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Toreros Head to Seattle, then Host Cross-Town Rival SDSU

March 6, 2006

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WHO, WHAT, WHEN, WHERE: The University of San Diego Torero baseball team (8-8) will travel to the Pacific Northwest for a two-game set with the Huskies of the University of Washington (12-4) on Tuesday and Wednesday. Tuesday's game is set for a 7 p.m. start and Wednesday's game is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. USD will then play a three-game series with cross-town rival San Diego State University (6-11) this weekend. Friday's game will be at Cunningham Stadium with a 2 p.m. start, Saturday's contest is scheduled for a 6 p.m. start at Tony Gwynn Stadium on the campus of SDSU, and Sunday's game will be at Cunningham Stadium at 1 p.m.

LAST TIME OUT: The Toreros posted a 1-2 record against Cal Poly this past weekend, dropping the first game on Friday 4-0, followed by a 8-6 loss on Saturday, before the Toreros snapped their seven-game losing streak on Sunday with a 5-4 win. On Friday, the Toreros tied a season-low in hits with three, while Josh Butler, who came into the game allowing only one run on the season, allowed four runs, three earned, on six hits in 5.2 innings of work. On Saturday, USD received a solid performance from on the mound from freshman Brian Matusz who allowed four runs on five hits while striking out seven in 6.0 innings of work. Offensively for the Toreros Jordan Abruzzo went 3-for-5 with one RBI and Keoni Ruth went 3-for-4 with one RBI to lead the Toreros offense. On Sunday, USD returned to their winning ways with a 5-4 win. USD jumped out to the early lead in the second inning scoring three runs on four hits. Cal Poly would even the score in the sixth inning, but USD put up two runs in the eighth inning to pull ahead for good. Logan Gelbrich led the offensive charge for USD going 2-for-2 with one RBI.

TOREROS ON THE AIR: This weekend's games against cross-town rival San Diego State University can be heard live via the internet at www.usdtoreros.com by the voice of the Toreros Jack Murray. There will also be select games throughout the remainder of the 2006 season that can be heard on usdtoreros.com, simply check the web site's baseball schedule page and look for the listen links that will appear in the right column of the page next to the particular game/series.

SCOUTING THE HUSKIES: The University of Washington enters the week with a 12-4 overall record after posting a 3-2 record at the Rainbow Baseball Tournament in Hawaii. The Huskies are led offensively by Matt Hague who is hitting a team-leading .364 with a team-best 25 hits, has two doubles, one triple and 13 RBI. On the mound Washington is led by Elliott Cribby who has a 2-1 overall record with an ERA of 2.41. The Huskies are under the direction of Ken Knuston who is in his 15th-season at the helm of the Huskies program. During his tenure he has posted a 461-295-2 record.

SCOUTING THE AZTECS: The San Diego State Aztecs enter the week with a 6-11 overall record after registering a 2-1 record this past weekend against 12th-ranked Pepperdine University. The Aztecs are led offensively by Paul Smyth who is hitting a team-best .424 with a team-leading 28 hits, six doubles, 15 RBI, has two triples and is tied for the team-lead in home runs with three. On the mound for SDSU Justin Masterson leads the way with a 3.53 ERA and a record of 2-2. San Diego State is under the direction of fourth-year coach Tony Gwynn, who has posted a 90-96 overall record during his tenure at his alma mater.

HOME SWEET HOME: The Toreros finally get to return to the friendly confines of Cunningham Stadium this week when they host cross-town rival San Diego State. USD has posted a 3-1 record at home on the young season, including a three-game sweep of the defending national champion Texas Longhorns. USD has played 12 of its first 16 games on the road.

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.

STARTING WORKHORSES: The Toreros are getting the most out of its 1-2 starting combination as Josh Butler and Brian Matusz have started nine of the Toreros 16 games on the season. The duo has combined for 60 of the teams 117 strikeouts (51 percent) while working 58 of the teams 137 innings (42 percent) on the season. The starters are also getting deep into games which helps the Toreros bullpen. Butler has averaged 6.2 innings per start this season and Matusz is averaging 5.2 innings per start.

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). (All rankings are preseason rankings)

NOTES ON POSITION PLAYERS

Daniel Magness, JR, 1B: Magness is hitting .224 with 13 hits, two doubles and seven RBI. Magness went 2-for-5 in the 8-6 loss on Saturday.

Keoni Ruth, JR, 2B: Ruth has moved his batting average from .241 to .266 after a strong weekend that saw him go 4-for-11 with one RBI including a 3-for-4 one RBI performance on Saturday. Ruth leads the team in stolen bases with nine steals on nine attempts.

Steve Singleton, JR, SS: Singleton continues to lead the Toreros in hitting with a .368 batting average, team-leading 25 hits, tied for team-lead in home runs with two, has two doubles and 10 RBI.

Ryan Lilly, SR, 3B: Lilly is hitting .235 with 12 hits, one double, one home run and nine RBI while hitting primarily in the No. 7 spot.

Josh Romanski, FR, LF: The freshman, who also serves as a pitcher for the Toreros, is hitting .245 with 13 hits, one home run and five RBI. As a pitcher Romanski has a record of 0-3 and has recorded two saves while posting a 5.40 ERA.

Justin Snyder, SO, CF: Snyder is third on the team in hitting with a .302 battng average, has 19 hits, good for third on the team, is second on the team in doubles with five and has nine RBI.

Shane Buschini, JR, RF: Buschini has moved his batting average up from .255 to .266 over this past weekend. Buschini now has 17 hits with three doubles, two home runs and nine RBI.

Jordan Abruzzo, JR, C: Abruzzo had a solid weekend for USD going 6-for-14 (.429) with one double. Abruzzo leads the team in doubles with seven and RBI with 12. Abruzzo is hitting .303, good for second 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.

BASEBALL NOW A TICKETED SPORT: All USD baseball home games are now a tickets event, effective at the start of the 2006 season. General Admission tickets will available to the general public on the day of each game. USD faculty, staff, and student tickets will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Faculty and staff will be allowed a maximum of two tickets, and students will be allowed one ticket per person. Additional tickets are $5 per person. Only cash will be accepted, no credit cards, please. All three baseball games against Texas are expected to sell out. Seating will be limited and fans are encouraged to show up early. Tickets will go on sale and be available for pick up 90 minutes prior to each game. Reserved seating is not available.

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.