Senior centerfielder/LHP Louie Lechich.
May 5, 2014
ON DECK: The 24th-ranked University of San Diego baseball team (32-16, 15-9 WCC) will close out its home portion of the regular-season on Tuesday, as they host UC Irvine in a 6 p.m. non-conference game at Fowler Park. The Toreros then hit the road this weekend in their final conference games, for a pivotal three-game series at league-leading Pepperdine. Friday's game will be aired live on TheW.tv at 3 p.m., while both the Saturday and Sunday games will be at 1 p.m.
SCOUTING THE ANTEATERS: UC Irvine enters the game with an overall record of 32-14, and they own a 13-1 mark in the Big West, good for first place. The Anteaters lead the all-time series at 50-44-1, but the Toreros did take the first meeting, 6-3, in Irvine back on April 8. Cameron Spencer paces the Anteater offense, as he is hitting .376 with 65 hits, 11 doubles, five triples, one home run and 37 RBI. On the mound, the Anteaters are anchored down by Andrew Morales, who is 8-0 in 12 starts with a 0.91 ERA.
SCOUTING THE WAVES: Pepperdine enters the week with an overall record of 32-12, and they are in first place in the WCC standings at 15-6, having played three games less that the Toreros. Pepperdine leads the all-time series at 119-67, and have taken two of three from the Toreros over the past two seasons. Pepperdine's offense is paced by Aaron Barnett, who is hitting .360 with 59 hits, five doubles and 19 RBI. On the mound, Corey Miller anchors things down, as he is 7-3 with a 1.29 ERA in 84.2 innings of work, while also holding a 86-14 strikeout to walk ratio.
FRIDAY'S GAME ON THEW.TV: San Diego's game against Pepperdine on Friday will be aired live in a multi-camera, full high definition broadcast on the WCC's new digital platform, TheW.tv. Providing play-by-play for the broadcast will be Steve Quis, and providing color commentary will be Keith Ramsey.
LECHICH HAS A PRODUCTIVE WEEK: Senior outfielder/LHP Louie Lechich had a monster week for the Toreros. Lechich helped lead USD to a perfect 5-0 record this past week, which catapulted the Toreros into a 3-way tie for second place in the conference standings. Lechich paced the USD offense, going 10-for-18 (.556) with one double and three RBI, while scoring four runs and slugging at a .611 clip. Lechich had a monster weekend, as he began the WCC series with Saint Mary's going 2-for-4 with one RBI and one run scored. Then on Saturday, he not only went 2-for-4 with an RBI, but he picked up his eighth win of the season on the mound. Also in this game, when he was relived from his pitching duties, he went to play centerfield, and he uncorked a throw to nail a SMC runner at the plate, that could been the tying run in the game. He saved the game for USD from centerfield. His pitching numbers, 6.2 innings, allowed two runs on six hits. Then on Sunday, he capped off the week going 4-for-6 with a double and one RBI. On the season, Lechich is now hitting .350 with 72 hits, 17 doubles, three triples, six home runs and 44 RBI.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS: San Diego, as a team, is hitting .322, which is the third highest batting average in the nation. USD is also ranked second in doubles with 115, and also has the sixth highest slugging percentage in the nation at .465, while bolstering the eighth best on base percentage in the nation at .403.
INTERESTING TREND: San Diego has been developing an interesting trend this season. USD is currently 7-14 when they score five or fewer runs. However, when scoring more six or more runs, the Toreros are nearly perfect at 26-2.
GOING STREAKING: Junior Andrew Daniel is currently riding a 18-game hitting streak, which began back on April 6, in a win against Gonzaga. Daniel needs just two more games to match both Connor Joe and Austin Bailey as the longest hitting streaks of the season. During this streak, Daniel is hitting .405 with 30 hits, nine doubles, one triple, one home run and 16 RBI. He is slugging at a .595 clip and bolstering a .432 on-base percentage. Overall, Daniel is hitting .365 with 73 hits, 19 doubles, one triple, five home runs and 36 RBI.
WHERE WE STAND: With just one final weekend series for the Toreros, USD is sitting in a good position to possibly win the WCC championship, and or make it into the WCC Tournament. USD currently is in a 3-way tie for second place with LMU and Gonzaga. Should USD sweep this weekend, they would lock themselves into one of the four spots for the WCC Tournament, as well as move into good position to win the WCC title, however they would need LMU to lost at least one game to Pacific in order to win the conference crown. However, should USD win one, two or no games this weekend, then that seeding for the conference tournament is almost impossible to figure out at this point.
TOREROS VS. THE BIG WEST: This season USD has posted an overall record of 6-0 over schools from the Big West Conference. USD picked up a 10-inning 5-3 win over, then No. 8, Cal State Fullerton on March 11. USD then headed to UC Riverside back on March 25, and picked up a 13-8 win over the Highlanders, and then picked up a 6-3 win over UC Irvine in Irvine on April 8. USD then picked up a pair of thrilling come-from-behind wins over Long Beach State (4/21) and UC Riverside (4/22), and completed a rare season-series sweep over Fullerton with a 6-5 win this past Tuesday at Goodwin Field to move to 6-0 against the Big West. The Big West Conference currently has the sixth highest RPI in the nation. USD will look to remain perfect against this league's member institutions with Tuesday's game against UC Irvine at Fowler Park.
HOLDER NAMED TO THE BROOKS WALLACE AWARD WATCH LIST: Conferences large and small from across the country are represented on the first watch list for the 2014 Brooks Wallace Shortstop of the Year Award. The University of San Diego's sophomore shortstop Kyle Holder highlights this list. The Brooks Wallace Award, sponsored by Mizuno, recognizes the nation's top shortstop and will be presented during the National College Baseball Hall of Fame's Night of Champions on June 28 in Lubbock, Texas.
JOE NAMED TO JOHNNY BENCH AWARD WATCH LIST: The Greater Wichita Area Sports Commission announced the official watch list for the 2014 Johnny Bench Award presented by BaseballSavings.com. Seventy-two catchers , highlighted by the University of San Diego's junior catcher Connor Joe, were nominated for the award by their coaches. Because the award is given annually to the top division one collegiate catcher, the list will be updated to include other candidates until May 5, 2014.
CONLON TABBED A PRESEASON All-AMERICAN: Sophomore left-handed pitcher PJ Conlon has been tabbed a Louisville Slugger third-team preseason All-American. Conlon, a 6-0 sophomore from Placentia, Calif., had quite an impressive rookie campaign, posting a 9-1 record, while bolstering an ERA of 2.16. Conlon became the first freshman in USD history to begin a season at 9-0. Conlon made 25 total appearances with 10 starts, and moved himself into the Friday starter in the Torero rotation. In WCC play, Conlon posted a perfect 6-0 record with a 1.28 ERA in 49.1 innings of work, including one complete game.
JOE HAULS IN PRESEASON All-AMERICAN ACCOLADES: Junior catcher Connor Joe has been tabbed a Louisville Slugger third-team preseason All-American. Joe, a 6-0 junior from Poway, Calif., had a great sophomore campaign in which he hit .319 with 74 hits, 14 doubles, seven home runs and 43 RBI. In WCC action, Joe hit .301 with 28 hits, six doubles, three home runs and had 19 RBI. Joe continued his hot play this past summer, as he was a Cape Cod All-Star, and started at catcher in the All-Star game. While playing with the Chatham Anglers, Joe hit .308 with 45 hits, nine doubles, one triple, three home runs and had 22 RBI.
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