USD Baseball Notes (PDF Format)
MOVING UP THE RANKS: The Toreros held on to their national ranking after sweeping Portland to open up conference play. USD is No. 23 in the D1Baseball.com rankings after being No. 25 last week. They remain at No. 26 in the Collegiate Baseball Top 30 poll and moved up to No. 26 in the USA Today Coaches poll, after being No. 38 last week.. The Toreros have been ranked or receivied votes at some point during the year for the past 12 seasons.
LAST TIME OUT: The Toreros rebounded from a 10-1 loss Tuesday evening to San Diego State to sweep the Portland Pilots in their first WCC series. The Toreros won a pair of one-run games to start the series, including a dramatic come-from-behind walkoff win Friday where Colton Waltner and Riley Adams led off the bottom of the ninth with back-to-back home runs (video below). They closed out the series with an 8-2 win Sunday with Roman Garcia and Riley Adams each hitting two home runs. They have now won 12 of their past 14 games.
ON DECK: The Toreros have a huge non-conference game Tuesday, hosting No. 5/6 Cal State Fullerton at 6:00 p.m. Freshman lefty Miles Sadum gets the start, going against the Titans' Joe Willis. This weekend, the Toreros head to Santa Clara for their first WCC road series. All of this week's games willbe streamed live on TheW.tv.
SCOUTING THE TITANS: Cal State Fullerton is in the top ten in all of the major national rankings, ranging from No. 5 (Baseball America) to No. 10 (Perfect Game)... They are 14-5 and have won seven in a row, most recently sweeping New Mexico... Tuesday's starting pitcher, Joe Wills, is making his third start of the season. He is 2-0 with a 3.60 ERA and has struck out 10 batters in his 10 innings pitched... Taylor Bryant is the only Titan hitting over .300. He is hitting .383 with a team-high two home runs and 14 RBI... Titans pitchers have a combined ERA of 2.05 and are holding opposing hitters to a .217 average... Fullerton has made the NCAA Tournament 25 straight years and has won the national championship four times, most recently in 2004... Head Coach Rick Vanderhook (6th season) enters the season with a 196-103 record at Fullerton... The Toreros are 12-63-3 all-time against the Titans, but USD has won four of the last six meetings.
SCOUTING THE BRONCOS: Santa Clara is 4-16 in 2017 with a 4-12 record at home... This will be the first WCC series for the Broncos... They have lost nine of their past ten games are were recently swept by Purdue in a four-game series. Sophomore SS John Cresto leads the team in average (.365) and home runs (four)... As a team, they hit .238 and have a ERA of 5.61... They were 23-29 in 2016, with a 10-17 WCC record (9th place)... Head Coach Dan O'Brien is in his sixth season at Santa Clara after a successful stint at UC San Diego... The Toreros are 62-58 all-time against the Broncos... They have won of three games in each of the past two seasons.
HOW TO WATCH: All Torero home games will be streamed live on TheW.tv. A link to stream the games can be found on the USD Baseball schedule page on USDToreros.com. Jack Murray will handle the play-by-play duties, with Torero legend John "JC" Cunningham serving as the color anaylst.
RILED UP: Riley Adams was named the Rawlings WCC Player of the Week, the conference office announced Monday morning. Adams hit .385 (5-for-13) with four home runs, helping the Toreros (13-4, 3-0) sweep the Pilots in their first WCC series of the season. Adams' weekend was highlighted by his game-winning walk-off home run in the Toreros' 2-1 win over Portland Friday evening. Adams also hit a solo home run Tuesday against San Diego State and hit two bombs Sunday in the Portland series finale, an 8-2 USD win. Adams, a preseason-All-American, had a robust 1.308 slugging percentage over the weekend with 17 total bases. He was recently featured by Dan Zielinski of 3rdManIn.com and predicted big things for the Toreros this season.
THE MIGHTY ROMAN: Roman Garcia hit two more home runs in Sunday's 8-2 win over Portland; his third time hitting two home runs in a game this season. His team-high .815 slugging percentage is the eighth highest in the nation. Garcia also leads the team in average (.333), on-base percentage (.403), total bases (44) and doubles (8).
STRIKE THREE!: Torero pitchers enter the week striking out 10.4 batters per nine innings, the ninth best rate in the nation. Troy Conyers leads the team with 12.46 punchouts per nine innings, Nick Sprengel is at 12.27 and freshman lefty Chris Murphy sits at 10.73 punchouts per nine.
CLOSING TIME: Troy Conyers' enters the week ranking seventh in the nation in saves with six. He is one of five pitchers in the nation to have a ERA of 0.00 (must average one inning pitched per team game). Because of Conyers and the rest of the USD bullpen, the Toreros are 12-0 when tied or leading after six innings.
FIRST TO SCORE: The Toreros are 10-0 when they are the first to score, and just 3-4 when their opponent scores first.
THREE IS THE MAGIC NUMBER: The Toreros' pitching staff hasn't needed much run support so far this season; USD is a perfect 12-0 when they score at least three runs.
ADAMS HAULS IN PRESEASON ACCOLOADES: Junior catcher Riley Adams was named a preseason first-team All-America by Baseball America and was also named to the preseason Golden Spikes Award Watch List, one of 55 players. Adams, a 6-4 catcher from Encinitas, Calif., finished last season as a semi-finalist for the Johnny Bench Award, and was named second-team All-WCC after he hit .327 with 67 hits, 18 doubles, one triple, six hits, and 37 RBI. Adams recorded 17 multi-hit games and had 10 multi-RBI games in 2016. In WCC play, Adams hit .283 with 30 hits, seven doubles, three home runs and had 16 RBI. This past summer, Adams played for the Orleans Firebirds of the prestigious Cape Cod League and was named a Cape Cod All-Star and was ranked the No. 29 prospect in the Cape Cod league by D1Baseball.com. Adams hit .333 with 36 hits, six doubles, one home run and had nine RBI in 29 games with 108 at bats for the Orleans Firebirds.
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