ON DECK: The West Coast Conference regular-season champion University of San Diego baseball team (32-20) will open play in the WCC Tournament this Thursday as the No. 1 seed. USD will take on No. 4 seeded Loyola Marymount University on Thursday at 3 p.m. The winner of that game will play the winner of the No. 2 seeded Pepperdine and No. 3 seeded BYU game on Friday at 3 p.m. The loser of the USD/LMU game and the loser of the Pepperdine/BYU game will also meet on Friday in an elimination game at 12 p.m. All games will be played at Banner Island Ballpark.
SCOUTING THE WAVES: Pepperdine enters the WCC Tournament as the No. 2 seed, after posting a 17-10 league record, and a 27-26 overall record. The Waves lead the all-time series at 121-71, but the Toreros did take two of three from the Waves two weeks ago, to clinch the WCC title outright at Fowler Park. Pepperdine's offense is paced by Brandon Caruso, who is hitting .307 with 58 hits, 19 doubles, two triples, three home runs and 22 RBI. On the mound, Jackson McClelland anchors things down, as she is 6-3 with a 2.41 ERA, while striking out 64 and issuing 35 walks in 86.0 innings of work.
SCOUTING THE LIONS: Loyola Marymount enters the WCC Tournament as the No. 4 seed, after taking two of three from San Francisco in the final weekend of play. The Lions lead the all-time series with USD at 100-88-1, however, USD did take two of three from the Lions in Los Angeles this season. LMU is led offensively by Austin Miller, who is hitting .318 with 67 hits, 10 doubles, two triples, three home runs, and 26 RBI. On the mound, Colin Welmon anchors down the rotation, as he is 5-6 with a 2.90 ERA, while recording 90 strikeouts, and issuing 26 walks in 87.0 innings of work.
SCOUTING THE COUGARS: BYU enters the WCC Tournament as the No. 3 seed, after dropping a 4-3 decision to Saint Mary's in a make-up game on Monday afternoon in Moraga, Calif. The Toreros lead the all-time series at 12-1, including winning all 10 meetings since the Cougars joined the WCC in 2012. BYU's lone win in the series came back on Feb. 23, 1980, a 7-6 final score in San Diego. The Cougars offense is paced by Dillon Robinson, who is hitting .364 with 71 hits, 17 doubles, two triples, four home runs and 39 RBI. On the mound, Colton Mahoney is anchoring down the rotation with a 4-7 overall record and a 5.08 ERA.
BROADCAST SCHEDULE: All of this weekend's games, except the championship game, will be aired live on TheW.tv. This will be a full high definition broadcast, complete with graphics, multiple cameras, replays, and providing all the play-by-play action will be Justin Alderson with Frank Cruz adding in color commentary. The championship game will air live on ESPNU with Roxy Bernstein doing the play-by-play and Wes Clements adding color commentary. In addition to this, USD will have an audio broadcast of all this weekend's action with the voice of Torero baseball Jack Murray providing play-by-play and Hall of Fame coach John "JC" Cunningham giving color analysis. All links for these games will be found on USDToreros.com.
BAILEY AND THE WCC TOURNEY: Senior outfielder Austin Bailey has fond memories of this Tournament and ball park. Two year's ago, when USD won the title, Bailey was a big part of it. He hit .388 with seven hits, two doubles, one home run and six RBI in four games at Banner Island Ballpark, en route to being selected to the All-Tournament team. USD is hoping Bailey has similar numbers this season in order to help lead USD to another tournament victory.
LAST 10 GAMES: Entering the WCC tournament, USD has been red hot, winning seven of its last 10 games, including winning key conference series over two thirds of the WCC Tournament field, LMU and Pepperdine. USD went on the road and took down the Lions, claiming heir first series win over LMU since 2010. USD then hosted Pepperdine in the final weekend of WCC play and took two of three to claim the WCC title outright. During this 10-game stretch, USD is hitting .276 as a team, paced by Ryan Kirby, who is hitting .357 with 10 hits, one double, two home runs and three RBI. Kyle Holder is hitting .319 with 15 hits, five doubles, one home run and seven RBI. USD pitchers are holding opponents to just a .221 batting average, while PJ Conlon has a 1.72 ERA and David Hill has a 2.00 ERA in this stretch.
WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS: With a thrilling 10-6 victory over Pepperdine University on May 10th, the University of San Diego baseball team secured its sixth West Coast Conference regular-season championship in program history, and seventh overall WCC title including the 2013 WCC Tournament championship. USD will look to claim its second WCC Tournament championship at Banner Island Ballpark in Stockton, Calif. this week. No other WCC team has won more league championships than USD has over the last 13 years, with USD claiming six of those seven titles.
HILL BREAKS 100: David Hill became the first Torero pitcher to surpass the 100 single-season strikeout mark since 2010, when Kyle Blair and AJ Griffin each did it. Hill now has 109 strikeouts on the season, which places him 12th nationally in strikeouts, and it places him eighth on the USD single-season strikeouts list. The USD record holder for single-season strikeouts is Brian Matusz, who recorded 163 in 2007.
KACZMAREK DEALS: Junior right-handed pitcher Taylor Kaczmarek turned in a dominating seven inning performance to help propel the University of San Diego baseball team to a 5-0 non-conference win over Long Beach State on May 12, 2015 at Blair Field. Kaczmarek (1-1) had his best performance on the mound for the Toreros this season, as he picked up the win, allowing no runs, while scattering three hits in 7.0 innings of work. He retired nine in a row between the third and seventh innings, and recorded a career-high five strikeouts. This marked three consecutive outings in which Kaczmarek has been dominate, as he took a no-hitter into the fifth against San Diego State on May 5, and he had a dominate performance in five inning against UC Irvine back on April 24.
EIGHT TOREROS EARN ALL-WCC HONORS: USD had eight players take home All-WCC honors, the league office announced Tuesday afternoon. Highlighting this list was the WCC Player of the Year Kyle Holder, the WCC Pitcher of the Year David Hill, and the WCC Freshman of the Year Bryson Brigman. Head coach Rich Hill was also tabbed the WCC Coach of the Year for the fifth time in his career. Taking home first-team honors was Brigman, Hill, Holder, and junior left-handed pitcher PJ Conlon, while senior catcher Jesse Jenner was named second-team All-WCC, and Colton Waltner was also a second-team selection. Austin Bailey was named All-WCC honorable mention, and both Riley Adams and Brigman were named to the All-Freshman team.
HOLDER TABBED WCC PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Kyle Holder is the seventh San Diego student-athlete to capture West Coast Conference Player of the Year honors since 2007 and the second consecutive. Named to the 30-player Golden Spikes Award Watch List, Holder hit .387 with 13 doubles, two triples, one home run and 19 RBI during league play. The junior shortstop turned in a .976 fielding percentage, committing just three errors in 127 chances and contributed to 10 double plays during WCC games.
HILL TABBED WCC PITCHER OF THE YEAR: David Hill made a remarkable impact in his first season in a Torero uniform, as he was tabbed the WCC Pitcher of the Year. Named to the National Pitcher of the Year Watch List, Hill posted a sparkling 7-1 record with a league-best 1.38 ERA. Opposing hitters managed a .163 batting average. In 72.0 innings, Hill allowed 11 earned runs and struck out 83 while walking 17. A three-time West Coast Conference Pitcher of the Week, Hill is the fourth Torero honored as Pitcher of the Year and the first since Kyle Blair in 2010.
BRIGMAN TABBED WCC FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR: Bryson Brigman enjoyed a strong freshman campaigns for San Diego, as he was named the WCC Freshman of the Year. During league play, Brigman hit .356 with seven doubles, two triples, a home run and drove in 17 while scoring 26 runs. The infielder ranked second among league leaders in hits (28) and was fourth in runs in WCC contests. Brigman is the eighth Torero named Freshman of the Year and the first since current Major Leaguer Kris Bryant was tabbed in 2011.
HILL TABBED WCC COACH OF THE YEAR: Rich Hill earns his fifth Coach of the Year honor after guiding San Diego to its first regular season championship since 2010. The Toreros posted a 19-8 conference slate (32-20 overall) and cracked the national top-25 poll. San Diego went 6-1 against top-25 foes in 2015 and ranked second in team ERA (3.71), team batting (.300) and led the WCC in fielding (.981) during league contests.
HOLDER NAMED TO GOLDEN SPIKES MIDSEASON WATCH LIST: USA Baseball released its 60-player midseason USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award watch list, continuing the journey to naming the top amateur baseball player in the country in a presentation on Tuesday, June 23, in Los Angeles. This list is highlighted by the University of San Diego junior shortstop Kyle Holder. Sponsored by Major League Baseball, and presented in partnership with the Rod Dedeaux Foundation, 2015 marks the 38th year of the USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award.
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