April 22, 2013
ON DECK: The University of San Diego baseball team (24-15, 9-6 WCC) will have another busy week ahead of them, as they play five games over six days. The Toreros open the week on Tuesday with a 6 p.m. non-conference game against UC Riverside at Fowler Park, followed by a Wednesday road game against UC Santa Barbara at 3 p.m. USD will then resume West Coast Conference play this weekend, as they host the University of San Francisco at Fowler Park. Both Friday’s and Saturday’s games will begin at 6 p.m., while Sunday’s game starts at 1 p.m.
SCOUTING THE HIGHLANDERS: UC Riverside enters the game with an overall record of 17-18 after being swept by UC Davis this past weekend, and they are now riding a four-game losing streak. The Highlanders lead the all-time series at 55-49-2 dating back to the Division II days, but the Toreros have won the last three meetings. UCR’s offense is paced by Clayton Prestridge, who is hitting .352 with 45 hits, six doubles, one home run and 22 RBI. On the mound, Riverside’s rotation is anchored down by Dylan Stuart, who is 3-4 with a 4.24 ERA.
SCOUTING THE GAUCHOS: Santa Barbara enters the week with an overall record of 20-18 after taking 2-of-3 from Long Beach State this past weekend. UCSB leads the all-time series at 22-16-2, but the Toreros took the first match-up last week in San Diego, 7-5. Santa Barbara’s offense is led by Tyler Kuresa, who is hitting .302 with two home runs and 28 RBI. On the mound, the Gaucho’s pitching staff is anchored down by right-hander Austin Pettibone, who is 5-2 with a 2.60 ERA in 72.2 innings of work.
SCOUTING THE DONS: San Francisco enters the week with an overall record of 22-17, and they have a 9-6 mark in the WCC after dropping two-of-three to Loyola Marymount over the weekend. USD leads the all-time series at 78-47, including taking two-of-three last season, and four of the last six meetings. The Dons’ offense is paced by Zachary Turner, who is hitting .333 with 51 hits, 10 doubles, five home runs and has 35 RBI. On the mound, the USF rotation is anchored down by Abe Bob, who is 2-1 with a 1.25 ERA in 21.2 innings of work.
CONLON TABBED WCC PITCHER OF THE WEEK: San Diego freshman left-handed pitcher PJ Conlon was named the WCC Pitcher of the Week, the conference office announced Monday afternoon. Conlon, a 6-0 left-handed pitcher from Placentia, Calif., made two appearances with one start this past week, and posted a 2-0 record. Conlon pitched in 8.2 innings, and he didn’t allow a run to cross the plate, earned or unearned, and he did not issue a single walk, while recording 13 strikeouts. In his start on Sunday against Santa Clara, Conlon went 6.2 innings, allowing no runs on five hits, while striking out a career-high nine batters. In his first appearance on Friday, Conlon went 2.0 innings, allowing no runs on no hits in 2.0 innings of work to pick up the win. Conlon is now a perfect 6-0 on the season, while bolstering an impressive 1.43 ERA in 50.1 innings of work.
LEADING THE NATION: Kris Bryant continues to lead the nation in home runs hit with 20, after hitting five home runs this past week, recording at least one home run in each of the four games. This is a new single-season record at USD. Bryant is also leads the nation in slugging percentage (.897) and walks (49), and he is third in runs scored with 51.
MR. LONG BALL: Kris Bryant has now etched his name in the USD history, as he surpassed a 25-year old single-season home run record that was held by Dave Rolls. In 1988, Rolls set the mark with 18 long balls, but this past weekend, Bryant hit his 20th of the season to take over that slot. Bryant hasn’t stopped there, as with the 20 home runs, he now has tied Sean Baron’s career mark of 43. What is more impressive, Bryant has recorded 43 home runs in just three years, while Baron set the mark over an outstanding 4-year career as a Torero.
LOG JAM: After USD’s sweep over Santa Clara this past weekend, the Toreros have moved into a 4-way tie for second place in the WCC standings with Loyola Marymount, Pepperdine and San Francisco. Gonzaga Leads the league with a 13-5 mark, and BYU is just a half a game back of these four. With just three conference series left, USD is right in the thick of getting one of the top four slots to make it into the WCC Tournament. The top four teams will play in a double-elimination tournament for the league’s automatic bid to the NCAA postseason from May 23-25 in Stockton, Calif.
TOREROS VS. THE BIG WEST: San Diego has now played in four games this season against teams from the Big West Conference. How did the Toreros fare in these games, USD has posted a 2-2 record. The Toreros downed, then No. 10 and currently No. 3, Cal State Fullerton, 7-4, behind a perfect 2-for-2, two home run and four RBI performance from junior All-American Kris Bryant. USD then dropped a 8-4 decision to Cal State Northridge on March 26 and a 11-4 decision to UC Irvine on April 9. USD then evened their record with the Big West after defeating UC Santa Barbara last Tuesday, 7-5. USD will face two more Big West opponents this week, UC Riverside Tuesday and UC Santa Barbara on Wednesday, and look improve upon that record.
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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