Jan. 24, 2013
SAN DIEGO -- The University of San Diego baseball team has been ranked No. 25 in the Baseball America preseason top-25 poll, the publication announced Thursday morning. This now marks eight consecutive seasons that the Toreros have been ranked in the top-25. USD also checked in at No. 12 in the Collegiate Baseball top-40 preseason poll.
The Toreros are coming off the third best season in program history, as USD finished with a 40-17 mark in 2012, and the Toreros earned its second at-large bid into the NCAA Regionals. USD is highlighted by a pair of All-Amerrica returners in junior third baseman Kris Bryant and right-handed pitcher Michael Wagner.
Last season, Bryant had 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 then spent this past summer with Team USA.
Wagner had a great season on the mound for the Toreros in 2012, as he recorded a 5-2 record, with a 2.58 ERA and he set both the USD and WCC single-season saves record with 19. In 59.1 innings of work, Wagner struck out 53 batters, while only issuing 20 walks, and opponents only managed to hit .246 off of him.
In addition to Wagner and Bryant, who are both preseason All-Americans, USD returns a pair of freshman All-Americans in the form of Andrew Daniel and Austin Bailey, both of which are expected to make an impact this season. Daniel is coming off a rookie season in which he exploded onto the scene as a true freshman, hitting .339 with 78 hits, 18 doubles, two triples, four home runs and 45 RBI. In WCC action, Daniel continued to have a hot stick, as he hit .323 with 32 hits, nine doubles, two home runs and 21 RBI en route to a first-team All-WCC honor. Bailey on the other hand not too shabby either, as he had a great rookie campaign for the Toreros, hitting .273 with 44 hits, seven doubles, two triples and had 20 RBI. In conference action, Bailey hit .264 with 19 hits, three doubles, one triple and seven RBI.
USD also returns four All-WCC performers, seven position players, and one starting pitcher from last season's 40-win squad. In addition to 11 newcomers and 23 returners in all, USD is ready to roll out a brand new stadium in Fowler Park and Cunningham Field. This new facility will open its doors to the public on Feb. 15, as USD begins the 2013 season with a three-game series against cross-town rival San Diego State University.