Jan. 28, 2011
SAN DIEGO, Calif. - The 28th-ranked University of San Diego baseball team took the field today for the first practice of the 2011 season. The Toreros will open play this season on February 18, as they welcome No. 5 Vanderbilt to Cunningham Stadium for a 2 p.m. game.
San Diego, the defending WCC Champions, are coming off a season in which it posted the best WCC record in conference history at 19-2, and they were 37-22 overall, and made their fourth trip to the NCAA Regional in the past five years.
The Toreros will feature the No. 2 ranked recruiting class in the nation, according to Collegiate Baseball, as well as return several key veterans to this years line-up including All-WCC honoree's Kevin Muno and Dillon Checkal.
Highlighting this second-ranked recruiting class, which features five guys who have been drafted in the MLB first-year player draft, is freshman right-handed pitcher Dylan Covey, who was the No. 14 overall pick in the 2010 MLB draft by the Milwaukee Brewers. Covey was an AFKAC All-American, the 2010 Gatorade State Player of the Year in California and was a Baseball America first-team All-America selection.
Other players who were drafted in the 2010 draft include Tyler Painton, a 13th round pick of the Toronto Blue Jays, Kris Bryant, a 17th round pick of Toronto, and Michael Wagner, a 28th round pick of the Boston Red Sox.
Muno returns after a first-team All-WCC distinction in which he served as USD's lead-off hitter posting a .322 batting average in league games, with 29 hits, nine doubles, one home run, 11 RBI and leading the WCC with 12 stolen bases in WCC games. Overall, Muno led the team with 25 stolen bases, while hitting .289 with 63 hits, 14 doubles, two triples, three home runs and 18 RBI.
Checkal, an All-WCC honorable mention last season, returns after a break-out type season in which he posted a .393 batting average in league games, with 11 hits, one double, and two RBI. Overall, Checkal hit .411 with 23 hits, two doubles, and three RBI.