Call USC baseball coach Chad Kreuter crazy, but he expects to be back next year.
The fourth-year coach, under fire from Trojan fans and those close to the program this season for posting a 26-31 overall and 5-19 conference record, continues to recruit and look toward next season as if he will remain in charge of the stumbling USC baseball program.
Asked for his outlook for the remainder of the 2010 season, Kreuter said things are looking up — maybe not for this year, but for the next one.
"Hey, we want to win every game the rest of the year," Kreuter said after Tuesday's 8-1 upset victory over visiting UC Irvine. "But you start putting all the parts together and, at this point, and the pieces are all coming together for next year. We're waiting on the draft, obviously, but we're hoping to get most of the guys that we have committed."
Kreuter also talked at length about the recruiting class he and his staff have assembled for next season, indicating 10 high school seniors and junior college players have already committed to the Trojans.
In reference to a common criticism that he has recruited players likely to be taken high in the MLB draft and thus sign with a professional team — in 2009, USC lost Jiovanni Mier, Matt Davidson and Brooks Pounders, among others, in such a manner — Kreuter said "hopefully seven" of the 2010 recruits will actually attend USC in the fall.
"We're excited about it," he said.