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WCC Baseball Weekly Notes

March 7, 2007

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WCC/Rawlings Player of the Week
Chase d'Arnaud, Pepperdine

Chase d'Arnaud enjoyed an outstanding week at the plate, leading Pepperdine to a 3-1 mark as the Waves took games from UC Irvine, Western Carolina, and then-No. 24 ranked North Carolina State. The sophomore batted .400 (6-for-15), while slugging a pair of home runs, two doubles, and driving in seven with four runs scored. d'Arnaud turned in a career performance in the win over the Anteaters, registering his first career two-home run game.

WCC/Rawlings Co-Pitchers of the Week
Adam Olbrychowski, Pepperdine & Ari Ronick, Portland

Pepperdine's Adam Olbrychowski and Portland's Ari Ronick both earned a pair of wins last week, as each pitcher's team went 3-1. Olbrychowski went 2-0 with a perfect 0.00 ERA, pitching five innings to record a win over UC Irvine before notching the victory with 2.1 innings of scoreless relief in a win over Western Carolina. The junior struck out four and allowed just six hits. Ronick was equally impressive, earning the win over Washington with 2.1 innings out of the bullpen last Tuesday, before tossing seven scoreless innings to defeat UC Davis on Sunday. Ronick struck out six batters on the week.

Upcoming Games

Mar. 8
Gonzaga at BYU - 4:00 PM

Mar. 9
Michigan at San Diego - 2:00 PM^
Gonzaga at BYU - 4:00 PM
LMU at Tulane - 4:30 PM
Pepperdine at Oklahoma State - 4:30 PM
San Francisco at Baylor - 4:30 PM$
Portland at UC Riverside - 6:00 PM
Santa Clara at Fresno State - 6:00 PM

Mar. 10
Gonzaga at BYU - 12:00 PM
LMU at Tulane - 12:00 PM
Pepperdine at Oklahoma State - 12:00 PM
San Francisco vs. Winthrop$ - 12:00 PM
Portland at UC Riverside - 1:00 PM
Santa Clara at Fresno State - 1:00 PM
San Diego vs Oklahoma State - 3:00 PM^#

Mar. 11
San Francisco vs. Mississippi State$ - 10:00 AM
LMU at Tulane - 11:00 AM
Pepperdine at Oklahoma State - 11:00 AM
Portland at UC Riverside - 1:00 PM
Santa Clara at Fresno State - 1:00 PM
San Diego at San Diego State - 4:00 PM^#

Mar. 12
Gonzaga at Utah - 1:00 PM

^ Aztec Invitational (San Diego, CA); $ Baylor Tournament (Waco, TX); # Game Played at Petco Park

Around The WCC

WCC Among The Nation's Elite
The West Coast Conference is ranked among the nation's elite according to the Iterative Strength (ISR) and "pseudo-RPI" ratings provided by Boydsworld.com. The conference ranks sixth among Division I baseball leagues in the ISR ratings and ninth in the unofficial RPI listing, which seeks to mimic the official college baseball RPI. A conference's ISR is a formula designed to measure the quality of a season by combining a winning percentage with the difficulty of schedule for a given league.

WCC Makes Strong Start To 2007
WCC squads have made an outstanding start to the 2007 season, compiling an 81-59-2 (.577) record against teams from other conferences so far. League teams have posted a 48-43-1 (.527) mark against teams from western region loops, including the Pac-10, Mountain West, Western Athletic, and Big West conferences.

WCC Team Notes

Gonzaga Bulldogs (9-8/ 0-0 WCC)
- Gonzaga captured the title of the Banana Belt Tournament in Lewiston, ID after going 4-0, topping Air Force, Utah Valley State, Southern Utah and Lewis-Clark State last week.

- The Zags extended their winning streak to six games, improving to 9-8 overall. Sunday's win marked the first time this season that Gonzaga's win-loss record has been above .500. GU has won seven of its last 10 games.

- The Bulldog starting rotation keyed the team to its four victories last week. The Zags' starting pitchers combined to give up just seven runs on 15 hits in 26.1 innings, while notching 28 strikeouts and just 14 walks. Senior Josh Monroe and sophomore Chris Highmark recorded seven shutout innings apiece.

- Gonzaga takes its winning streak on the road to BYU for a weekend series in Provo, UT.

Loyola Marymount Lions (8-11-1/ 0-0 WCC)
- Loyola Marymount dropped a 7-1 midweek decision to USC before taking its second series sweep of the season over Cal Poly, and downing Cal State Northridge 9-8 in 11 innings on Tuesday.

- Freshmen Marty Mullins and Xavier Esquivel helped the Lions to two of their four straight wins. Mullins' bases-loaded single with two outs in the ninth inning of Sunday's game against Cal Poly gave LMU the winning run and the series sweep, while Esquivel's seven innings of long relief in which he gave up just two runs on three hits was the key to LMU's extra inning win over Northridge on Tuesday.

- Senior southpaw Daniel Macias led the Lions to the win on Saturday, throwing eight shutout innings against the Mustangs in a 2-0 win.

- LMU travels to the Big Easy for a three-game set at Tulane this weekend.

Pepperdine Waves (14-4/ 0-0 WCC)
- Pepperdine took two-of-three in the Keith LeClair Classic at East Carolina and edged UC Santa Barbara on Tuesday, 13-12, to improve to 14-4 on the season.

- The Waves have won 13 of their last 15 games, including a 5-2 win over then-No. 24 North Carolina State on Sunday. Pepperdine is 4-1 against ranked opponents this season.

- Every Pepperdine starter recorded a hit in Tuesday's win over UC Santa Barbara, with centerfielder Adrian Ortiz going 4-for-6 and shortstop Danny Worth driving in four runs.

- Pepperdine's 14-4 start is its best since opening the 2001 campaign with a 13-4 start. The Waves' best 20-game start came in 1999 when they began the year 19-1.

- The Waves hit the road for a weekend series at No. 16 Oklahoma State this weekend.

Portland Pilots (6-4/ 0-0 WCC)
- Portland topped Washington 13-11 last Tuesday before winning its first three game series of the season, taking two out of three at UC Davis over the weekend.

- After dropping a 7-3 decision to the Aggies on Friday, the Pilots bounced back to collect 20 hits over the next two games, while out-scoring Davis 8-4.

- Junior southpaw Ari Ronick shared the WCC Pitcher of the Week award after tossing seven scoreless innings, and allowing just three hits to earn his second win of the year. Ronick is the first Pilot to earn the award in 2007, and has compiled a 0.54 ERA in four appearances this year.

- Portland hosts Pacific (Ore.) today, before traveling to UC Riverside for a weekend series that kicks off a five-game road trip for the Pilots.

Saint Mary's Gaels (12-8-1 / 0-0 WCC)
- Saint Mary's continued to roll along, extending its unbeaten streak to 10 games after going 3-0-1 against Columbia at The Guisto over the weekend.

- Anthony Aliotti sparkled on the mound on Sunday, striking out 12 Columbia batters in seven innings of work during the series finale. Aliotti has emerged as one of the top two-way players in the WCC, batting .366 (26-for-71) at the plate and posting a 3-1 record in six mound appearances for the Gaels.

- Eric Cattoni clubbed his second home run of the season in Saturday's series-opening 12-1 win over Columbia. The senior, who also scored three runs and drove in two in the win, only hit one home run as a junior.

- The Gaels have the weekend off before hosting Southern Utah on March 16.

San Diego Toreros (13-8 / 0-0 WCC)
- San Diego dropped two-of-three on the road at Fresno State over the weekend before rebounding to hand UC Irvine a 2-0 defeat in mid-week action on Tuesday.

- Sean Nicol has made an immediate impact since transferring to USD from WCC-rival Portland. The shortstop batted .500 (8-for-16) last week with three doubles, an RBI, and eight runs scored. Following his 2-for-3 performance in Tuesday's win, the sophomore is batting .350 (28-for-80) to rank second on the team.

- Josh Romanski tossed a gem in Tuesday's win over the Anteaters, working eight shutout innings and surrendering just two hits to earn his second win of the season.

- USD will take part in the Aztec Invitational this weekend, hosting Michigan (3/9), playing Oklahoma at Petco Park (3/10) and traveling to San Diego State (3/11).

San Francisco Dons (8-6 / 0-0 WCC)
- San Francisco split a pair of games at the Pacific Tournament, falling 5-4 to No. 29 Baylor before knocking off San Diego State in extra innings, 3-1. Sunday's game with the host Tigers was tied at five after 12 innings, and will be concluded on May 8.

- Daniel Morales tossed 1.1 innings of scoreless relief to earn the win against the Aztecs on Saturday. The senior, who doubles as a catcher for USF, began pitching for the Dons this season.

- Joey Railey is enjoying an outstanding junior campaign, as the infielder leads the team in batting (.392), hits (20), runs (14), walks (9), on base percentage (.492), and total bases (26).

- The Dons head to the Baylor Tournament this weekend where they will meet the host Bears (3/9), Winthrop (3/10), and Mississippi State (3/11).

Santa Clara Broncos (11-10 / 0-0 WCC)
- Santa Clara split a pair of games with crosstown rival San Jose State over the weekend, and moved above .500 with a 13-5 victory over Stanford on Tuesday.

- Donald Brandt registered wins in his last two mid-week outings, topping Fresno State last week before earning the victory over the Cardinal on Tuesday to improve to 2-0 on the season.

- Jeff Lombard notched his fourth save of the season with a scoreless ninth inning in the win over the Bulldogs. Lombard also tossed a scoreless inning in Tuesday's win over Stanford, lowering his ERA to 0.68 in 11 appearances out of the Bronco bullpen.

- Santa Clara embarks on a 12-game road stretch beginning this weekend with a three-game set at Fresno State.