May 12, 2014
ON DECK: The University of San Diego baseball team (34-19, 16-11 WCC) will close out the regular season this Tuesday with a road game at Long Beach State. This will be the second meeting between the two teams this season, and first USD trip to Blair F`ield since June 1, 2008.
SCOUTING THE DIRTBAGS: Long Beach State enters the game with an overall record of 26-23 after completing a three-game road sweep over Hawaii this past weekend. The Toreros and Dirtbags are even in the all-time series at 36 wins apiece, with USD taking this first meeting, 4-3, back on April 21 in San Diego. LBSU is paced offensively by freshman infielder Garrett Hampson, who is hitting .318 with 64 hits, 12 doubles, two triples, one home run and 14 RBI. On the mound, the Dirtbags rotation is anchored down by sophomore righty Andrew Rohrbach, who is 6-1 with a 1.92 ERA. Long Beach State is under the direction of fourth-year head coach Troy Buckley.
LAST TIME VS. LONG BEACH: Junior infielder Austin Bailey's walk-off 2-run double lifted the University of San Diego baseball team to a thrilling 4-3 come-from-behind win over Long Beach State University on April 21, 2014 in a non-conference game at Fowler Park. With the bases loaded, Bailey stepped to the plate, and he hit a rocket shot to right field, which scored the final two runs, giving USD the 4-3 victory. Offensively for the Toreros, Ryan Kirby led the way, as he went a perfect 3-for-3 with one double. Both Andrew Daniel and Louie Lechich had great offensive days as well, going 2-for-4, while Jesse Jenner extended his hitting streak to 14 games, and Bailey's walk-off double moved his hitting streak to 20 games. Daniel Reitzler picked up the win on the mound for the Toreros, as he allowed no runs on no hits in 0.1 innings of work.
THE LAST TIME IN LONG BEACH: Junior left-hander Ricardo Pecina dominates on the mound to help propel the University of San Diego baseball team (43-16) to a thrilling 5-1 win over Long Beach State University (38-21) on an elimination game on June 1, 2008 at Blair Field. Pecina (6-4) picked up the win after having one of his best outings of the season, allowing one run on six hits, while striking out eight in 7.0 innings of work. AJ Griffin recorded is his 14th save of the season, which gave him the new single-season record for saves. Vance Worley (7-4) was saddled with the loss for the Dirtbags as he allowed two runs on 10 hits in 6.0 innings of work. Offensively for the Toreros, James Meador led the way as he went 2-for-5 with two RBI. Kevin Muno, Kevin Hansen and Josh Romanski all recorded two hits on the day as well.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS: San Diego, as a team, is hitting .317, which is the fourth highest batting average in the nation. USD is also ranked second in doubles with 121, and also has the seventh highest slugging percentage in the nation at .458, while bolstering the 10th best on base percentage in the nation at .398.
JOE RECORDED 50TH RBI: San Diego junior Connor Joe continues his impressive play this season, as in Saturday's game he recorded both his 50th and 51st RBI of the season, with a two-run home run in the top of the seventh inning to give USD a temporary lead at 3-2. The 51 RBI is a single-season career-high for Joe, and is just seven shy of breaking into USD's top-10 single-season RBI list.
CAN YOU HEAR US?: San Diego's game against Long Beach State on Tuesday will have a live audio broadcast with Jack Murray, the voice of Torero baseball, bringing fans all the live play-by-play action, and providing color commentary will be Hall of Fame baseball coach John "JC" Cunningham. A "LISTEN LIVE" link can be found on the USD baseball schedule page (usdtoreros.com).
INTERESTING TREND: San Diego has been developing an interesting trend this season. USD is currently 8-156 when they score five or fewer runs. However, when scoring more six or more runs, the Toreros are nearly perfect at 26-4.
ABOUT DANIEL'S STREAK: Junior Andrew Daniel saw his season-high 21 game hitting streak come to an end in Sundays loss to Pepperdine. During his 21-game hitting streak, Daniel was dominate, as he went 36-for-92 (.413) with 10 doubles three triples, one home run and 19 RBI. Overall, Daniel is the tem's second highest batting average on the team at .367 with 80 hits, 20 doubles, three triples, five home runs and 43 RBI.
WHERE WE STAND: With no more WCC games left to play for USD, the Toreros will need some help this weekend to earn a spot into the WCC Tournament at Banner Island Ballpark in Stockton, Calif. Here is what needs to happen. USD needs two of the three following scenarios to get a bid...USD needs Pepperdine to win their series over Gonzaga, Loyola Marymount to win their series over Pacific or Saint Mary's to win their series over Santa Clara. If only one of these three scenarios happen, USD is not in the tournament, it has to be two of the three. Just that simple.
TOREROS VS. THE BIG WEST: This season USD has posted an overall record of 6-1 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. This past Tuesday, UC Irvine was able to hold on for dear life, as USD nearly over came a 13-2 deficit to pull off the biggest comeback in program history, but fell short in a 16-11 decision, snapping USD's perfect mark against the Big West. USD will look to get win No. 7 on Tuesday, as they take on Long Beach State.
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 GOLDEN SPIKES AWARD WATCH LIST: USA Baseball released its 30-man midseason Golden Spikes Award watch list on Thursday, bringing the organization one step closer to naming the top amateur baseball player in the country. Highlighting this list is University of San Diego junior infielder Connor Joe. USA Baseball officials will announce the list of semifinalists for the 2014 Golden Spikes Award on Tuesday, May 27. The list of athletes will then be sent to a voting body consisting of Golden Spikes Award winners, past USA Baseball National Team coaches and press officers, members of media that closely follow the amateur game, select professional baseball personnel, and current USA Baseball staff, representing a group of more than 200 voters in total. Fan voting will once again be a part of the Golden Spikes Award in 2014. Tuesday, May 27 marks the day when amateur baseball fans from across the country will be able to vote for their favorite semifinalist on GoldenSpikesAward.com.
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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