Jan. 15, 2008
SAN BRUNO, CA - Pepperdine and San Diego will meet in a WCC regular season baseball game broadcast live on ESPNU, as the Waves host the defending WCC Champion Toreros in the first game of a three-game series on May 2, 2008. Eddy D. Field Stadium in Malibu will be the site of the conference tilt, and it will mark the fifth straight year that at least one regular season WCC contest has been broadcast to a national television audience.
San Diego is coming off of a record-breaking 2007 campaign, as the Toreros claimed their first WCC Championship since 2003 and garnered the No. 8 national seed in the NCAA Tournament. Head Coach Rich Hill's squad looks to build on a season that saw USD post a 43-18 overall record, and host an NCAA Regional for the first time. San Diego's entire weekend rotation returns from last season, led by junior Brian Matusz. The left-hander set a USD program record by fanning 163 batters last season, and was tabbed for first team preseason All-American honors by Collegiate Baseball. Fellow Toreros Josh Romanski (UT) and AJ Griffin (RHP) were also named to Collegiate Baseball's preseason All-American list, and will be joined by the No. 1 recruiting class in the nation according to Baseball America.
Pepperdine also enjoyed an outstanding 2007 season, posting a 35-22 overall record and earning a bid to the NCAA Tournament for the fifth straight year. The Pepperdine rotation will be led by right-hander Brett Hunter, who excelled on the Team USA collegiate squad last summer after striking out 76 batters in 82.1 innings of work a year ago. The junior was named to the preseason watch list for the Brooks Wallace Award in December. Also returning for Head Coach Steve Rodriguez is senior Donald Brown, who was drafted in the 37th round of last year's MLB Draft, and junior third baseman Chase d'Arnaud. Brown batted .331 and collected 13 doubles for the Waves a year ago, while d'Arnaud batted .331 in his sophomore campaign and ranked second on the team with 28 RBI.
Pepperdine and San Diego were each selected for NCAA Tournament play in 2007, marking the second straight year that the WCC has sent multiple teams into the postseason. Both teams were also ranked nationally in the Collegiate Baseball preseason poll released in December, with San Diego earning a No. 7 listing and Pepperdine checking in at No. 29.