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Toreros Return Home to Play VCU in Four-Game Set

Feb. 13, 2007

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IN A NUTSHELL: The 18th-ranked University of San Diego baseball team (6-3) will host Virginia Commonwealth University (0-0) in a four-game series this week inside the friendly confines of Cunningham Stadium. Thursday's and Friday's games will begin at 2 p.m. and both Saturday's and Sunday's games will begin at 1 p.m.

SCOUTING THE RAMS: The Rams have yet to play a game in the 2007 season as their season-opener against in-state rival Longwood University was cancelled due to inclement weather. With seven of eight position players returning from a squad that finished 34-24 in the 2006 season, the Virginia Commonwealth University baseball team was selected as the preseason favorite to win the Colonial Athletic Association. The Rams will look to Sergio Miranda to help lead the offense. This past season he collected a school record 100 hits while finishing with a .400 batting average and driving in 40 runs. On the mound, senior John Leonard leads the charge. In 2006, he finished the season with seven wins, had an ERA of 3.61 and struck out 91 batters in 96 innings of work.

MATUSZ NAMED NATIONAL PITCHER OF THE WEEK: The University of San Diego sophomore left-hander Brian Matusz has been named the National Pitcher of the Week by Collegiate Baseball. This is the first time Matusz has been named the national Pitcher of the Week. Matusz continued his impressive start to the season on Friday. He allowed two runs, one earned, on three hits, while tying a career-high 13 strikeouts in 6.0 innings of work as USD's starter in a no decision. Matusz now has 34 strikeouts on the season. The 13 strikeouts ties him for second in single-game strikeouts at USD, and places him just one shy of the school record of 14 held by Mike Saipe.

SNYDER NAMED WCC PLAYER OF THE WEEK: The University of San Diego's junior second baseman Justin Snyder has been tabbed as the West Coast Conference Player of the Week after an impressive weekend against the University of Southern California this past week. Snyder had the best offensive production at the plate for the Toreros this past weekend against the Trojans. Snyder went 9-for-14 (.643) with one RBI and two runs scored. In Saturday's win over the Trojans, Snyder went 5-for-6, just one hit away from setting a new USD single-game record. In Sunday's 10 inning loss, Snyder was again solid at the plate as he went 3-for-5 with one run scored. On the season, Snyder is the team's best hitter with a .425 batting average, has a team-leading 17 hits, has two doubles, one home run and three RBI.

TORERO BATS EXPLODE IN SATURDAY'S WIN: On Saturday, the Toreros bats exploded as they recorded a season-high 20 hits in picking up a 12-6 win. Justin Snyder went 5-for-6, with one RBI, Shane Buschini went 3-for-5 with two runs scored and Mike Metzger went 2-for-4 with two runs scored to help lead the Torero offense. Sean Nicol, Jordan Abruzzo Logan Gelbrich and James Meador all recorded multiple hits as all batters USD sent to the plate recorded at least one hit.

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.

THE POLLS: The University of San Diego baseball team remains in the top-25 despite dropping 2-of-3 to the University of Southern California this past weekend. The Toreros drop one spot in the latest Baseball America top-25 poll to No. 18 and drop four spots in the latest Collegiate Baseball top-30 poll to No. 22. This marks the second consecutive week that the Toreros have appeared in the national polls. Virginia Commonwealth is not ranked in any of the polls.

MATUSZ'S PITCHING CLINIC CONTINUES: Sophomore left-hander Brian Matusz has been continued to put on a pitching clinic in the early part of the season, proving why he was selected as a preseason thrid-team All-American by Baseball America. In Friday's loss to the Trojans, Matusz threw six innings allowing two runs, one earned, on three hits, while striking out 13 batters. On the season, Matusz has now twice recorded 13 strikeouts in an outing and 34 strikeouts total through three games.

GRIFFIN PICKS UP THE WIN: Freshman right-hander AJ Griffin came in for relief of Josh Romanski this past Saturday and picked up his second win of the season. He threw 5.0 innings, allowing two runs on five hits, while striking out five. Griffin has now seen action in six of the first nine games and has a 2-0 record, a team-leading two saves and an ERA of 4.26 in 12.2 innings of work.

GELBRICH PRODUCING SOLID NUMBERS: Junior catcher Logan Gelbrich has been one of the most consistent forces at the plate for the Toreros this season. This past weekend, he went 5-for-13 with one double, one home run and three RBI. Gelbrich's first home run of the season came in Sunday's loss to the Trojans. In the eighth inning, USD was trailing 3-0, then Gelbrich launched a two-run blast over the left field fence to get the Toreros right back in the game. On the season, Gelbrich is the team's second leading hitter with a .375 batting average, has 12 hits, two doubles, one home run and eight RBI.

ABRUZZO CONTINUES HOT START: Senior catcher Jordan Abruzzo continues his hot start at the plate for the Toreros. This past weekend, Abruzzo went 5-for-15 (.333) with two doubles, three RBI and two runs scored. Abruzzo was huge in Sunday's game, as in the bottom of the ninth inning, USD was trailing 3-2 with one runner on. Abruzzo launched a double deep into center field to even the score and force extra innings. On the season, Abruzzo is hitting .368 with 14 hits, a team-leading three doubles, is tied for the team-lead in home runs with three and has a team-best 13 RBI.

NOTES ON POSITION PLAYERS

Daniel Magness, SR, 1B - Magness has been a solid force defensively for the Toreros through the first nine games as he has committed no fielding errors. Magness is hitting .160 with four hits and three RBI.

Justin Snyder, JR, 2B - Snyder had another solid weekend as he went 9-for-14 (.643) with one RBI and two runs scored to lead the USD offense. On the season, he is leading the team in hitting with a .425 average and a team-best 17 hits.

Sean Nicol, SO, SS - Nicol went 4-for-12 (.333) at the plate this past weekend. On the season, Nicol is hitting .250 with eight hits, two home runs and four RBI.

Kevin Hansen, JR, 3B - Hansen is the third leading hitter on the team with a .371 batting average, has 13 hits, two doubles and five RBI.

Mike Metzger, FR, LF - Metzger has moved his batting average up to .308 after going 3-for-8 this past weekend. On the season, he has eight hits, two doubles and one RBI.

Josh Romanski, SO, CF - Romanski is a valuable two-way player for the Toreros. On the mound, Romanski has been serving as the Saturday starter and is posting a 6.92 ERA with a 0-1 record. At the plate, Romanski is hitting .208 with five hits, and one double.

Shane Buschini, SR, RF - Buschini has moved his batting average up to .294 after a solid weekend that saw him go 4-for-12 (.333) including a 3-for-5 performance in Saturday's win over USC.

Logan Gelbrich, JR, C - Gelbrich is the second leading hitter on the team with a .375 batting average, has 12 hits, two doubles and one home run. This past weekend Gelbrich went 5-for-13 with one double, one home run and three RBI.

Jordan Abruzzo, SR, DH - Abruzzo went 5-for-15 with two doubles and three RBI over this past weekend. On the season, Abruzzo is tied for the team-lead in home runs with three and leads the team in RBI with 13.

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.