Sometimes you run into a hot team on a winning streak, and there’s nothing you can do. But when you give away outs and don’t get timely hitting, it becomes nearly impossible to win.That was the case over the weekend for the USC baseball team. California improved its winning streak to eight games by sweeping a three-game set from USC (15-17, 2-7).In the finale Sunday, the Trojans fell 4-3 as they filed to push across the game-tying run in the eighth inning when they stranded a pair of runners despite having men on first and third with only one out.After junior infielder Joe De Pinto and freshman pinch hitter Cade Kreuter walked to lead off the eighth inning, USC got back-to-back singles by sophomore infielder Matt Foat and sophomore designated hitter Brandon Garcia, but junior third baseman Matt Hart struck out and senior center fielder Mike O’Neill flew out.Cal (20-10, 6-3) took a quick 1-0 lead on first baseman Mark Canha’s fourth extra base of the series. Canha rocketed a fastball to dead center field just to the left of the 395-foot marker for a solo home run.Hart tied the game in the bottom of the second inning with an RBI-single to center field, scoring Foat, who led off the inning with a single past the first baseman.Stringing together three singles and then taking advantage of a pair of hit batsmen, Cal scored two runs in the fourth and added another in the sixth to make it 4-1 prior to the eighth inning drama. Brian Guinn collected his seventh hit and fourth RBI of the series scoring Marcus Semien with a single to center field.USC had its worst defensive performance of the season Friday night, committing six errors. The Trojan pitching was just as bad allowing 18 hits — two shy of the season-high.Sophomore first baseman Ricky Oropesa put USC ahead with a three-run homer as the Trojans took a 4-1 lead, but it was short-lived.Senior Kevin Couture gave up three runs in the second inning to tie the game. He then failed to make it out of the third inning. Cal scored six runs to take a commanding 10-4 lead. The Golden Bears added another four runs, taking advantage of USC’s defensive and pitching struggles before the Trojans showed some life in the seventh inning.They scored five runs to cut the lead to 14-9, highlighted by sophomore Taylor Wrenn’s three-run blast to right-center — his first home run as a Trojan. But that’s as close as they would get as Cal added two runs to make the final tally 16-9.Cal’s Erik Johnson picked up the win improving to 5-1 while Kevin Couture fell to 2-1 on the season.It was more of the same on Saturday. USC was hurt by defensive lapses and couldn’t come up with the timely hits as they fell 7-1.After an error kept the fifth inning alive, Cal was able to score three runs taking advantage of another error and a passed ball. It added a run the next inning and then forced sophomore starter Ben Mount from the game in the seventh inning after Guinn singled home Jimmy Bosco to make the score 5-0.The Golden Bears tacked on another pair of runs in the inning on a two-run double by Canha. USC added a single run in the bottom of the seventh inning on a Joe De Pinto fielder’s choice, but it was all they could scrape across against Cal starter Justin Jones.Jones improved to 7-2 despite pitching from the stretch for the majority of the afternoon, allowing nine hits and two walks.De Pinto, Foat and Kreuter all recorded multi-hit games, but the Trojans could never get the clutch hits, leaving eight men on base.USC will now have four days to prepare for next weekend’s trip to Arizona State, who was No. 1 in the nation entering the weekend and is currently tied with Cal for first place in the Pac-10 standings.
Former Liberia President, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.– But, Sen. Sherman says “it’s impractical.”President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has written members of the House of Representatives and the Senate of the 53rd Legislature to approve at least 13 bills by Saturday, January 13, 2018, but the Chairman on the Senate Committee on Judiciary, Cllr. Varney Sherman, says the President’s idea is “very impractical.”The Dangote Cement Liberia deal in the tune of US$41 million and the extension of the Firestone Agreement top the list of the President’s 13 bills.President Sirleaf has submitted a ‘Matrix of 22 bills with a priority of 13 bills’ to the Legislature to be considered during the 9-day extension, which is already in effect as of Thursday, January 4, to Saturday, January 13, 2018.But in an exclusive interview with Senator Varney Sherman yesterday, he said the 13 prioritized bills submitted by the President is not only impractical, but is “very unlikely and doubtful,” because no amount of ‘rubber stamping and 4G speed’ will allow both Houses to pass the 13 Bills.“It is very doubtful, extremely difficult; there is no time, it is impractical, because the President’s Bills will not only be the issues, there are issues on elections of the President Pro Tempore, Speaker and Deputy Speaker,” Sen. Sherman said.Sen. Varney Sherman, Chairman on Judiciary, says there is no amount of ‘rubber stamping and 4G speed’ that will allow both Houses to pass the 13 Bills.It can be recalled that the President issued a proclamation extending the sixth and final Session of the 53rd Legislature by nine days beginning January 4, 2018.Accordingly, the proclamation followed the signing of a certificate of extension by members of the Senate and House of Representatives respectively.“Whereas, the Sixth and Final Regular Session of the 53rd Legislature was extended through a Certificate of Extension signed by members of the Senate and House of Representatives respectively to extend the Regular Session from September 1, thru December 31, 2017,” the proclamation said.The proclamation notes that Article 32 (b) of the Constitution of Liberia provides that the President shall, on the President’s own initiative or upon receipt of a certificate signed by at least one-fourth of the total membership of each House, and by proclamation, extend a Regular Session of the Legislature beyond the date of adjournment or call a Special or Extraordinary Session of that body to discuss or act upon matters of national emergency and concern.The President’s proclamation also acknowledged that there are several unresolved key matters of national interest that require the urgent attention of the 53rd Legislature and is aware of the emergency nature of these matters, which are all geared toward the enhancement of the socioeconomic interests of the state and its people.Also, the proclamation realizes that cognizant of the limitation of time to discuss these key matters to facilitate the smooth transition from one democratically elected government to another, which requires the participation and involvement of the 53rd Legislature in Session, it is “convinced that the President of the Republic of Liberia shall appropriately take advantage of the Constitution of the Republic of Liberia to invoke Article 32 (b) as a sole means to involve the participation of the 53rd Legislature in Extraordinary Session to address these unresolved state matters.”The proclamation concludes, “Now therefore, I, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President of Liberia, by virtue of the authority in me vested, do hereby issue this Proclamation for the 53rd Legislature to reconvene into an Extraordinary Session for a period of nine days, commencing January 4, thru January 12, 2018.”13 Prioritized BillsThe 13 prioritized bills which the President wants passed include, Investment Incentive Agreement between Liberia and Dangote Cement-Liberia Limited; An Act Ratifying the Agreement for the Establishment of the African Export Import Bank (AFREMIXBANK); An Act to Amend Title 25, Patriotic and Cultural Observances Law, Chapter 3, Recognition of Distinguished Service, by adding thereto to a New Subsection 64 to be named the Order of the Republic and An Act to name Certain Roads and Bridges in the country.Others are, a bill to Amend Chapter 22 Subsection 22.76(a) of the Liberian National Police Act, 2015; Land Rights Bill; a Bill to Amend Section 6.1(5) of the Aliens and Nationality Law of Liberia, Title 4, Liberian Codes of Laws Revised, regarding Permits of Residence; a Bill to Ratify the Investment Incentive Agreement between Liberia and the TIDFORE investment Company and Liberia Steel and Cement Mining (LICEMCO).The remaining Bills include An Act Repealing the Public Employment Law and Amending the Executive Law to Create a Civil Service Commission; Amendment to the Amended and Restated Concession Agreement between Liberia incorporated; a Bill to Ratify the Concession Agreement between Liberia and the Nimba Rubber Incorporated (NRI) and the Amendments to the country’s Constitution/CRC Propositions and An Act to Amend Title 21 of the Liberian Code of Laws of 1956 to update the Provisions of the Maritime Law and Maritime Regulations to implement the Maritime Labor Convention, 2006 and Incorporating other necessary and appropriate Provisions relating to the name change of the Bureau of Maritime Affairs to the Liberia Maritime Authority including edits that were inadvertently overlooked in previous years of the codification of the Maritime Laws and Regulations.Among the 13 prioritized bills, Sen. Sherman said the Land Rights Act would not be possible for his Judiciary Committee to report, adding, “there should be no urgency in passing of bills.”The Grand Cape Mount County Senator has informed the Daily Observer of withdrawing his interest in the candidacy to contest the post of the President Pro Tempore. He withdrew from the race, “because Vice President Joseph N. Boakai was defeated in his presidential bid.”Sherman also said he would only pledge his support secretly to any of the two Senators, Albert Chie and Steve Zargo, because Senator Geraldine Doe-Sheriff has also withdrawn from the Pro Temp race.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)