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Baseball Preps for Another Crucial Week

PJ Conlon.

April 29, 2013

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ON DECK: The University of San Diego baseball team (26-18, 10-8 WCC) will host Cal State Northridge on Tuesday at 6 p.m., before hitting the road for another crucial West Coast Conference baseball series. On Friday, USD will open its WCC series against Saint Mary's at 3 p.m,.  USD will then play on Saturday at 1 p.m. and the series will conclude on Sunday at 12 p.m.  

SCOUTING THE MATADORS: Cal State Northridge enters the game with an overall record of 25-18 after sweeping future WCC member Pacific this past weekend.  The    Matadors lead the all-time series at 35-28-2 including taking the first meeting this season in Northridge, 8-4, on March 26.  The Matador offense is paced by Nate Ring, who is hitting .270 with 47 hits, three home runs and 16 RBI.  Jerry Keel anchors down the pitching rotation for CSUN, as he owns a 6-1 record with an ERA of 6.78.  

LAST TIME VS. THE MATADORS: The University of San Diego baseball team dropped an 8-4 non-conference decision to Cal State Northridge on March 26, 2013.  Offensively for the Toreros, Louie Lechich led the way, as he went 2-for-4 with two doubles and one RBI. Austin Bailey also had a productive day at the plate, as he went 1-for-2 with one double and three RBI.  Trevor Bayless was saddled with the loss on the mound for the Toreros, as he allowed two runs on three hits in 1.2 innings of work.

SCOUTING THE GAELS: Saint Mary's enters the week with an overall record of 17-26, and they own a 8-7 mark in the WCC after sweeping Santa Clara this past weekend. USD leads the all-time series at 73-44-1, including winning six of the last seven meetings.    The SMC offense is paced by Brendon Kalfus, who is hitting .388 with 59 hits, six doubles and 32 RBI.  On the mound, the Gaels pitching rotation is anchored down by Ben Griset, who is 4-2 with a 2.71 ERA.  

LAST TIME VS. THE GAELS: Behind a dominating pitching performance from senior right-hander Paul Sewald, and an 16-hit effort form the Torero offense, the 17th-ranked University of San Diego baseball team cruised to a 7-3 West Coast Conference win over Saint Mary's College on April 22, 2012 at Cunningham Stadium.  Sewald (6-1) was dominate from start to finish today, as he took a no-hitter into the fourth inning, retiring the first nine batters he faced, before Donald Collins led off the fourth inning with a stand-up triple. Sewald then settled down again and only allowed three runs, one earned, on two hits, while striking out five in 6.0 innings of work. SMC starter, Ben Griset (2-5), was saddled with the loss for the Gaels, as he allowed four runs on seven hits in 3.2 innings of work.  Offensively for the Toreros, Kris Bryant led the way as he went 3-for-5 with a double, a home run and fell just a triple short of the cycle, while driving in four runs.

CONLON DEALS USD TO VICTORY:  San Diego freshman left-handed pitcher PJ Conlon helped lead USD to a 7-0 win over USF in Sunday's series finale.  Conlon tossed a complete-game shutout, as he scattered just six hits and recorded five strikeouts.  Conlon held the USF bats at bay, considering they scored nine runs in each of the first two games of the series, he shut them out.  What is even more impressive is, with these nine scoreless innings, he now runs his scoreless inning streak to 18 innings.  Conlon is the first USD pitcher to toss a complete game this season, and the first starting pitcher to last at least 7.0 innings on any given outing since Michael Wagner did it on Mar. 1 against Gardner-Webb.

The Last Meeting
San Diego4
Cal State Northridge8
March 26, 2013
Northridge, Calif.
Toreros Fall to Northridge
The University of San Diego baseball team (16-9) dropped an 8-4 non-conference decision to Cal State Northridge (11-12) Tuesday afternoon.

The Last Meeting
Saint Mary's3
San Diego7
April 22, 2012
San Diego, CA
Sewald Deals, and Toreros Take Series
Behind a dominating pitching performance from senior right-hander Paul Sewald, and an 16-hit effort form the Torero offense, the 17th-ranked University of San Diego baseball team cruised to a 7-3 West Coast Conference win over Saint Mary's College Sunday afternoon at Cunningham Stadium.

LEADING THE NATION: Kris Bryant continues to lead the nation in home runs hit with 22, after hitting two more home runs this past week. This is a new single-season record at USD.  Bryant is also leads the nation in slugging percentage (.865) and walks (53), and he is third in runs scored with 55.

MR. LONG BALL: Kris Bryant has now etched his name in the USD history, as he surpassed both the 25-year old single-season, and 25-year old career home run record.  In 1988, Dave Rolls set the single-season mark with 18 long balls, but Bryant has surpassed that with his nation's best 22.  With his 22 home runs on the season, Bryant has also surpassed the 25-year old career record of 43, that was held by Sean Baron, and he currently has 45.  What is also more impressive, Bryant set this record in three years, while Baron did it in an outstanding four-year Torero career.   The 22 home runs hit on the season, are now the fifth best single-season mark in the WCC, with the record currently at 33, held by Nate Gold from Gonzaga in the 2002 season.   

LOG JAM: After USD dropped two-of-three to San Francisco, the Toreros went from a 4-way tie for second, into fourth place.  Gonazaga leads the WCC at 15-6, but the Toreros are just a game out of second place.  The top four teams will reach the WCC's first-ever 4-team tournament.  All USD needs to do is win.  If USD wins the next two WCC series, they will be in good shape to make this Tournament.

TOREROS VS. THE BIG WEST: San Diego has now played in six games this season against teams from the Big West Conference.  How did the Toreros fare in these games, USD has posted a 3-3 record.  The Toreros downed, then No. 10 and currently No. 4, Cal State Fullerton, 7-4.  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 on April 16, 7-5.  The Toreros then earned a 3-2 win in 11 innings last Tuesday to UC Riverside, before falling on the road to UC Santa Barbara, 12-4.  USD will look to improve upon this record on Tuesday when they welcome Cal State Northridge to town for a 6 p.m. game.  

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 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 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.