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Toreros host Pepperdine in final regular-season series
May 18, 2017

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FINAL HOMESTAND: The Toreros return to Fowler Park for their final regular-season WCC series when they host the Pepperdine Waves (20-29, 8-16 WCC).  Friday's (May 19) and Saturday's (May 20) games will begin at 6:00 p.m., followed by the series finale on Sunday (May 21, Senior Day) at 1:00 pm.

WCC WATCH: The Toreros (15-9) enter their final week tied for fourth place in the WCC standings with Saint Mary's College. BYU (20-4) is in first place, and LMU and Gonzaga are tied for second with 17-7 records. Saint Mary's owns the tie-breaker over the Toreros, so USD needs to win one more game than the Gaels this coming weekend.  Saint Mary's plays host to Santa Clara while the Toreros entertain Pepperdine. The top four teams advance to the WCC Championships May 25-27 in Stockton, Calif.

LAST TIME OUT: The Toreros were dealt a 9-5 loss at the hands of San Diego State.  The Aztecs won the season series having won 10-1 earlier in the season at Fowler Park.  Trailing 2-0 after the first inning, the Toreros knotted the score at 2-all in the 2nd inning, and then took a brief 3-2 advantge after the top of the 3rd.  SDSU broke the game open with 5 runs in the bottom of the 5th behind a 3-run homer from Andrew Martinez and a solo shot by Dean Nevarez.  USD would rally in the 9th, scoring 2 runs and loading the bases before Aztec closer CJ Saylor struck out USD's last two batters to end the inning and game.  Jay Schuyler opened with a double to extend his on-base streak to 36 games.  He finished 3-for-5 with one run.  Roman Garcia was 2-for-5 with 2 RBIs.

SCOUTING THE WAVES: The Pepperdine Waves come to town with an overall record of 20-29, and WCC mark of 8-16.  This past weekend they played Saint Mary's College in three close games, coming out on top in Saturday's game by the score of 2-1 (14 innings).  The Waves dropped the Friday (3-0) and Sunday (5-4, 15 innings) games to the Gaels.  Aaron Barnett leads the Waves in hitting (.298), Ben Rodriguez in RBIs (30) and Quincy McAfee in runs (29).  Pepperdine leads the all-time series against San Diego, 128-75.  Head Coach Rick Hirtensteiner is in his 2nd year as head coach and 19th year with program.

ADAMS A SEMIFINALIST FOR JOHNNY BENCH AWARD: The Greater Wichita Area Sports Commission announced the fifteen semifinalists for the 2017 Johnny Bench Award presented by BaseballSavings.com.  For the second consecutive year, junior catcher Riley Adams has made the semifinalist list for this prestigious honor. Adams is batting .309 on the year, is tied for the team-lead with 13 home runs, and ranks second with 46 RBIs and 43 runs.

ON BASE MACHINE: Jay Schuyler, who leads the Toreros with .361 batting average and 73 hits, has reached base in 36 straight games. For the year, Schuyler has reached base in 47 of USD's 51 games.  

ACE IN THE HOLE: Sophomore lefty Nick Sprengel improved his record to 9-1 last weekend. Four Torero pitchers have posted a 9-1 record, most recently PJ Conlon in 2013. No USD pitcher has started the season 10-1. In Sprengel's 13 starts, the Toreros are 12-1.

POWER UP: Roman Garcia and Riley Adams are now tied for the team lead in home runs with 13 each (ranks 2nd in WCC behind James Free, II of Pacific with 14).  Garcia ranks 1st in the WCC in doubles (21) and total bases (119), and 3rd in RBIs (51).   
Adams ranks 5th in the WCC in both RBIs (46) and total bases (109). Senior RF Hunter Mercado-Hood is also providing a power boost at the top of the lineup as he is second in the conference in runs scored (47) and total bases (116).

A WEEK FOR K'S: Senior LHP Troy Conyers had quite the week out of the bullpen for the Toreros this past week.  He appeared in three contests in a relief role and totaled 8.2 innings of work while allowing just 3 hits, 1 run and striking out 16 batters.  His ERA for the week was 1.04.  In USD's 5-1 win at UC Irvine, he pitched 5.0 innings, giving up 3 hits and 1 run while striking out 8.  In Saturday's 5-3 victory over Sac State, he pitched the final two innings giving up just one walk, no hits and striking out 6 batters for his 11th save of the year.  In Sunday's finale he pitched 1.2 innings and struck out two.  He ranks 23rd in the NCAA with 11 saves.

DOUBLE TROUBLE: The Toreros are 22nd in the nation in doubles per game (2.12). Roman Garcia leads the conference and is 24th in the nation with 21 doubles. Hunter Mercado-Hood and Jay Schuyler, each with 18, are tied for 5th in the WCC. Riley Adams is also in double-digits with 11 doubles, along with Jeff Houghtby who has contributed 10 two-baggers.

STRIKE THREE!: Torero pitchers entered the week striking out 9.7 batters per nine innings, the sixth best rate in the nation. The Toreros have four pitchers with at least 30 innings pitched who are striking out more than 11 batters per nine innings, led by Troy Conyers' 13.25 punchouts per nine.

FIRST TO SCORE: The Toreros are 26-5 when they are the first to score, and just 6-13-1 when their opponent scores first. USD has a 15-3 record when they score in the first inning.

NO FREE BAGS: Torero pitchers catchers Riley Adams and Jay Schuyler have only allowed 18 stolen bases this season; that comes on 34 attempts by opponents. USD baserunners have swiped 52 bases with Colton Waltner leading the way (14-for-14).



 

The Last Meeting
San Diego7
Pepperdine2
March 26, 2016
Malibu, Calif.
Cornish Deals, and USD Takes Series from Waves
Behind the best outing of the season for senior right-hander Gary Cornish, the University of San Diego baseball team cruised its way to a 7-2 win over Pepperdine University Saturday afternoon in a West Coast Conference game at Eddy D. Field.


 

 

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