March 14, 2013
ON DECK: The University of San Diego baseball team (11-6) will open West Coast Conference play this week, as they welcome the Brigham Young University Cougars to Fowler Park for as three-game tilt. The series will begin on Thursday with a 6 p.m. first pitch. On Friday the game will again start at 6 p.m., the series will conclude on Saturday with a 1 p.m. game.
SCOUTING THE COUGARS: Brigham Young University enters the series with a 9-5 record after taking 2-of-3 from No. 21 UC Irvine this past week. USD leads the all-time series at 5-1, including sweeping the Cougars in Provo last season. BYU's offense is paced by Adam Law, who is hitting .367 with 22 hits, three doubles, one triple, one home run and 13 RBI. On the mound, the Cougars rotation is anchored down by right-hander Desmond Poulson, who is 2-0 with a 1.57 ERA in 28.2 innings of work this season. BYU is under the direction of first-year head coach Mike Littlewood.
LAST TIME VS. BYU: The Toreros posted a perfect 3-0 record last season against WCC newcomer Brigham Young University by a combined score of 39-15. USD began the week with an impressive 14-7 victory, scoring 10 unanswered runs to win the game. San Diego's offense proved to be too much for the BYU pitching staff to handle, as USD pounded out 16 hits to score its 14 runs, while scoring in all but one inning. In game two, the offensive onslaught continued, as the Toreros pounded out 18 hits in a 13-2 victory. San Diego's offense was paced once again by Kris Bryant, who went 4-for-5 with two home runs, three RBI and three runs scored. In the series finale, USD then completest the three-game sweep on Saturday with a 12-6 victory. Offensively for the Toreros, Robinson led the way as he went 5-for-6 with three doubles, and three RBI.
BRYANT NAMED WCC LAYER OF THE WEEK: Junior All-American Kris Bryant of the University of San Diego baseball team has been tabbed the West Coast Conference Player of the Week, the conference office announced Monday afternoon. Bryant, a 6-5 third baseman from Las Vegas, Nev., helped lead the Toreros to a 4-2 record this past week. Bryant paced the Team's offense with a .474 batting average, going 9-for-19, with one double, five home runs and nine RBI. Bryant slugged at a 1.316 clip, had an on base percentage of .643, and he scored 12 runs. Bryant began the week with an impressive 2-for-2, two home runs, and four RBI performance against No. 10 Cal State Fullerton at Fowler Park. He then went 2-for-4 with a home run and two RBI in the win against Seton Hall the very next day. Bryant continued his offensive assault on Friday as he went 1-for-3 with a home run and two RBI against Saint Louis. Bryant then wrapped up his week with a 3-for-5 and one home run performance against Saint Louis.
LEADING THE NATION: Junior All-American Kris Bryant's impressive five home run performance this past week moved his season total of home runs to eight, which is the best in the nation. Not only is Bryant leading the nation in home runs, but his season total of 21 walks also leads the nation. What is also interesting is that not just Bryant leading the nation in two categories, but senior catch Dillon Haupt is also leading the nation in doubles with 11.
CHASING HISTORY: Junior All-American Kris Bryant is chasing every home run record in USD history. The eight home runs on the season now gives Bryant 31 for his career, which places him seventh all-time in career home runs. Bryant hit 14 home runs last season, placing him fifth on the single season home run list at USD. Bryant needs five more home runs to break back into the single-season list at USD, needs 10 more to tie the single-season record, and 11 more to break the record currently held by Dave Rolls of 18 set in 1988. Bryant is also chasing the career home runs leaders at USD, which is held by Sean Baron (43). Bryant is just 12 shy of this mark and 13 shy of breaking it, as he currently sits seventh all-time with 31.
JOE SWINGING IT WELL: Sophomore first baseman Connor Joe has a monster week for the Toreros, and helped lead USD to a 4-2 record this past week. Joe went 9-for-21 (.429) with one double, one home run and seven RBI. Joe was slugging at a .619 clip, while bolstering an on base percentage of .519. On the season, Joe is now hitting .371 with 23 hits, three doubles, two home runs and 17 RBI.
A LOOK AHEAD: San Diego will continue WCC play next week, when they travel to Spokane, Wash. to take on the Gonzaga Bulldogs for a three-game series. Both Friday's and Saturday's games will begin at 6 p.m., while Sunday's series finale will be at 1 p.m.
AT BAT: Last week, San Diego batted .308 as a team, and outscored its opponents 42-20. The Toreros drove in 42 runs on 62 hits, and recorded 19 extra-base hits (10 doubles, two triples, and seven home runs). The Toreros finished the weekend with two players batting above .400 led by Kris Bryant (.474), followed by Connor Joe (.429).
BRYANT HAULS IN PRESEASON All-AMERICAN ACCOLADES: Junior third baseman Kris Bryant has been hauling in all the preseason accolades this season. Bryant has been tabbed a preseason All-American by Baseball America, Collegiate Baseball, Perfect Game, and by the NCBWA. Bryant, a 6-5 junior from Las Vegas, Nev., finished the 2012 season with a .366 batting average after recording 78 hits, 17 doubles, three triples and 14 home runs. Bryant also recorded 57 RBI and was slugging at a .671 clip at season's end. Bryant was a first-team All-WCC selection for the second consecutive season and helped lead USD to the third best record in program history at 40-17, and he was a first-team All-America selection by Baseball America last season.
WAGNER A PRESEASON ALL-AMERICAN: Junior right-handed pitcher Michael Wagner has been tabbed a preseason All-America by the NCBWA, and by Louisville Slugger. Wagner, a 6-4 junior right-handed pitcher from Las Vegas, Nev., had a great season on the mound for the Toreros in 2012, as he recorded a 5-2 record, with a 2.58 ERA and he set both the USD and WCC single-season saves record with 19. In 59.1 innings of work, Wagner struck out 53 batters, while only issuing 20 walks, and opponents only hit .246 off of him. In conference action, Wagner was 2-0 with a 5.03 ERA, and five saves en route to a first-team All-WCC selection. He was a NCBWA second-team All-American selection last season as well.
WAGNER AND BRYANT NAMED TO GOLDEN SPIKES WATCH LIST: A pair of University of San Diego baseball players, junior third baseman Kris Bryant and junior right-handed pitcher Michael Wagner, were both named to the Golden Spikes Preseason Award Watch List.
TWO TOREROS NAMED TO PRESEASON ALL-CONFERENCE TEAM: Junior third baseman Kris Bryant and sophomore infielder Andrew Daniel were named to the preseason All-WCC team. In WCC action last season, Bryant hit .326 with 31 hits, six doubles, two triples, seven home runs and had 25 RBI. Bryant also slugged at a .653 clip and had an on base percentage of .409. Daniel on the other hand, was just behind Bryant in WCC games, as he hit .323 with 32 hits, nine doubles, two home runs and 29 RBI. Daniel had an on base percentage of .387 and was slugging at a .475 clip.
PICKED TO WIN IT: The University of San Diego has been selected to win the 2013 West Coast Conference baseball championship, in a preseason poll of the WCC's nine head coaches. The Toreros earned six of eight possible first-place votes and 62 overall points in the poll. Last year's West Coast Conference champion, Pepperdine University, earned 53 points and picked up two first place votes in the annual survey. Gonzaga University garnered a first place vote and tallied 49 points to finish third in the poll. Loyola Marymount University captured 47 points to finish fourth. The University of San Francisco was selected fifth with 39 points, while BYU was tabbed sixth with 24 points. The University of Portland (19 points), Santa Clara University (16 points), and Saint Mary's College (15 points) rounded out the poll.
TORERO SKIPPER Rich Hill: San Diego's Rich Hill has built the USD Toreros into one of the most successful Division I baseball programs on the West Coast. The 2013 spring season will be Hill's 26th year as a head coach at the collegiate level, and 15th at USD, having enjoyed 22 winning seasons in 25 years. Since taking over at USD in 1999, Hill has been remarkable in leading the Toreros to 14 winning campaigns, rewriting the school record book en route to claiming five West Coast Conference Championship titles in 2002, 2003, 2007, 2008 and 2010. Under his leadership San Diego has averaged 35 wins per season, including winning a school record 44 games in 2008, a year in which Hill was honored by his peers as the WCC Coach of the Year. In 2007, Hill led USD to its highest national ranking in program history at No. 4, as well as USD's first-ever national seed in the NCAA Regionals. In 2008, Hill guided the Toreros into the championship game of the Long Beach Regional, marking the first time USD had reached that game in a NCAA Division I Regional.
2013 GAMETRACKER AVAILABLE: All of San Diego's home games, and select road games can be followed live via Gametracker on the Toreros athletic web site at www.usdtoreros.com. Gametracker is a service of CBS College Sports, the official web provider for San Diego athletics, and is a real time update of the action.
CAN YOU SEE ME?: All USD home games, as well as select road games, will be streamed live via video on the athletics department website. Fans can watch all the action live from the comfort of their home by logging onto usdtoreros.com. Simply go to the baseball schedule page and click on the WATCH link to view that days game. The voice of the Toreros, Jack Murray, will be providing live play-by-play of all home games as well as select road games this season.