monster homer, but Angels lose two slugfests to Giants

first_img Shohei Ohtani’s next start for the Angels will be in a major league exhibition UP NEXT: Angels (JC Ramirez) vs. Rangers (Bartolo Colon), Sunday, 1 p.m. PT, Tempe Diablo Stadium, Fox Sports West, KLAA/830Related Articles THE GAMES: The Angels lost a pair of games to the Giants on Saturday, dropping a 9-8 decision in Tempe and losing 11-7 at the Giants’ home park in Scottsdale. The Angels (6-11) have now lost six games in a row.PITCHING REPORT: In Tempe, left-hander Andrew Heaney gave up two runs in 3-1/3 innings. He had not allowed any runs in his first two starts of the spring. Heaney struck out five, giving him 11 strikeouts in 8-1/3 innings. He said he’s noticing a difference from moving back to the first base side of the rubber this spring. “It’s just something that might not have looked any different from video, but I can tell the swings I’m getting are totally different,” Heaney said. … Right-hander Felix Peña, who had not allowed a run in five innings in his first five games, got the chance to work multiple innings for the first time. He struck out two to finish the fourth, but then he gave up two hits and a walk to start the fifth, recording just one out before he was pulled. … In Scottsdale, right-hander Parker Bridwell gave up four runs on five hits in three innings. He did not walk a batter and he struck out five. … Right-hander Luke Bard, a Rule 5 pick, pitched two scoreless innings, with two strikeouts.HITTING REPORT: In Tempe, Mike Trout hit his first homer of the spring, a long blast that cleared the batter’s eye in center field. Trout said he’d hit balls over it in batting practice, but never before in a game. He also had two singles, after coming into the game with one hit in his previous 14 at-bats. … Kole Calhoun had two hits, improving to 8 for 15 this spring. … The Angels had eight consecutive singles to produce six runs in the third inning. … In Scottsdale, Luis Valbuena had two hits, including a three-run homer, his second of the spring. … Chris Carter and Jabari Blash also homered.DEFENSE REPORT: In Tempe, third baseman Zack Cozart couldn’t handle a hard ground ball to his left. It was ruled a hit. Cozart, who has been a shortstop for his entire career, is learning to play third. … In Scottsdale, third baseman Kaleb Cowart ranged far into found territory to make an over-the-shoulder catch.center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more