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WCC Baseball Weekly Notes

Feb. 24, 2009

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ALL EIGHT TEAMS CONTINUE NON-CONFERENCE PLAY
The 2009 baseball season got off to a great start last weekend with seven of the eight teams coming away with winning records. Gonzaga (3-1), which swept then No. 10 Missouri, and LMU (3-1) share first place with No. 17 Pepperdine, Portland, Saint Mary's, No. 11 San Diego, and Santa Clara all tied at 2-1. San Francisco sits at 1-3. This week, three teams will participate in tournaments as Gonzaga participates in the HoHoKam Tournament, San Diego hosts the USD Tournament, and Saint Mary's plays in the Sam Houston Baseball Classic.

UPCOMING SCHEDULE

All Times PST

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 24
TEAMS LOCATION
TIME
RECAP
LMU at Cal State Northridge Northridge, CA 2:00 PM
George Fox at Portland Portland, OR 2:00 PM
No. 16 Oklahoma at No. 11 San diego San Diego, CA 2:00 PM
San Jose State at Saint Mary's Moraga, CA
2:00 PM
San Francisco at UC Davis Davis, CA
2:30 PM
Gonzaga at Washington State Pullman, WA
5:30 PM
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 25
TEAMS LOCATION
TIME
RECAP
Long Beach State at LMU Los Angeles, CA 2:00 PM
No. 16 Oklahoma at No. 11 San Diego San Diego, CA 2:00 PM
No. 17 Pepperdine at USC Los Angeles, CA 6:00 PM
California at Santa Clara Santa Clara, CA
6:00 PM
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 26
TEAMS LOCATION
TIME
RECAP
Portland at BYU Provo, UT 2:00 PM
San Francisco at UC Riverside Riverside, CA 3:00 PM
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 27
TEAMS LOCATION
TIME
RECAP
Gonzaga vs. Notre Dame Phoenix, AZ
HoHoKam Tournament
8:00 AM
No. 17 Pepperdine at UC Davis Davis, CA 2:00 PM
Portland at BYU Provo, UT 2:00 PM
Pacific at No. 11 San Diego San Diego, CA
USD Tournament
2:00 PM
Saint Mary's at Sam Houston State Huntsville, TX
Sam Houston Baseball Classic
5:00 PM
San Francisco at UC Riverside Riverside, CA 6:00 PM
Santa Clara at San Jose State San Jose, CA 6:00 PM
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 28
TEAMS LOCATION
TIME
RECAP
Saint Mary's vs. Missouri State Huntsville, TX
Sam Houston Baseball Classic
8:00 AM
Kansas State at No. 11 San Diego San Diego, CA
USD Tournament
10:00 AM
Holy Cross at LMU Los Angeles, CA (DH) 11:00 AM, TBA
Saint Mary's vs. Nebraska Huntsville, TX
Sam Houston Baseball Classic
11:00 AM
Portland at BYU Provo, UT 12:00 PM
Gonzaga vs. Creighton Phoenix, AZ
HoHoKam Tournament
1:00 PM
No. 17 Pepperdine at UC Davis Davis, CA 1:00 PM
San Jose State at Santa Clara Santa Clara, CA 1:00 PM
Nevada at San Diego San Diego, CA
USD Tournament
2:00 PM
San Francisco at UC Riverside Riverside, CA 2:00 PM
SUNDAY, MARCH 1
TEAMS LOCATION
TIME
RECAP
Saint Mary's at Sam Houston State Huntsville, TX
Sam Houston Baseball Classic
8:00 AM
Nevada at No. 11 San Diego San Diego, CA
USD Tournament
11:00 AM
Gonzaga vs. Dayton Phoenix, AZ
HoHoKam Tournament
1:00 PM
Holy Cross at LMU Los Angeles, CA 1:00 PM
No. 17 Pepperdine at UC Davis Davis, CA 1:00 PM
San Francisco at UC Riverside Riverside, CA 1:00 PM
Santa Clara at San Jose State San Jose, CA 1:00 PM

AROUND THE WCC
WCC Player of the Week: Tyson Van Winkle, GON
Van Winkle earns his first career WCC weekly accolade after going 9-for-18 (.500) with four doubles, one home run, nine RBI, five runs scored and a .889 slugging percentage in the Zags' four games over the weekend. He recorded two three-hit games over the weekend, the first came in the 9-3 win over #10 University of Missouri and the second in the 14-2 win over the University of Nevada both on Saturday.

Also Nominated: Ryan Wheeler, LMU; Kevin Muno, USD; Tommy Medica, SCU

WCC Pitchers of the Week: Cody Martin, GON/Nate Garcia, SCU
Martin limited #10 Missouri to one earned run on three hits and struck out six over seven innings to earn the win on Saturday. The Dos Palos, Calif. native held the Tiger offense in check throughout the day, retiring five of the seven lead-off batters of an inning he faced and not allowing a hit until the fourth inning. It's the second career WCC Player of the Week award for Martin.

Garcia led the Broncos to a 3-0 shutout over Xavier in the 2009 season opener. He tossed 7.0 innings and struck out eight batters. The 6-foot-1 righty allowed no runs and just three Musketeer hits. With the win, Santa Clara head coach Mark O'Brien earned his 200th career victory.

Also Nominated: Sammy Solis, USD; Alex Gillingham, LMU

WCC Teams Garner Preseason Rankings
San Diego and Pepperdine were each listed among the nation's elite in numerous rankings heading into the 2009 campaign. The Waves were ranked No. 8 and the Toreros checked in at No. 15 in the Rivals.com rankings. The Toreros came in at No. 11, while the Waves finished 17th by Baseball America. The USA Today/ESPN poll had the Toreros at No. 15, while the Waves came in at No. 21. The Toreros finished 18th in the NCBWA poll, while the Waves were ranked No. 21.

San Diego
Baseball America - No. 11
USA TODAY/ESPN - No. 15
Rivals.com - No. 15
Collegiate Baseball - No. 17
Pingbaseball.com - No. 17
NCBWA - No. 18

Pepperdine
Rivals.com - No. 8
Pingbaseball.com - No. 12
Baseball America - No. 17
USA TODAY/ESPN - No. 21
NCBWA - No. 21
Collegiate Baseball - No. 23

WCC's Preseason All-Americans
Seven WCC standouts were tabbed for 2009 preseason All-American honors, with two earning first team recognition. San Diego's AJ Griffin earned first team honors by the NCBWA and third team honors by Collegiate Baseball, while teammate Victor Sanchez earned third team honors by Baseball America. Joining Griffin with first team honors is Pepperdine's Bryce Mendonca, who was recognized by Collegiate Baseball. Also recognized by Collegiate Baseball were Santa Clara's Thain Simon with second team honors and Tommy Medica with third team honors. Joining Medica on the third team were Pepperdine's Nick Gaudi and Saint Mary's Kyle Jensen.

Four WCC Hurlers Named To Stopper Of The Year Watch List
Four WCC pitchers were among the 40 players named to the initial watch list for the fourth annual National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) Stopper of the Year Award, the association announced Tuesday. Gonzaga RHP Cody Martin, Pepperdine RHP Nick Gaudi, San Diego RHP AJ Griffin, and Santa Clara right hander Thain Simon were each named to the preseason watch list for the award, which is presented to the top relief pitcher in NCAA Division I baseball. The West Coast Conference enjoyed the second highest amount of players from any conference to be named to the list, following the ACC with nine. The Big 12 also placed four, while the SEC and Pac-10 had three each.

WCC Standouts Named To Wallace Award Watch List
Eight WCC players headline the 2009 Brooks Wallace Player of the Year Watch List. The Wallace Award is presented annually to the nation's top collegiate baseball player in conjunction with the College Baseball Hall of Fame induction ceremonies. The 2009 award banquet will be at 7 p.m., Thursday, July 2, in the United Spirit Arena on the campus of Texas Tech University.

San Diego led the way with junior All-American closer AJ Griffin along with sophomore right-hander Kyle Blair and sophomore lefty Sammy Solis. Also on the list from the WCC were senior Ryan Wheeler of Loyola Marymount, sophomore Riley Henricks of Portland, sophomore Thain Simon of Santa Clara, junior Kyle Jensen of Saint Mary's, and sophomore Matt Lujan of San Francisco.

Player, School              2008 Key StatsKyle Blair, USD             3.86 ERA, 99 SOA.J. Griffin, USD           2.15 ERA, 14 SVRiley Henricks, POR         .301, 69 hits, 8 HRKyle Jensen, SMC            .421, 82 hits, 13 HRMatt Lujan, USF             3.19 ERA, 7 winsThain Simon, SCU            2.59 ERA, 9 winsSammy Solis, USD            3.83 ERA, 42 SORyan Wheeler, LMU           .345, 70 hits, 20 2B

LMU Names Jason Gill Head Coach
Jason Gill begins his first year at the helm of the LMU baseball program after serving as an assistant coach for the Lions in 1999 and 2000. Gill, who has spent the last four years working under head coach George Horton at Oregon and Cal State Fullerton, returns to the bluff to become the seventh head coach of the Lions' program. Overall, Coach Gill has been to Omaha four times as a player and a coach, to the postseason a total of nine times, coached four Conference Players of the Year, and has seen 14 of his student-athletes make the Major Leagues.

San Diego and Pepperdine Picked To Finish First In 2009 WCC Preseason Poll
San Diego and Pepperdine were chosen to finish as West Coast Conference champions in the 2009 preseason baseball poll, as selected by conference coaches. The Toreros, who have been ranked as high as No. 11 in the national preseason polls, received the same amount of points as Pepperdine, but garnered one more first place vote. San Diego is coming off the most successful season in program history, as the Toreros compiled a 44-17 overall record en route to the WCC crown in 2008. Pepperdine earned three first place votes and was picked second with 45 overall points, while Santa Clara checked in at No. 3 in the poll with 32 points. Gonzaga nabbed the last first place vote, receiving 30 points to come in at No. 4. San Francisco, off a fourth place finish from last year, was picked to finish No. 5, with 26 points. LMU, under first year Head Coach Jason Gill, is expected to finish sixth, with 20 points. Saint Mary's and Portland round out this year's preseason poll, earning 14 and nine points respectively.

WCC Baseball Preseason Poll
1. San Diego - 45 (4)
Pepperdine - 45 (3)
3. Santa Clara - 35
4. Gonzaga - 30 (1)
5. San Francisco - 26
6. LMU - 20
7. Saint Mary's - 14
8. Portland - 9
(first place votes)


WCC TEAM NOTES

SCHOOL TEAM NOTES

Overall Record: 3-1
WCC Record: 0-0
  • Gonzaga split a two-game series with Nevada, before sweeping a two game series with then No.10 Missouri at the Grand Canyon Tournament. With two wins over No. 10 Missouri, Gonzaga is receiving votes in the last NCBWA poll.

  • JR C Tyson Van Winkle had a monster opening weekend batting 9-18 (.500), scoring five runs, hitting four doubles, and had nine RBI's over the four games en route to the season's first WCC Player of the Week award.

  • In the first win over Missouri, SO RHP Cody Martin pitched seven innings and allowed just three hits and one earned run, striking out six hitters en route to sharing the season's first WCC Pitcher of the Week award.

  • Gonzaga goes to Washington State (2/24), before playing at the HohoKam Tournament, where it will face Notre Dame (2/27), Creighton (2/28), and Dayton (3/1).
  • Overall Record: 3-1
    WCC Record: 0-0
  • Loyola Marymount started the season capturing three of four at home against Utah.

  • JR INF Ryan Wheeler batted .500 over the four-game series, going 6-for-12 with seven runs scored, two doubles, a triple and three RBI.

  • In Saturday's win, FR RHP Alex Gillingham dealt seven innings and allowed just three hits and one run while striking out 10 batters in his debut as a Lion. He also retired seven consecutive hitters on two occasions to get the win.

  • SR INF Kyle Spraker had three hits, including a walk-off single in the bottom of the 11th inning, to lead the Lions to victory in game one of the series.

  • The Lions play at Cal State Northridge (2/24) before hosting Long Beach State (2/25) and a three game series with Holy Cross (2/28-3/1).
  • Overall Record: 2-1
    WCC Record: 0-0
  • The Waves went 2-1 in a three-game series with Cal State Northridge, taking the two at home, before losing on the road.

  • The Waves had quite an opening day, receiving back-to-back home runs from SR OF Nate Simon and SR INF Denny Duron in the bottom of the ninth for the walk-off victory. SR RHP Nate Newman allowed just three hits in his eight innings.

  • Simon came through in the clutch yet again for the Waves in the third game of the series with a two-out home run in the bottom of the 10th inning for the walk-off victory. It was his third home run of the season. SR RHP Nick Gaudi pitched the last three innings, striking out four batters for the win.

  • Pepperdine travels to play USC (2/25), before heading on the road for a three-game series with UC Davis (2/27-3/1).
  • Overall Record: 2-1
    WCC Record: 0-0
  • The Pilots went 2-1 in a three-game homestand against Utah Valley to open the season.

  • In the season opener Portland got home runs from FR INF Kris Kaupilla and SR INF Chase Powell to secure the victory. SR RHP Mark Triolo dealt six innings, striking out nine batters for the win.

  • SO LHP Scott Burris tossed in seven innings in the second victory, allowing just three hits and one unearned run for the win.

  • The Pilots had 10 hits that resulted in seven runs in the rubber match of the series.

  • The Pilots host George Fox (2/24) before going to BYU (2/26-28) for a three-game series.
  • Overall Record: 2-1
    WCC Record: 0-0
  • The Gaels went 2-1 in what was supposed to be a four-game series with Oregon, before cancelling the last game due to weather.

  • JR 1B Anthony Aliotti (2-3), FR DH Troy Channing (2-4), and FR SS Chris Murphy (2-3) all hit .500 or better in the first win of the series. JR RHP Scott Schneider tossed in seven innings, allowing three earned runs with six strikeouts.

  • SR CF Ryan Young, SO 3B Greg Ditmer, and SO LF Justin Fazio all had two hits to lead the Gaels in the second win over the Ducks. The Gaels recorded 10 hits in the victory. SO RHP Taylor Reid pitched 7.1 innings, allowing two runs to earn the win.

  • Saint Mary's hosts San Jose State (2/24) before traveling to play at the Sam Houston Baseball Classic, where it will play a two game series with host Sam Houston (2/27-3/1) and a game against Nebraska (2/28).
  • Overall Record: 2-1
    WCC Record: 0-0
  • San Diego went 2-1 over the weekend at the MLB Urban Youth Tournament defeating Southern University and Bethune Cookman, before falling to San Diego State.

  • In the win over Southern University, SO LHP Sammy Solis dominated, pitching six innings, allowing just one run on four hits, with nine strikeouts to earn the win. AJ Griffin tossed in two and a thirds innings, striking out four with just one hit to register the save.

  • In the win over Bethune Cookman, JR CF Kevin Muno led the way for the Toreros, going 3-for-5, scoring three runs. JR RHP Matt Thompson tossed in four innings, allowing just one hit with six strikeouts for the save.

  • The Toreros host a two-game series against No. 16 Oklahoma (2/24-25) before hosting the USD Tournament, where they will face Pacific (2/27), Kansas State (2/28), and Nevada (3/1).
  • Overall Record: 1-3
    WCC Record: 0-0
  • San Francisco went 1-3 on the road in a four-game series against the University of Texas-San Antonio.

  • In the victory over UTSA, San Francisco registered 14 hits, with nine players nabbing at least one each. The Dons scored 13 runs, with four players batting in two runs each.

  • In the fourth game of the series, the Dons collected 10 hits, with eight players registering at least one, led by SR LF Zach Kim and SO 1B Stephen Yarrow, who had two each.

  • The Dons currently rank third in the league in runs scored (24), hits (36), and RBI's (22).

  • San Francisco is on the road this week, playing at UC Davis (2/24), before heading over to UC Riverside for a four-game series (2/26-3/1).
  • Overall Record: 2-1
    WCC Record: 0-0
  • The Broncos went 2-1 at the NC State Tournament, defeating Xavier and Rhode Island, before falling to host NC State.

  • JR RHP Nate Garcia tossed in the only shut out of opening weekend in the win over Xavier. He pitched in seven no-run innings, allowing just three hits while striking out eight batters on his way to sharing the season's first WCC Pitcher of the Week Award.

  • JR C Geoff Klein went 2-for-4 in the win over Xavier, including a three-run double in the bottom of the seventh inning to score the only runs of the game. In the win over Rhode Island, SR CF Matt Long went 4-for-6, batting three runs in.

  • The Broncos host California (2/25) before playing a three-game series with Bay Area rival San Jose State (2/27-3/1).