Jan. 10, 2007
SAN BRUNO, CA - Pepperdine was chosen as the favorite to capture itsfourth straight West Coast Conference baseball title in the 2007preseason poll, as selected by the conference coaches. The Waves, whohave been ranked as high as No. 19 in the preseason polls, receivedsix first place votes and a total of 47 points to edge out San Diegoand 2006 WCC regular season co-champion San Francisco for first placein the listing. The Toreros and Dons tied for the second place spotwith 41 points apiece, with each team garnering a first place vote.LMU checked in at No. 4 with 28 points, just ahead of Gonzaga whichreceived 25 points to grab the No. 5 spot. Santa Clara was tabbed fora sixth place finish with 19 points, while Saint Mary's and Portlandwere picked to finish seventh and eighth with 16 and eight points,respectively.
Pepperdine is coming off of an outstanding season, having posted a42-21 overall record en route to hosting an NCAA Regional for thefirst time in program history. Headlining the list of returners forHead Coach Steve Rodriguez is 2006 WCC Co-Pitcher of the Year BarryEnright, who has been named to the Brooks Wallace Award and RogerClemens Award preseason watch lists. The junior has posted a perfect13-0 record against WCC opponents during his two seasons in Malibu,and will be joined on the Wave squad by 2006 Freshman All-Americanrelief pitcher Brett Hunter and preseason All-American shortstopDanny Worth, who batted .310 and started all 63 games for the Wavesas a sophomore last season.
San Diego, which made an NCAA Tournament appearance for the thirdtime in five years in 2006, returns a pair of Freshman All-Americansin pitcher Brian Matusz and two-way standout Josh Romanski. Matuszemerged as one of the top young hurlers in the conference lastseason, posting a 4-3 overall record with 93 strikeouts in 89 inningspitched, while Romanski was tabbed for WCC Freshman of the Yearhonors after batting .287 and nailing down five saves on the moundfor the Toreros.
San Francisco enjoyed the best campaign in program history lastseason, setting a program record with 39 wins and earning selectionto its first-ever NCAA Regional. The Dons led the WCC with a 2.69team ERA in conference contests a year ago, and return the league'sERA leader from last season in junior Aaron Poreda. The left-handerpaced the WCC with a 2.49 ERA as a sophomore, and was named to thepreseason watch list for both the Brooks Wallace and Roger ClemensAwards.
LMU posted a 24-32 overall record and an 11-10 mark in conferenceplay en route to a fourth place finish in 2006. The Lions returnjunior right-hander Brad Meyers, who solidified his reputation as oneof the top pitching prospects in the nation after going 8-4 in 15starts as a sophomore. Gonzaga will look to improve on last year'sfifth place finish behind the big bats of Darin Holcomb and RyanWiegand, who combined to drive in 102 runs in 2006. The Zags will beplaying in new digs this season, as GU plans to open Washington TrustField at Patterson Baseball Complex in March.
Santa Clara, picked to finish sixth, returns two Freshman All-Americans from a year ago in outfielder Matt Long and pitcher MattWickswat, who went 9-2 in his first year on the Mission Campus. SaintMary's posted a winning record (26-25) for the first time since 1991last season, and welcomes in a conference-high 25 newcomers for theupcoming campaign, while Portland was selected for an eighth placefinish despite welcoming back seven position starters and fourstarting pitchers for the 2007 season.
2007 WCC Baseball Preseason Poll1. Pepperdine - 47 (6)2. San Diego - 41 (1) San Francisco - 41 (1)4. LMU - 285. Gonzaga - 256. Santa Clara - 197. Saint Mary's - 168. Portland - 8