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WCC Baseball Weekly Notes

Feb. 27, 2007

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WCC/Rawlings Player of the Week
Joel Staples, Saint Mary's

Joel Staples led Saint Mary's to a perfect 3-0 record last week, including a win over then-No. 9 ranked Oregon State at the River City Classic in Sacramento on Saturday. The sophomore batted .438 (7-for-16) on the week, with a home run and nine RBI. He added a triple, double, and 13 total bases as the Gaels stretched their winning streak to six games. Staples was a home run shy of the cycle in Tuesday's win at Nevada, and drove in a pair of runs in Saturday's 4-1 victory over the Beavers.

WCC/Rawlings Pitcher of the Week
Brian Matusz, San Diego

Brian Matusz continued his mastery of opposing lineups, pitching the Toreros to a 2-0 series opening win over Wake Forest on Friday. The sophomore was nearly untouchable, surrendering just one hit and fanning 10 Demon Deacon batters in just seven innings of work. The performance marked the third straight game with at least 10 strikeouts for the sophomore, and fourth game in five outings this season with double-digit strikeouts.

Upcoming Games

Feb. 27
UC Irvine at Pepperdine - 2:00 PM
Saint Mary's at Sacramento State - 2:00 PM
Portland at Washington - 3:00 PM
San Diego at UC Riverside - 5:00 PM
LMU at USC - 6:00 PM
Fresno State at Santa Clara - 6:00 PM

Feb. 28
Linfield at Portland - 2:00 PM

Mar. 1
Gonzaga vs. Air Force^ - 11:00 AM

Mar. 2
Gonzaga vs. Utah Valley State^ - 11:00 AM
Pepperdine at East Carolina# - 2:00 PM
Portland at UC Davis - 2:00 PM
LMU at Cal Poly - 6:00 PM
San Diego at Fresno State - 6:00 PM
Santa Clara at San Jose State - 6:00 PM
San Francisco vs. Baylor$ - 6:30 PM

Mar. 3
Pepperdine vs. Western Carolina# - 8:00 AM
Columbia at Saint Mary's - 11:00 AM
San Francisco vs. San Diego State$ - 11:00 AM
LMU at Cal Poly - 1:00 PM
Portland at UC Davis - 1:00 PM
San Diego at Fresno State - 1:00 PM
San Jose State at Santa Clara - 1:00 PM
Gonzaga vs. Southern Utah^ - 4:00 PM
Columbia at Saint Mary's - TBA

Mar. 4
Pepperdine vs. North Carolina State# - 8:00 AM
Columbia at Saint Mary's - 11:00 AM
LMU at Cal Poly - 1:00 PM
Portland at UC Davis - 1:00 PM
San Diego at Fresno State - 1:00 PM
Santa Clara at San Jose State - 1:00 PM
Gonzaga at Lewis-Clark State^ - 2:00 PM
San Francisco at Pacific$ - 2:00 PM
Columbia at Saint Mary's - TBA

1 Banana Belt Tournament (Lewiston, ID); 2 Keith LeClair Classic (Greenville, NC); 3 Pacific Tournament (Stockton, CA)

Around The WCC

WCC Schedules Among Nation's Toughest
West Coast Conference teams will face some of the toughest schedules in the nation according to the strength of schedule (SOS) listing provided by Boydsworld.com. Six WCC teams rank among the top-28 toughest schedules in Division I, and all eight conference squads rank among the top-64. Portland leads the way, playing the 15th strongest schedule in the nation, and is followed closely by San Diego at No. 16 and Pepperdine at No. 19. LMU checks in at No. 21 in the listing, followed by Santa Clara at No. 24 and San Francisco at No. 28. Gonzaga and Saint Mary's round out the WCC teams in the SOS rankings at No. 52 and No. 64, respectively. In terms of non-conference strength of schedule, half of the conference teams rank among the top-15. San Diego will play the seventh toughest non-conference slate, while Pepperdine's out of conference schedule is ranked No. 10 and Portland's checks in at No. 12. LMU's non-conference slate is listed at No. 15 in the SOS listing. Strength of Schedule is formulated by averaging the Iterative Strength Rating (ISR) of a given team's opponents for the season.

San Diego's Brian Matusz Garners National Honors Again
Torero left-hander Brian Matusz was tabbed for national Pitcher of the Week honors by the NCBWA and by Collegiate Baseball for the second time this season following his dominating performance in a 2-0 win over Wake Forest on Friday. The sophomore struck out 10 batters and allowed just one hit in seven innings of work. He moved his season strikeout total to 54 so far this year, the highest in the nation according to Boydsworld.com. Matusz has posted three consecutive games of double-digit strikeouts, and improved to 3-0 with the win over the Demon Deacons. He also earned Collegiate Baseball Pitcher of the Week honors after striking out 13 batters against USC on February 9.

WCC Team Notes

Gonzaga Bulldogs (5-8 / 0-0 WCC)
- Gonzaga posted an impressive showing at the Dallas Baptist Tournament, recording wins over Texas-Arlington and the host Patriots before topping Missouri State in a non-conference contest on Sunday.

- Mark Castellitto remained hot at the plate, going 7-for-14 (.500), with three doubles, a triple, four runs scored and seven RBI over the weekend. Included in his tear was a 4-for-5 performance against UT-Arlington in which he set a GU program record with three doubles.

- CJ McClure was solid out of the Bullpen for the Zags over the weekend, posting a 2-0 record with both wins coming in relief. McClure earned the decision against UT-Arlington with two innings of scoreless relief, and tossed three scoreless innings in Sunday's win over Missouri State.

- GU travels to the Banana Belt Tournament in Lewiston, ID this weekend where they will meet Air Force (3/1), Utah Valley State (3/2), Southern Utah (3/2) and Lewis-Clark State (3/4).

LMU Lions (4-10-1 / 0-0 WCC)
- The Lions snapped a six-game skid with a 6-5 win over San Jose State in 12 innings on Saturday before falling to the Spartans in Sunday's series finale, 15-7.

- LMU came back from a 5-0 deficit to claim the victory in extra frames on Saturday. Andy Beal earned his first win of the season, coming on in relief to toss five scoreless innings and improve to 1-1 on the season. The victory also marked the 10th career win for the junior.

- Taylor Shoop provided the heroics in Saturday's win, driving in Angelo Songco with a game-winning single in the 12th inning. Songco, who led off the inning with a double, capped off a 3-for-5 performance with the game-winning run.

- LMU makes the short trip to play USC (2/27) on Tuesday before heading north for a three-game set at Cal Poly.

Pepperdine Waves (10-3 / 0-0 WCC)
=- Pepperdine improved to improved to 10-3 on the season with a three-game sweep of visiting Fresno State over the weekend. The Waves are 9-1 at Eddy D. Field Stadium so far this season.

- Barry Enright tossed a complete-game shutout in Friday's 4-0 win over the Bulldogs, striking out three and allowing just three hits. The junior improved his record to 4-0 on the season, and lowered his ERA to 0.59.

- Danny Worth moved into a tie for 10th on the Pepperdine chart with his 46th career double over the weekend.

- The Waves host UC Irvine (2/27) before heading to Greenville, NC for the Keith LeClair Classic. Pepperdine will meet host East Carolina (3/2), Western Carolina (3/3), and North Carolina State (3/4) this weekend.

Portland Pilots (3-3 / 0-0 WCC)
- After taking back-to-back games from Concordia last week, the Pilots' contest against Pacific (Ore.) was rained out on Saturday and has been rescheduled for March 7.

- Danny Meier struck out eight batters in 7.1 innings to earn his first win in last Tuesday's 5-2 victory over Concordia.

- Josh Roberts improved to 2-0 on the season after being credited with the victory in Wednesday's 4-3 win over the Cavaliers. Roberts moved into second place on the Portland list with his 71st career appearance in the win.

- Portland travels to Washington (2/27) and hosts Linfield (2/28) in mid-week tilts before traveling to UC Davis for a three-game series this weekend. UP will play nine of its next 11 games on road.

Saint Mary's Gaels (9-8 / 0-0 WCC)
- Saint Mary's extended its winning streak to six games with three victories last week, as the Gaels defeated Nevada before knocking off then-No. 9 Oregon State and host Sacramento State at the River City Classic on Saturday.

- Sean Gleason improved to 3-2 on the season, working six innings and surrendering just one run in Saturday's 4-1 win over the defending national champions. The junior struck out three and scattered eight hits to earn the decision.

- Taylor Stanton was solid out of the bullpen once again for the Gaels, earning his team-high third save of the season after surrendering just one hit in three scoreless innings against the Beavers.

- The Gaels travel to Sacramento State (2/27) before hosting Columbia for four games at The Guisto this weekend.

San Diego Toreros (11-5 / 0-0 WCC)
- San Diego continued to roll along, taking two-of-three from Wake Forest at Cunningham Stadium over the weekend. USD has won four of its last five games, and has gone 8-3 at home so far this season.

- Brian Matusz continued to blow through opposing lineups, striking out 10 batters in just seven innings of work to record the victory in Friday's 2-0 win. Matusz was tabbed for national Player of the Week recognition by both Collegiate Baseball and the NCBWA following his effort.

- Josh Romanski excelled at the plate and on the mound over the weekend, helping the Toreros to a series win by going 5-for-7 (.714) with a pair of runs scored against Wake Forest. The sophomore took the hill on Sunday, striking out a season-high seven batters in six innings.

- The Toreros face UC Riverside (2/27) before heading to Fresno State for three games this weekend.

San Francisco Dons (7-5 / 0-0 WCC)
- San Francisco posted a pair of shutout victories at the River City Classic over the weekend, handing Sacramento State a 9-0 defeat on Friday before knocking off UC Davis on Saturday, 8-0.

- Aaron Poreda enjoyed a solid outing in Friday's win over the Hornets, working eight innings in the shutout victory and striking out seven Sacramento State batters to improve to 2-1 on the season.

- Eight different Dons collected hits during Friday's win, with Joey Railey and Lucas DeLong leading the way with two hits apiece. DeLong and Alex Massari each drove in a pair of runs in the victory.

- The Dons head to Stockton for the Pacific Tournament this weekend where they will meet No. 29 Baylor (3/2), San Diego State (3/3) and the host Tigers (3/4).

Santa Clara Broncos (8-9 / 0-0 WCC)
- Santa Clara notched a 6-4 win over Utah last week before dropping two-of-three to Cal Poly at Schott Stadium over the weekend.

- Gabe Alcantar swung the bat incredibly well last week, going 6-for-12 (.500) with two runs scored and four RBI during the weekend set against Cal Poly. In Friday's 8-3 win over the Mustangs, Alcantar went a perfect 4-for-4 at the plate with a pair of runs scored and three RBI on the evening.

- Steve Kalush nailed down his first save of the season in Friday's victory, tossing four innings of scoreless relief and allowing just one hit.

- The Broncos will host Fresno State (2/27) before meeting crosstown rival San Jose State for three games this weekend. SCU will take on the Spartans on the road on Friday and Sunday, and will host Saturday's contest.