Detroit Tigers Sweet 16 Matchup 8: Oregon vs. USC
Notable Detroit Tigers:
Oregon: Steve Baker, Drew Gangier
USC: Gabe Álvarez, Davy Jones, Steve Kemp, Eric Munson
Pretty slim pickings for Oregon here. Steve Baker was drafted by the Mets in 1974 but he made his MLB debut for the Detroit Tigers in 1978, when he threw 6.1 innings of one-run ball and struck out future Hall-of-Famer Eddie Murray twice. Big-league hitters beat him up in 1979 and he was out of the organization shortly thereafter. Drew Gangier was a 17th rounder in 2010 and he made 27 relief appearances in Connecticut before leaving the organization.
USC has a claim as the best college baseball program ever, with 12 national championships and Hall-of-Fame alumni like Randy Johnson, Ralph Kiner, Tom Seaver, and Don Sutton. Gabe Álvarez was one of Detroit’s best prospects in the late 1990s, coming to the Tigers in a 1997 trade of Travis Fryman, but he never panned out in the big-leagues. Davy Jones had a law degree and served as the speedy leadoff man for the great early 1900s Tigers teams. Steve Kemp was the first overall pick in the 1976 draft and put up strong numbers for Detroit for five seasons before being traded for Chet Lemon. And of course there’s Eric Munson, who was the 3rd overall pick in the 1999 draft but never quite hit enough in pro ball.
Winner: The Trojans in a rout.