May 13, 2013
ON DECK: The University of San Diego baseball team (31-21) will hit the road this week for a pair of mid week non-conference games, before taking the weekend off for final exams. On Tuesday, USD will head up Interstate 15 to play UC Riverside in a 6 p.m. game inside of the Riverside Sports Complex. Then on Wednesday, USD will take on No. 25 UC Irvine at Anteater Ballpark at 6:30 p.m.
SCOUTING THE HIGHLANDERS: UC Riverside enters the game with an overall record of 11-28 after dropping two-of-three to Cal State Fullerton this past week in Big West play. The Highlanders lead the all-time series at 55-50-2, but the Toreros did win the first meeting between the two, 3-2, in 11 innings back on April 23 at Fowler Park. The Highlanders’ offense is paced by Clayton Prestridge, who is hitting .353 with 59 hits, 10 doubles, one home run and 28 RBI. On the mound, Dylan Stuart anchors down the rotation, as he is 3-7 with a 5.28 ERA in 13 starts this season.
SCOUTING THE ANTEATERS: UC Irvine enters the game with an overall record of 31-16 after taking two-of-three from Cal Poly this past weekend. The Anteaters have also returned to the top 25, as they check in at No. 25 in the latest Collegiate Baseball top-30 poll. Irvine leads the all-time series at 51-43-1, including taking the first match-up this season, 11-3, back on April 9 at Fowler Park. The Anteater offense is paced by Connor Spencer, who is hitting .365 with 69 hits, 15 doubles, three triples and 31 RBI. On the mound, the Toreros will face right-hander Kyle Hooper, who is 1-2 with a 3.79 ERA in 38.0 innings of work.
CONLON NAMED WCC PITCHER OF THE WEEK: Freshman left-handed pitcher PJ Conlon of the University of San Diego baseball team has been named the West Coast Conference Pitcher of the Week, the league office announced Monday afternoon. This is Conlon’s second timer earning this award this season. Conlon, a 6-0 freshman from Placentia, Calif., helped get the Toreros off to a positive start this past Friday, as he went 8.0 innings, allowing three runs, only one earned, on seven hits, while striking out four batters. This moved Conlon to 9-0 on the season, becoming the first freshman pitcher to open 9-0 on the season in program history. He also became the first Torero to start 9-0 since Josh Romanski did it in 2008.
GREEN HAS MONSTER WEEK: Senior catcher Austin Green continued his torrid hitting this past week, as he helped lead USD to a 3-1 record, including sweeping the Portland Pilots to lift the Toreros into the WCC Tournament. Green hit an impressive .611 (11-for-18) with three doubles, two home runs and nine RBI. Green was slugging at a 1.111 clip, while bolstering an on-base percentage of .611. He began the week with a 2-for-5 and one double performance in a loss to UNLV. He then went 2-for-5 with an RBI on Friday, and followed that up with a 3-for-4, one double and two RBI performance on Saturday. In Sunday’s finale, he went a perfect 4-for-4 with two home runs, a double and six RBI.
RUNS, RUNS, AND MORE RUNS: San Diego’s offense was on fire this past week, as they out scored Portland 47-10 over the weekend. During the series, USD had two different players fall a triple short of the cycle in a given game, as Connor Joe came close on Friday and Kris Bryant on Sunday. USD capped the weekend with 22 runs, highlighted by six home runs, two from both Austin Green and Bryant, and one to Austin Bailey and Joe. This game marked the first time USD has scored 20 or more runs since then defeated Wisconsin-Milawukee, 22-1, on June 5, 2010 in an elimination game at the Tempe Regional.
LEADING THE NATION: Kris Bryant continues to lead the nation in home runs hit with 28, after hitting three more home runs this past weekend, which is nine higher then the second place. This is a new single-season record at USD. Bryant is also leads the nation in slugging percentage (.880, walks (56), and in runs scored with 70.
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 28. With his 25 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 51. What is also more impressive, Bryant set this record in three years, while Baron did it in an outstanding four-year Torero career. The 51 career home runs is now second all-time in WCC history, and the 28 home runs this season is the third best in WCC single-season history, with the record currently held at 33 by Nate Gold of Gonzaga. Bryant has now hit more home runs that 228 schools in Division one, as of Monday May 13.
WHERE WE STAND: With the sweep over Portland, USD took one of the two remaining spots in the upcoming WCC Tournament. USD will learn after this weekend, which seed they are, and who they will play after all games are completed this weekend. There are too many scenarios for us to predict now, who we will play and what seed we will be, so we will let this weekend play out then it will all be clear.
A INSIDE LOOK AT WHAT USD HAS DONE: With the season nearing an end, it is nice to take a look back at just what USD has accomplished this season. The Toreros are bolstering a 6-1 record against teams with a top-50 RPI...have posted 17 wins vs. top 100 RPI...RPI of 50- Best in WCC (as low as 28 in mid April)...second place regular season finish in WCC...have a series win vs. No. 6 RPI & Pac 12 leader Oregon State (2-1)...win vs. No. 9 & Big West leader Cal State Fullerton...road win @ No. 25 and Colonial leader Univ. of North Carolina-Wilmington...Road win @ No. 30 Coastal Carolina( second place Big South)...win vs. No. 33 Seton Hall(second place Big East)...series win vs. 2012 CWS team Kent State(3-1)...neutral site win vs. 2012 CWS team Stony Brook.
BRYANT NAMED TO GOLDEN SPIKES MID-SEASON AWARD WATCH LIST: Junior All-American Kris Bryant of the University of San Diego baseball team has been named to the 60-man Midseason Golden Spikes Award Watch List. Bryant, a 6-5 third baseman from Las Vegas, Nev., has been nothing short of amazing in his third year in a Torero uniform. Bryant currently leads the nation in home runs with 28. These 28 home runs are now a new USD single-season record, breaking a 25-year old record that was held by Dave Rolls of 18. With the 28 home runs, Bryant also breaks the 25-year old career home runs record that was held by Sean Baron, as he runs his career total to 51 and counting. Bryant by himself has now hit more home runs than 228 of Division I’s 296 teams. Bryant’s per-game home run average of 0.54 is on pace to be the highest since Kent Matthes of Alabama hit 28 in 56 games in 2009. Bryant also leads the nation in walks (56), and slugging percentage (.880). Bryant has been named the National Player of the Week two times, and WCC Player of the Week two times this season.
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.
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.