The only winner in an eagerly awaited early-season college baseball series between Cal State Fullerton and USC was Mother Nature.
The third-ranked and defending NCAA champion Titans and the resurgent Trojans were scheduled to play a three-game series, but heavy rains Friday and Saturday left both teams hoping to squeeze in a doubleheader Sunday at Fullerton's Goodwin Field.
Instead, only seven-plus soggy innings were played, with USC leading, 7-2, in the top of the eighth before the teams called the first game and postponed the second after a downpour left the field unplayable.
Fullerton Coach George Horton and USC Coach Mike Gillespie agreed to complete the game at Fullerton (5-1) before the rescheduled contest on a date the two can agree on. The teams decided to play Friday's postponement April 12 at USC.
The Trojans (4-0) got another solid start from sophomore Ian Kennedy and a surprising career day from light-hitting shortstop Hector Estrella.
Kennedy gave up early home runs to Sergio Pedroza and Danny Dorn but yielded only three other hits in seven innings and struck out 10, including five of the last six batters he faced. The right-hander defeated Long Beach State with six strong innings in his first start.
"To be a good pitcher, you have to be up for every game," Kennedy said. "You can't let the weather affect you."
Fullerton's Ricky Romero nearly pitched a no-hitter last week against Fresno State, and the left-hander had a 2-1 lead through four innings. But Estrella gave the Trojans the lead with a two-run double in the fifth inning and his first career homer, a three-run shot in the seventh.
-- Eric Stephens