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Trojans Up Next For No. 17 San Diego

Feb. 6, 2007

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IN A NUTSHELL: Fresh off upsetting the Texas Longhorns for the second consecutive season, the 17th-ranked University of San Diego baseball team (5-1) will travel to Los Angeles on Friday to begin a three-game series with the Trojans. First pitch is scheduled for a 7 p.m. start. The Toreros will then play the second game in LA again on Saturday at 1 p.m., before returning to the friendly confines of Cunningham Stadium to close out the series with a 1 p.m. game

LAST TIME OUT: San Diego upset No. 4 Texas by taking two of three games from the Longhorns. USD began the weekend with a 6-5 win over UT, in which sophomore pitcher Brian Matusz put on a masterful performance. He allowed one run on five hits, while striking out eight. At the plate Justin Snyder went 3-for-5 with one home run and one RBI. Both Hansen and Gelbrich went 3-for-4 at the plate and each had a double and Hansen had an RBI. On Saturday, the Longhorns evened the series with a 13-8 win. On Sunday, the Toreros were engaged in a pitching dual through the first six innings, until Texas jumped out to a 1-0 lead. Then in the top of the seventh inning, Jordan Abruzzo gave USD back the lead as he crushed the first offering he saw and hit an upper-deck two-run homer to left field, giving USD a 2-1 lead. Shane Buschini then padded the lead in the ninth with a two-run homer to left field to seal the deal. Matt Couch picked up the win allowing one run on five hits while striking out six in 6.0 innings of work.

SCOUTING THE TROJANS: The Trojans enter the week with a 2-2 overall record after dropping two-of-three to Long Beach State this past week, and will have a single game against Loyola Marymount before playing the Toreros. The USC offense is led by Grant Green, who is hitting .357 with a team-leading five hits, two triples and nine RBI. On the mound, Brad Boxberger leads the way with his 0-1 record and 0.00 ERA after throwing in five complete innings. The Trojans are under the direction of first-year head coach Chad Kreuter, who is only the fourth head coach in the history of the program.

COUCH NAMED WCC PITCHER OF THE WEEK: Junior right-handed pitcher Matt Couch has been named the West Coast Conference Pitcher of the Week after helping lead the University of San Diego baseball team to a series win over the, then-No. 4, Texas Longhorns this past weekend. Couch picked up both a win and a save this past weekend. Couch began his outstanding performance in Friday's win. Couch entered the game in the ninth inning with one out and one runner on third base. Couch got his first batter to ground out, then hit a batter before striking out the final batter with four straight change-ups to claim his first save of the season. Couch then turned in a solid outing on Sunday as he got the nod for the start. Couch picked up his first win of the season as he was engaged in a pitching dual. Couch allowed one run on five hits while striking out six in 6.0 innings of work.

TOREROS LEAP INTO NATIONAL RANKINGS: After stunning the college baseball world, yet again, by taking two-of-three against the Texas Longhorns, the University of San Diego baseball team has leaped back into the top-25 checking in as high as No. 17 in the latest Baseball America top-25 poll and also checking in at No. 18 in the Collegiate Baseball top-30 poll.

ABRUZZO HAS A HUGE WEEKEND: Senior catcher Jordan Abruzzo had a monster week against the Longhorns and was a huge reason USD walked away with a series win. On Sunday, with the Toreros trailing by one, Abruzzo stepped up to the plate and took the first offering he saw, a inside fastball, and launched it into the upper-deck of the stadium in left field, driving in two runs to give USD the win. For the week, Abruzzo went 6-for-13 (.462) with two home runs and six RBI.

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.

HANSEN SWINGING IT WELL: Junior third baseman Kevin Hansen has quietly been a solid force at the plate for the Toreros. This past weekend against Texas, Hansen hit .417 going 5-for-12 with one double and one RBI. Overall, Hansen leads the team in hitting with a .455 batting average, is leading the team in hits with 10, tied for the team lead in doubles with two and has four RBI.

TOREROS PLAYING LONG BALL: The Toreros have been displaying their power hitting in the early part of the season. On the season, USD has already registered eight home runs, including six home runs this past weekend against Texas. Both Shane Buschini and Jordan Abruzzo are leading the team in home runs with three a piece and both Sean Nicol and Justin Snyder also have one home run a piece. In comparison to this past season, USD didn't tally six home runs until the 12th game of the season.

MATUSZ'S PITCHING CLINIC: Sophomore left-hander Brian Matusz has been putting on a pitching clinic through his first two outings. This past weekend, Matusz shut down the Texas Longhorns as he had them baffled. In Friday's win over Texas, Matusz allowed one earned run on five hits in 5.2 innings of work, while striking out eight. In his first outing against Cal Poly in the season opener, he allowed one run on two hits while striking out a career-high 13 in 6.0 innings of work. On the season, Matusz has a 2-0 record with an ERA of 1.54 and a team-best 21 strikeouts.

GRIFFIN CONTINUES TO IMPRESS: Freshman right-hander AJ Griffin has continued to impress all who watch him as he has become a workhorse for the Toreros pitching staff. Griffin has now pitched in five of USD's first six games, working primarily as a closer. He has recorded two saves and one win while throwing in 7.2 innings. This past Sunday, the freshman showed a lot of composure as he was called upon by his team to close out the ninth inning with a three-run lead. Griffin didn't fold as he allowed no runs on no hits to help lift USD to the series win over Texas.

PECINA HAS ANOTHER SOLID OUTING: Sophomore Ricardo Pecina had another solid outing for the Toreros. The left-hander from San Diego, threw two innings of middle relief on Sunday to help lead USD to victory. After Jordan Abruzzo gave the Toreros a 2-1 lead with his monster home run, Pecina was called in from the bullpen in the bottom of the seventh to help protect the one-run lead. Pecina did not disappoint, as was lights out allowing no runs on no hits in 2.0 innings of work. On the season, Pecina is 1-0 with a 0.00 ERA in 9.0 innings of work.

TOREROS ON THE AIR: This weekends games at USC can all be heard live via the internet at www.usdtoreros.com by the voice of the Toreros Jack Murray.

NOTES ON POSITION PLAYERS:

Daniel Magness, SR, 1B - Magness has been a solid force defensively for the Toreros through the first six games as he has committed no fielding errors.

Justin Snyder, JR, 2B - Snyder is off to a good start for the Toreros as he is hitting .308 with eight hits, two doubles one home run and one RBI. Against Texas, Snyder hit .400 with two doubles, one home run and one RBI.

Sean Nicol, SO, SS - Nicol had a solid weekend for the Toreros against Texas as he went 4-for-11 with one home run and two RBI. On the season, Nicol is hitting .200.

Kevin Hansen, JR, 3B - Hansen has been a quite surprise at the plate for the Toreros as he is currently leading the team in hitting with a .455 batting average, is the team's leader in hits with 10, tied for the team-lead in doubles with two and has four RBI.

Mike Metzger, FR, LF - Metzger is hitting .278 on the season with five hits, is tied for the team-lead in doubles with two and has one RBI.

Josh Romanski, SO, CF - Romanski hit .375 this past weekend against Texas, going 3-for-8 at the plate with one double. On the season, Romanski has been splitting time between center field and the mound. Overall, Romanski is hitting .250 with four hits and one double. On the mound, Romanski is 0-1 with an ERA of 6.00

Shane Buschini, SR, RF - Buschini hit a huge two-run homer in Sunday's win over Texas to give USD a three-run cushion heading into the bottom of the ninth inning. On the season, Buschini is tied for the team-lead in home runs with three and is hitting .273 with six hits, two doubles and eight RBI.

Jordan Abruzzo, SR, C - Abruzzo had a huge weekend against Texas as he went 6-for-13 (.462) with two home runs and six RBI, including a two-run homer over the left field fence and into the upper deck if the stadium in Sunday's series clinching win over Texas. That two-run homer was the game-winning hit for the Toreros in the 4-1 decision.

Logan Gelbrich, JR, DH - Gelbrich is the third leading hitter on the team with his .368 batting average. He has seven hits, one double and five RBI as well. Against Texas this past week, Gelbrich went 4-for-13 (.308) with one double and two RBI.