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Play Ball! USD Baseball Opens Season at No. 3 Vanderbilt
Feb. 17, 2016


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ON DECK: The University of San Diego baseball team will open up the 2016 season this week with a three-game series at No. 3 Vanderbilt University. On Friday, and Saturday there will be a 2 p.m. first pitch. Then on Sunday, the game will begin at 10 a.m. Friday's game will be carried live on the SEC Network, while both Saturday and Sunday's games will have an audio only broadcast. All links can be found on usdtoreros.com.

SCOUTING THE COMMODORES: Vanderbilt begins the 2016 season ranked as high as No. 3 in the Collegiate Baseball preseason top-40 poll, after putting together a 51-21 record this past season. The Commodores return seven position starters and 23 letter winners from last season's national runner-up squad, highlighted by junior outfielder Bryan Reynolds, who hit .335 with 18 doubles, five home runs, and 49 RBI. On the mound, right-hander Jordan Sheffield, who posted a 5-2 record, with a 2.85 ERA and 55 strikeouts in 60.0 innings last season, anchors down this weekends rotation. Vanderbilt is under the direction of 14th-year head coach Tim Corbin. During his tenure in Nashville, Corbin has amassed an overall record of 567-221.

LAST TIME VS. VANDY: The University of San Diego baseball team held on to claim a 9-7 win over Vanderbilt University in the rubber game of a three-game non-conference series on March 11, 2012 at Hawkins Field. Offensively for the Toreros, Dillon Haupt led the way, as he went 2-for-4 with one home run and three RBI. Kris Bryant also had a productive day at the plate, as he went 3-for-5 with one run scored and one double. James Pazos (4-1) picked up the win on the mound for the Toreros, as he allowed two runs on three hits in 2.0 innings of work. Michael Wagner then came on and picked up his nation-leading ninth save of the season, as he allowed no runs on no hits in 3.0 innings of work. Sam Selman (0-3) was saddled with the loss on the mound for the Commodores, as he allowed seven runs on five runs in 2.1 innings of work.

TOREROS IN SEASON OPENERS: The Toreros have posted an overall record of 30-28-1 in program history on opening day. However, current head coach, Rich Hill, has posted an overall record of 11-6 on opening day in his tenure at the helm. USD will look to improve upon this record on Friday as they begin the 2016 season against No. 3 Vanderbilt.

THE POLLS: The University of San Diego baseball team has received votes Collegiate Baseball preseason top-40 poll, the publication announced. Vanderbilt however is ranked as high as No. 3 in the Collegiate Baseball preseason poll, and they also check in at No. 7 in Baseball America's preseason top-25 poll.

PICKED TO WIN IT: The USD baseball team was picked to win the WCC, the conference office announced. In the preseason coaches poll, the Toreros picked up six of nine possible first place votes. USD picked up 76 points in the preseason poll, which is voted on solely by the league's ten head coaches. Behind them was Pepperdine, the 2015 WCC tournament champions. The Waves had 72 points and three first place votes. LMU (56 points) was the only other school to pick up a first place vote. Saint Mary's also had 56 points, followed by BYU (51), Gonzaga (43), and Santa Clara (38). Rounding out the poll was San Francisco (28), Pacific (17), and Portland (13).


Bryson Brigman has been named to Preseason Golden Spikes Award watch list.

TWO TOREROS NAMED PRESEASON ALL-WCC: Bryson Brigman and Colton Waltner represented the Toreros on the All-WCC team preseason team. Brigman was a Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American last season and is on many preseason All-American teams this year. Waltner led USD with 40 RBI in 2015 and was an All-WCC second team selection last year.

HE'S BACK: Redshirt junior left-handed pitcher Troy Conyers is back. The 2013 WCC Tournament MVP is back after a long season of recovery this past year. In 2014 before he went down with a season-ending injury, Conyers was on the verge of taking over the Friday role on the weekend series, as he was dominating opposing batters on the mound. In 2014, Conyers posted an overall record of 3-2 with a 2.72 ERA, while striking out 32, and only walking 12 in 39.2 innings of work.

BRIGMAN TABBED PRESEASON ALL-AMERICAN: Sophomore shortstop Bryson Brigman has been named a preseason All-American by Baseball America, Collegiate Baseball and Perfect Game. Brigman, the WCC Freshman of the Year in 2015, enjoyed a strong freshman campaign for San Diego. During league play, Brigman hit .356 with seven doubles, two triples, a home run, and drove in 17 while scoring 26 runs. The infielder ranked second among league leaders in hits (28) and was fourth in runs in WCC contests. Brigman is the eighth Torero named Freshman of the Year and the first since current reigning NL Rookie of the Year Kris Bryant was tabbed in 2011. Overall, Brigman hit .339 with 74 hits, 11 doubles, two triples, two home runs and 28 RBI.

BRIGMAN NAMED TO GOLDEN SPIKES PRESEASON AWARD WATCH LIST: USA Baseball unveiled its 50-player preseason Golden Spikes Award watch list on Tuesday, beginning the process of identifying the top amateur baseball player in the country for the 2016 season. Highlighting this list is the University of San Diego's sophomore shortstop Bryson Brigman. The preseason watch list features 50 of the nation's top amateur players, from high school and college baseball. The Golden Spikes Award Advisory Board will maintain a rolling list of athletes, allowing players to play themselves into consideration for the award throughout the season.

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 2015 spring season will be Hill's 29th year as a head coach at the collegiate level, and 18th at USD, having enjoyed 26 winning seasons in 29 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 2003 and also claiming the WCC crown in 2007, 2008 and 2010. Under his watchful leadership, USD has now produced three consecutive first round picks in Kris Bryant, Conner Joe and Kyle Holder. USD has had 40 players sign a pro contract in the last seven years, the Toreros have been ranked at some point during the season for 10 consecutive years, and USD has been tabbed the WCC preseason favorite for eight consecutive years (2007-14).

2016 LIVE STATS AVAILABLE: All of San Diego's home games, and select road games can be followed live via Stat broadcast on the Toreros athletic web site at www.usdtoreros.com. Statbroadcast is a real time update of the action.

 

 

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