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Toreros open season on Friday against Cincinnati
Feb. 14, 2018

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PLAY BALL: The University of San Diego Toreros baseball team begins their 2018 campaign with three home games over February 16-18. San Diego’s home opener will take place on Friday, February 16, with a 6:00 p.m. contest against the University of Cincinnati. The Toreros will return to Fowler Park on Saturday, February 17, to face the Cal Bears in at 6:00 p.m. contest. San Diego returns on Sunday for a 12:00 p.m. noon match-up with Cincinnati to close out the week.

TICKETS: Single-game tickets for San Diego baseball are now on sale. The 2018 regular season schedule features 28 home games, highlighted by matchups against Michigan (Feb. 23), Arkansas (Feb. 25), Arizona (Feb. 25), Indiana (March 2-3), San Diego State (March 13) and Cal State Fullerton (April 17). Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for youth (ages 4-12). Group ticket pricing is also available for groups of 10 ($8) and 20 or more ($5). Season tickets are also available, starting at $150 and are available to young alumni for $75. Season tickets can be purchased on USDToreros.com or by calling 619-260-7550.

STREAM/LIVE STATS: The University of San Diego home games will be streamed on TheW.tv with Jack Murray bringing you all of the action. Former Torero head coach John Cunningham will provide analysis in Sunday’s game against Cincinnati. Live stats can also be found at www.usdtoreros.com.

TORERO SKIPPER Rich Hill: Rich Hill has built the USD Toreros into one of the most successful Division I baseball programs on the West Coast. The 2018 spring season will be Hill’s 31st year as a head coach at the collegiate level, and 20th at USD, having enjoyed 26 winning seasons in 30 years. Since taking over at USD in 1999, Hill has been remarkable in re-writing the school record book en route to claiming back-to-back West Coast Conference Championship titles in 2002 and 2003 and also claiming the WCC crown in 2007, 2008 and 2010. Under his leadership, USD produced three consecutive first round picks in Kris Bryant, Connor Joe and Kyle Holder (2013-15). USD has had 50 players sign a pro contract in the last nine years and has been tabbed the WCC preseason favorite for nine of the past eleven years. Hill enters the 2018 season with a career USD record of 647-445-4 (.589). Including his six years at Cal Lutheran and five at San Francisco, Hill’s career record is 979-669-4 (.594). Remarkably he needs just 21 more wins to reach the coveted 1,000 win club.

TORERO PROJECTED STARTING PITCHERS:
Fri, Feb. 16. vs. Cincinnati: RHP Paul Richan (2017: 5-2, 3.05 ERA, 73 K’s).
Sat, Feb. 17 vs. CAL: LHP Chris Murphy (2017: 3-4, 4.17 ERA, 89 K’s).
Sun, Feb. 18, vs. Cincinnati: TBD

SPRENGEL ON GOLDEN SPIKES AWARD WATCH LIST: USA Baseball announced its 55-player preseason Golden Spikes Award watch list on Friday, beginning the process of identifying the top amateur baseball player in the country for the 2018 season. USD junior LHP Nick Sprengel becomes the seventh Torero to be selected to the preseason watch list. “What a great honor for Nick,” said head coach Rich Hill. “He is another in a long line of Toreros to be nominated for this prestigious award. He is a great role model, not only for the USD baseball program, but for the University of San Diego. Nick represents the values that we all strive for.” A preseason All-America candidate, Sprengel returns after an outstanding sophomore campaign when he finished 9-1 overall with a 3.29 ERA. His win-loss mark tied a Torero record for best in a single season. He struck out 86 batters and walked just 33 in 82.0 innings last season, while holding opposing hitters to a .244 batting average. Sprengel played for the USA Collegiate National Team over the summer, showing off his electrifying stuff on an international stage. Previous Toreros to be named to the preseason watch list include Riley Adams (2017), Bryson Brigman (2016), Kris Bryant (2013), Michael Wagner (2013), A.J. Griffin (2009, 2008) and Josh Romanski (2008). Bryant went on to win this prestigious award in 2013.

TORERO TIDBITS: The Toreros enter the 2018 campaign with 19 players back from last year’s 35-18-1 ball club (18-9 WCC), including the three starting pitchers in junior LHP Nick Sprengel, sophomore LHP Chris Murphy and junior RHP Paul Richan... In addition, USD returns five position players that started a majority of the games in 2017: junior UTL Jay Schuyler (.352 b.a., 53 starts), junior INF Jeff Houghtby (.263 b.a., 54 starts), junior INF Brhet Bewley (.257 b.a., 37 starts), sophomore INF Paul Kunst (.250 b.a., 46 starts) and junior OF Kevin Collard (.288 b.a., 27 starts)... USD’s top returner out of the bullpen will be sophomore RHP Louie Crow (3-2, 3.67 ERA, 41 K’s)... Coach Hill and his staff welcome 16 new players to the program - 14 will suit up in 2017.

SCOUTING CINCINNATI: First year head coach Scott Googins welcomes back 7 position starters and 3 ptiching starters from last year’s 28-30 ball club... Junior OF A.J. Bumpass (2017: .287 b.a., 7 HR, 40 RBIs, 31 runs) and RHP David Orndorff (2017: 5-4, 3.41 ERA) top returners... USD is expected to go up against junior LHP Cam Alldred (2017: 2-1, 4.85 ERA, 20.3 innings) on Friday evening.

SCOUTING CAL: First year head coach Mike Neu inherits a club trending upwards as the 2018 season looms. A series win at Arizona to close out the 2017 campaign left the Bears in a tie for fifth (Pac-12) to end the year and helped provide plenty of momentum heading into a busy offseason. The 2018 Bears will turn to a dynamic pair of two-way players for big contributions as the season gets underway. Pitcher/center fielder Tanner Dodson (.299 b.a., 14 doubles; 52.0 innings pitching with 48 K’s)and first baseman/pitcher Andrew Vaughn (.349 b.a., 12 HR, 50 RBIs) have each received numerous preseason All-America awards from a variety of publications and both will play a big role in Cal’s fortunes. USD is expected to go up against LHP Matt Ladrech on Saturday.

A LOOK AHEAD: On Monday the Toreros will host British Columbia in an exhibition game at 6:00 p.m., followed by a cross-town trip to take on the San Diego State Aztecs on Tuesday, February 20th (6:00 p.m.).

TOREROS PICKED TO FINISH 2ND IN WCC: The USD baseball team was picked to finish second in the 2018 West Coast Conference Preseason Coaches Poll. The Toreros earned four of nine possible first-place votes and 71 overall points in the poll. San Diego was edged out by BYU (74 points, 5 first place votes) who is the reigning WCC Tournament Champion. Saint Mary’s earned the final first place vote and finished with 66 points for third place. Rounding out the poll was Gonzaga (57), Loyola Marymount (53), San Francisco (36), Pepperdine (35), Santa Clara (27), Pacific (19) and Portland (12). All told, eight of the 10 WCC schools are represented on the preseason All-West Coast Conference team, led by San Diego, which had a position player join two pitchers on the preseason list and defending champion BYU, which placed three position players. Pacific, Santa Clara and Saint Mary’s each placed a pair on the team. The 2018 West Coast Conference Baseball Championship will be held at Banner Island Ballpark May 24-26 in Stockton, Calif.

THREE TOREROS NAMED TO PRESEASON ALL-WCC: The Toreros placed three players on the 2018 Preseason All-West Coast Conference team. USD’s two pitchers include junior LHP Nick Sprengel (Placentia, Calif.), a preseason All-America selection and 2017 All-WCC First Team pick and sophomore LHP Chris Murphy (Granada Hills, Calif.). Sprengel finished 9-1 with a 3.29 ERA and 86 strikeouts in 82.0 innings of work. Murphy finished with a team-best 89 strikeouts in 69.0 innings of work over 17 appearances. Junior UTL Jay Schuyler (Laguna Niguel, Calif.) was the lone position player selected. In 2017 Schuyler led the Toreros in batting (.352) and hits (75) and chipped in with 18 doubles, 6 homers and 32 RBIs.

TONY GWYNN LEGACY: The Toreros will co-host the 2018 Tony Gwynn Legacy, formerly known as the Tony Gwynn Classic, over February 23-25 to close out the month. On Friday, February 23, the Toreros will host Michigan in a 6:00 p.m. contest. On Saturday, February 24, USD will play host to the Grand Canyon University Lopes’ at 6:00 pm. The Toreros will then close out the weekend with two games on Sunday, February 25th against nationally ranked powers Arkansas (10:00 a.m.) and Arizona (2:00 p.m.).


 

 

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