Jan. 31, 2007
IN A NUTSHELL: The University of San Diego baseball team (3-0) will travel to Round Rock, Texas for a three-game series with the fourth-ranked Texas Longhorns. All three games will be played at Dell Diamond. Friday's game is scheduled for a 12:30 p.m. start, Saturday's game will begin at 12 p.m. and Sunday's game will be at 11 a.m.
LAST TIME OUT: San Diego opened the 2007 season with a bang as they swept Cal Poly this past weekend. USD won the three games by scores of 9-6, 7-6 and 4-1. Sophomore left-hander Brian Matusz put together a solid performance in game one, as he allowed one run on two hits in six innings of work while striking out a career-high 13 batters. The Toreros also received solid pitching performances from Josh Romanski and Ricardo Pecina, among others. San Diego also had a huge weekend at the plate, as veterans outfielder Shane Buschini and Jordan Abruzzo had a solid weekend and Kevin Hansen also had a huge performance at the plate going 5-for-10 with one double and three RBI. Both Abruzzo and Buschini each registered a home run in the series.
SCOUTING THE LONGHORNS: This will be the opener for the Texas Longhorns, who were picked to finish first in the Big-12 according to the preseason coaches poll. Texas enters the game ranked No. 4 in the Baseball America Preseason top-50 list. Texas holds a 6-3 all-time record against the Toreros, with USD sweeping the Longhorns this past season in San Diego in the season-opening weekend for both teams. Texas returns 20 letter winners from this past season's squad that posted a 41-21 overall record and reached the NCAA Regionals. The Longhorns will look to junior left fielder Carson Kainer to help lead the offense. This past season, he led the team in hitting with a .346 average, had 25 doubles and 84 hits. On the mound, UT will look to Kyle McCulloch to anchor down the rotation. In 2006, McCulloch posted a 6-3 record with a 3.61 ERA. The Longhorns are under the direction of 10th-year head coach Augie Garrido. During his tenure in Austin, Garrido has posted a 432-214-1 overall record.
MATUSZ HAS MASTERFUL PERFORMANCE: Sophomore left-hander Brian Matusz put on a pitching clinic in the season opener this past Friday. Matusz threw six innings, allowing only two hits, one run and posted a career-high 13 strikeouts. The 13 strikeouts in just one shy of the USD single-game record held by Mike Saipe, who had 14 strikeouts against San Francisco on April 11, 1994.
BUSCHINI LOOKING SOLID: Senior outfielder Shane Buschini looked solid this past weekend against Cal Poly. Buschini looks as though he may be returning to the form of two years ago when he led the WCC in hitting en route to a first-team All-WCC selection. In Saturday's win over Cal Poly, Buschini went 2-for-4 with one home run, one double and four RBI.
PECINA HAS SOLID OUTING: Sophomore left-hander Ricardo Pecina had a solid outing on Sunday as he engaged himself in a pitching dual, and won. He picked up his first win of the season after throwing seven scoreless innings, allowing only six hits and striking out three.
TORERO SKIPPER Rich Hill: San Diego's Rich Hill has built the USD Toreros into one of the most successful Division I baseball programs on the West Coast. The 2007 spring season will be Hill's 20th year as a head coach at the collegiate level, and ninth at USD, having enjoyed 16 winning seasons in 19 years. Since taking over at USD in 1999, Hill has been remarkable in leading the Toreros to eight consecutive winning campaigns, rewriting the school record book en route to claiming back-to-back West Coast Conference Championship titles in 2002 and 2003. Under his leadership San Diego has averaged 33 wins per season, including winning a school record 39 games in 2002, a year in which Hill was honored by his peers as the West Coast Conference Coach of the Year. In 2006, Hill led USD to its highest national ranking in program history at No. 8, as well as USD's first-ever at-large berth into the NCAA Regionals.
ABRUZZO SWINGING IT WELL: Senior catcher Jordan Abruzzo had a solid performance at the plate for the Toreros in the season-opening series against Cal Poly. Abruzzo went 3-for-10 with one home run, one double and four RBI. In the season-opener, Abruzzo picked up right where left off at the NCAA Regionals, letting the long ball fly. In the fifth inning of game one, Abruzzo hit a home run over the left field fence, driving in three runs.
GRIFFIN IMPRESSIVE IN DEBUT: Freshman right hander AJ Griffin, the 2006 San Diego Player of the Year, looked impressive on the mound for USD this past weekend. He pitched in all three games, picking up one win and one save. He allowed only one run on two hits. while striking out two in four complete innings of work.
ROMANSKI OFF TO GOOD START: The reigning WCC Freshman of the Year, Josh Romanski, had an impressive start to the 2007 season. In Saturday's win over Cal Poly, Romanski threw five innings only allowing two runs on five hits, while striking out seven.
TOREROS FIELD IT WELL: San Diego not only had a solid week on the offensive side of things, but the defense was near flawless through three games against Cal Poly, as USD only committed three errors for a .975 fielding percentage. The three errors only allowed two unearned runs to cross the plate.
TOREROS RANKED NO. 46 IN PRESEASON POLL: After making their return to the NCAA postseason in 2006, the Toreros have been ranked No. 46 in the Baseball America preseason top-50 poll. This marks the second consecutive season the Toreros have been ranked in a preseason top-50 poll. San Diego plays no fewer than nine teams ranked in the preseason top-50, headlined by a three game stint against No. 4 Texas. USD will head to Round Rock, Texas to take on the Longhorns in the second week of the season on Feb.2-4. The Toreros will then play the University of Southern California in a three game series immediately following their Texas series on Feb. 9-11. San Diego will then play UC Irvine on two separate mid-week games one on Mar. 6 in Irvine, Calif. and the other on May 8 at Cunningham Stadium. USD will then get to face both Michigan and cross-tow rival San Diego State at the SDSU Tournament on Mar. 9-11, then will go to battle with No. 14 Cal State Fullerton in Fullerton on Mar. 14. The Toreros then get to face the UC Riverside Highlanders in San Diego on Apr. 10. Two conference foes also made the list. USD will host No. 19 Pepperdine at Cunningham Stadium on April 27-30, and will take on No. 32 San Francisco the following weekend at home.
HANSEN SWINGING IT WELL: Junior third baseman Kevin Hansen looked impressive this past weekend at the plate. Hansen led the team in hitting going 5-for-10 (.500) with one double and three RBI. Hansen has made the move in from the out field to fill the hole left by the graduation of Ryan Lilly, and USD has not missed beat defensively as Hansen also looked impressive on the defensive side of things.
GELBRICH, MR. CLUTCH: Junior catcher Logan Gelbrich came through big time for the Toreros in Saturday's win over Cal Poly. The junior from Los Angeles, was inserted as a pinch hitter in the bottom of the 10th inning with the bases loaded and one out. Gelbrich proved he had ice running through his veins as he hit a walk-off single to left field to lift USD to the victory. For the weekend, Gelbrich hit .500 (3-for-6) with three RBI.
LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION: All USD home games, as well as select road games, will be streamed live via video on the athletics department website. Fans can watch all the action live from the comfort of their home by logging onto usdtoreros.com. Once on the home page, click the LIVE button on the top right of the page. This is a subscription service that will give you access to live video events of USD athletic teams, coaching interviews and much more. The cost for this service will be $6.95 per month or a yearly subscription can be purchased for $49.95.
RECRUITING CLASS RANKED NO. 6: StudentSportsBaseball.com released their list of the Top 20 college baseball recruiting classes in the country and the University of San Diego checks in at No. 6. San Diego's recruiting class includes two AFLAC All-Americans - outfielder Sequoyah Stonecipher (Mission Bay HS) and right-handed pitcher Kyle Blair (Los Gatos HS). The recruiting class also includes one Team USA member in Victor Sanchez (Gahr HS), four players have earned All-CIF honors and all 10 student-athletes have earned all-league first- or second-team honors on their respective high school teams. This group will report to USD in the fall of 2007.
2007 GAMETRACKER AVAILABLE: All of San Diego's home games, as well as select road games, can be followed via Gametracker on the Toreros athletic web site at www.usdtoreros.com. Gametracker is a service of Online College Sports, the official web provider for San Diego athletics, and is a real time update of the action.