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No. 25 USD Travels to Play No. 30 Cal Poly

Feb. 28, 2006

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WHO, WHAT, WHEN, WHERE: The 25th-ranked University of San Diego Torero baseball team (7-6) will look to snap its five-game losing streak this weekend with a three-game non-conference series against No. 30 Cal Poly. The series will kick-off in San Luis Obispo on Friday with a 6 p.m. game and will continue with 1 p.m. games on both Saturday and Sunday.

TOREROS IN THE RANKINGS: The University of San Diego Baseball team remains in the top-25 for the third consecutive week, falling 10 spots in the Baseball America poll to No. 25 and fell seven spots in the Rosenblatt Report top-25 to No. 25. The Toreros fell out of the Collegiate Baseball top-30 poll.

STILL SOLID ON THE MOUND: Junior right-hander Josh Butler has been a solid presence for the Toreros on the mound allowing only one run on his four outings. Butler is posting a 3-1 record with a ERA of 0.35 striking out 22 batters in the process. Butler opened the season with a 20-inning streak where he did not allow a run, earned or unearned, to cross the plate. This past weekend Butler surrendered his first run of the season in the 1-0 loss to Georgia on Friday.

LAST TIME OUT: The Toreros registered a 0-4 record this past week to run their losing streak to five games. The Toreros opened the week with a midweek game against the Anteaters of UC Irvine, a 10-4 loss. The Toreros were led offensively by Steve Singleton who went 2-for-4 with one RBI and one home run. USD knotted the score at 4-4 in the sixth inning, but UCI reeled off six unanswered runs over the next four innings to pick up the non-conference win. On Friday, the Toreros were on the losing end of a pitchers dual between Josh Butler and Georgia's Brooks Brown. Butler saw his 25 innings scoreless streak come to a halt in the sixth inning. For the game, Butler allowed one run on four hits while striking out five in six innings of work in the 1-0 loss. Saturday again saw a solid pitching performance from the Toreros in freshman left-hander Brian Matusz. Matusz allowed three runs on eight hits, while striking out a season-high 11 in eight innings of work in the 3-1 loss. In Sunday's 9-8 loss to Georgia, the Toreros bats exploded for 13 hits and eight runs. Offensively for USD, five batters recorded two hits on the day with Abruzzo going 2-for-5 with two RBI and two doubles to lead all USD hitters.

SCOUTING THE MUSTANGS: Cal Poly enters the week with a 10-5 overall record after dropping 2-of-3 from Santa Clara University this past weekend. Cal Poly enters the week ranked No. 30 in the latest Collegiate Baseball top-30 poll. The Mustangs are led offensively by Matt Canepa who is hitting .447 with 17 hits, one double, one home run and 10 RBI. On the mound, Cal Poly is led by Bud Norris who is 3-1 with an ERA of 3.38.

SINGLETON'S SMOKING BAT: Junior shortstop Steve Singleton has been one of the most consistant forces for the Toreros at the plate with his team-leading .407 batting average and team-best 22 hits. He has two doubles, two home runs and nine RBI. Singleton had his season-high 11-game hit streak come to an end in this past Sunday's first game.

ABRUZZO GOES FOR TWO: San Diego junior catcher Jordan Abruzzo continues to lead the Toreros in doubles with six. Abruzzo not only leads the Toreros in doubles, but also has a team-leading 11 RBI. Last season Abruzzo was second on the team in doubles with 14 and tied for the team-lead in RBI with 42.

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 2006 spring season will be Hill's 19th year as a head coach at the collegiate level, and eighth at USD, having enjoyed 15 winning seasons in 18 years. Since taking over at USD in 1999, Hill has been remarkable in leading the Toreros to seven 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. Hill became one of the youngest coaches in collegiate history to reach 500 career victories in 2003, taking USD into postseason play for a second consecutive season.

CALL HIM MR. STRIKEOUT: Freshman left-handed pitcher Brian Matusz, a 2005 fourth round selection of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, registered a career-high 11 strikeouts in this past Sunday's first game of a doubleheader. Matusz is posting a team-best 28 strikeouts on the season, just two ahead USD's Friday starter Josh Butler.

ROAD WARRIORS: The San Diego baseball team has played 13 games on the young 2006 season, but only four of these contests have been at the friendly confines of Cunningham Stadium. The Toreros will once again hit the road this week and will not return to Cunningham Stadium for five more games. USD has a three-game series against Cal Poly this weekend, then head to the Pacific Northwest for a two-game series with the University of Washington, before returning home on Mar. 10 to host cross-town rival San Diego State University.

TOREROS SCHEDULE RANKED 10TH TOUGHEST: The San Diego baseball team has the 10th toughest non-conference schedule in the nation, as stated by BoydsWorld.com. The Toreros, who open their 2006 slate with a three-game home stand against the defending national champions, Texas Longhorns, will play eight games against teams that rank in the top-10 for strength of schedule for all games - No. 4 USC (one game), No. 7 Cal State Northridge (two games), No. 8 UC Riverside (two games) and No. 9 Georgia (three games). Besides Texas, USD will face one other team in non-conference play that appear in Baseball America's Top-20, No. 7 Rice (Mar. 14). Other non-conference opponents include UC Davis (three games, Feb. 10-12), Vanderbilt (one game, Feb. 17), Kansas (one game, Feb. 18), UC Irvine (two games, Feb. 21 & Apr. 25), Cal Poly (three games, Mar. 3-5), Washington (two games, Mar. 7-8), San Diego State (four games, Mar. 10-12; May 2nd), Texas Southern (one game, Mar. 15), Houston (three games, Mar. 17-19), and UNLV (three games, Mar. 24-26).

WCC FORMAT CHANGE FOR 2006: The West Coast Conference will change its league baseball format and schedule beginning in 2006. A one-division format will once again be implemented and the eight institutions will compete in a 21-game conference season. This new format is a departure from a two-division format, West and Coast, with a 30-game conference schedule that has been used in the WCC since the beginning of the 1999 season. Under the one-division, 21-game format, each school will play the other seven opponents one time over the course of an eight-week conference season. Each team will play seven three-game series, with one week serving as the bye week. The top two finishing teams will play in the WCC Championship Series with the regular-season champ serving as series' host.

NOTES ON POSITION PLAYERS

Daniel Magness, JR, 1B: Magness is hitting .241 with 11 hits, two doubles and seven RBI. Magness went 2-for-5 with two RBI and one home run in Sunday's loss to Georgia.

Keoni Ruth, JR, 2B: The junior second baseman is hitting .241 with 22 hits, has one double, two home runs and six RBI. Ruth also leads the Toreros in stolen bases going 7-for-7.

Steve Singleton, JR, SS: Singleton is hitting a team-best .407 with a team-leading 17 hits, has two doubles, one home run and nine RBI. Singleton saw his 11-game hit streak come to an end this past Sunday.

Ryan Lilly, SR, 3B: Lilly is hitting .233 with 10 hits, one double, one home run and eight RBI while hitting primarily in the No. 7 spot.

Josh Romanski, FR, LF: The freshman, who also serves as a closer for the Toreros bullpen, is hitting .283 with 13 hits, one home run and five RBI. As a pitcher Romanski has a record of 0-2 and has recorded two saves while posting a 4.76 ERA.

Justin Snyder, SO, CF: Snyder is posting a .306 batting average with 15 hits is second on the team with five doubles and has eight RBI.

Shane Buschini, JR, RF: Buschini is hitting .255 with 13 hits, three doubles, one home run and seven RBI.

Jordan Abruzzo, JR, C: Abruzzo is leading the team in doubles hit with six and has a team-leading 11 RBI. He is second on the team in batting with a .255 batting average. Abruzzo has registered 13 hits, good for third on the team.

2006 GAMETRACKER AVAILABLE: All San Diego baseball home 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. Selected San Diego road games are also available via Gametracker. To see if Gametracker is available for a game go to San Diego Events at the top-right of the home page. If Gametracker is available there will be a Gametracker link.

TOREROS TABBED SECOND IN WCC: The Toreros were tabbed to finish second in the West Coast Conference according to the preseason WCC coaches poll. USD received two first place votes and 42 points, with the Waves of Pepperdine University coming in at 48 points and 6 first place votes. Following USD was San Francisco (34 points), LMU (32 points), Gonzaga (26 points), Santa Clara (18 points), Saint Mary's (16 points) and Portland (8 points). Last season the Toreros finished 30-27-1 overall (16-14 in WCC; 2nd place in Coast Division), marking the seventh straight season with 30 or more victories.