Baseball Gears Up For Showdown With LMU
Dillon Haupt.

April 4, 2013

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ON DECK: The 23rd-ranked University of San Diego baseball team (18-10, 4-2 WCC) will take hit the road this week, as they resume West Coast Conference play with a three-game series at Loyola Marymount.  Friday’s game will begin at 3 p.m., while both Saturday’s and Sunday’s games will begin at 2 p.m.     

SCOUTING THE LIONS: Loyola Marymount enters the series with a 14-14 overall record after picking up a 9-7 win over Cal State Northridge on Tuesday.  LMU leads the all-time series at 94-85-1, including taking two-of-three from USD last season in San Diego.  In fact, LMU has taken five of the last six meetings between the two programs.  The Lions are led offensively by senior catcher Colton Plaia, who is hitting .364 with 39 hits, 10 doubles, and 16 RBI.  On the mound, the Lions rotation is anchored down by sophomore right-hander Colin Welmon, who is 4-1 with an impressive 1.29 ERA in 48.2 innings of work.  

LAST TIME VS. LMU: The 18th-ranked University of San Diego baseball team held off a late Loyola Marymount University push to claim an 11-8 West Coast Conference victory in the final game ever at Cunningham Stadium on May 13, 2012.  Offensively for the Toreros, Kris Bryant led the way, as he went 2-for-4 with a double, a home run and four RBI. Bryan Haar (2-for-3), Louie Lechich (3-for-5) and Corey LeVier (2-for-5) also managed to record multiple hits in the game.  Michael Wagner (3-1) picked up the win on the mound for the Toreros, as he allowed two runs on three hits in 2.1 innings of work. James Pazos came on and picked up his third save of the season, as he allowed two runs, on three hits in 3.0 innings of work. LMU’s John Lally (3-3) was saddled with the loss for the Lions, as he allowed eight runs, six earned, on five hits in 1.1 innings of work.

BRYANT NAMED RAWLINGS WCC PLAYER OF THE MONTH: Junior All-American Kris Bryant of the 23rd-ranked University of San Diego baseball team has been named the Rawlings West Coast Conference Player of the Month, the conference office announced Thursday morning.  Bryant, a 6-5 third baseman from Las Vegas, Nev., helped pace the Toreros to a 14-6 record in March, as he went 30-for-73 (.411) with six doubles, one triple, 13 home runs, 30 RBI and was slugging at a 1.055 clip, while bolstering an on base percentage of .561. He also drew 24 walks. Bryant was named WCC Player of the Week twice during this month. He had several key performances, including going 2-for-2 with two home runs and four RBI against No. 10 Cal State Fullerton. He also went 3-for-3 with three home runs and six RBI, against BYU in the WCC-Opener for both teams. His final home run in this game was a walk-off. He also hit the walk-off home run against BYU to complete a sweep over the Cougars, as he went 2-for-6 with a double and home run in that game. Bryant also became the first player this season to hit a home run over Oregon State ace Matt Boyd, as he went 1-for-4 with a home run and two RBI. All together, Bryant had nine multi-hit games, and hit at least one home run in 10 games during this month.  Bryant currently leads the nation in home runs hit with 14, leads the nation in runs scored with 41, is second nationally in walks with 34, and second nationally in slugging percentage at .900. His 14 home runs are now just four shy of tying the 25-year old USD single-season home run record currently held by Dave Rolls (1985-88). With 37 career home runs, he is also closing in on the school career home run record of 43 currently held by Sean Baron (1985-88).

CHASING HISTORY: Junior All-American Kris Bryant is chasing every home run record in USD history. The 14 home runs on the season now gives Bryant 37 for his career, which places him fourth all-time in career home runs. Bryant needs five more home runs to break the single-season record of 18 held by Dave Rolls, set back in 1988. Bryant is also chasing the career home runs leaders at USD, which is held by Sean Baron (43). Bryant is just six shy of this mark and seven shy of breaking it, as he currently sits fourth all-time with 37.  Bryant currently leads the team in batting average (.370), runs (41), home runs (14), RBI (33), total bases (90), walks (34), and stolen bases (5).

LEADING THE NATION: Kris Bryant continues to lead the nation in home runs hit with 14, after taking Oregon State yard twice this past week.  In fact, the two home runs hit against OSU, are half the amount of home runs the Beavers have surrendered this season.    Bryant also happens to lead the nation in runs scored with 41, is second nationally in walks with 34, and second nationally in slugging percentage at .900.

MR. PROTECTOR: The man in charge of protecting All-American Kris Bryant offensively is senior catcher Dillon Haput, and he has been nothing short of amazing this season.  Haupt, who is second nationally in doubles with 14, is making opposing pitching staff’s pay if they decide to walk Bryant.  Haupt, who has hit directly behind Bryant in all but two games this season, is currently the second leading hitter on the team with a .324 average (35-for-108), while recording 14 doubles, one triple, four home runs and 29 RBI.  

HOMICK FINISHES A SOLID MONTH ON THE MOUND: Sophomore lefty Max Homic had a very productive month for the Toreros in March.  He made nine appearances, while posting a 2-0 record and he had three saves, while bolstering a 1.69 ERA with 23 strikeouts in 21.1 innings of work.  He had one of his best outings against BYU, as he allowed no runs on three hits, while striking out a career-high eight in 4.1 innings of work.  In his final week of the month, he picked up a pair of saves, including one against No. 2 Oregon.  In his first save of the week, he allowed no runs on just one hit, while striking out two in 1.2 innings of work against UNLV.  He then made his second appearance against Oregon State allowing no runs on one hit, while striking out two in 1.0 innings of work to pick up the save and clinch the series-opening over No. 2 Oregon State.  Homick then completed his week with 2.2 innings of work against Oregon State on Saturday, allowing no runs on one hits, while striking out two.  Overall, Homick is 3-0 with a 3.24 ERA and has three saves.

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 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.

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.


 

 

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