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WCC Baseball Weekly Notes

March 11, 2009

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ALL EIGHT TEAMS CONTINUE NON-CONFERENCE PLAY
With the 2009 season well under way, Pepperdine and San Diego continue to be ranked in the top 25 coming in at No. 11 and No. 20 respectively according to the Baseball America poll. The WCC has also faired well against teams in the top 25, going a combined 8-5 (.615) against those teams as LMU, Pepperdine, Saint Mary's, and San Francisco all picked up wins against the top 25. This week, Portland is the only team in tournament play, participating in the Fresno State Pepsi/Johnny Quick Classic.

UPCOMING SCHEDULE

All Times PST

MONDAY, MARCH 9
TEAMS LOCATION
TIME
RECAP
Portland at Fresno State Fresno, CA
Fresno State Pepsi/Johnny Quick Classic
6:00 PM
TUESDAY, MARCH 10
TEAMS LOCATION
TIME
RECAP
Portland vs. Buffalo Fresno, CA
Fresno State Pepsi/Johnny Quick Classic
2:00 PM
Washington at Gonzaga Spokane, WA Postponed
UC Riverside at LMU Los Angeles, CA 3:00 PM
No. 25 Cal Poly at No. 11 Pepperdine Malibu, CA
3:00 PM
Saint Mary's at Sacramento State Sacramento, CA 2:00 PM
No. 20 San Diego at Long Beach State Long Beach, CA 6:00 PM
San Francisco at No. 25 San Jose State San Jose, CA
6:00 PM
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 11
TEAMS LOCATION
TIME
RECAP
Portland vs. CS Bakersfield Fresno, CA
Fresno State Pepsi/Johnny Quick Classic
2:00 PM
Washington at Gonzaga Spokane, WA
POSTPONED
Santa Clara at UC Davis Davis, CA
2:30 PM
THURSDAY, MARCH 12
TEAMS LOCATION
TIME
RECAP
Portland at Fresno State Fresno, CA
Fresno State Pepsi/Johnny Quick Classic
2:00 PM
No. 20 San Diego at No. 9 Rice Houston, TX 6:00 PM
LMU at Hawaii Honolulu, HI 9:35 PM
FRIDAY, MARCH 13
TEAMS LOCATION
TIME
RECAP
No. 11 Pepperdine at Wichita State Wichita, KS 1:00 PM
Portland vs. Buffalo Fresno, CA
Fresno State Pepsi/Johnny Quick Classic
2:00 PM
No. 24 UCSB at Saint Mary's Moraga, CA 3:00 PM
San Francisco at Washington Seattle, WA 5:00 PM
No. 20 San Diego at No. 9 Rice Houston, TX 6:00 PM
Utah Valley at Gonzaga Spokane, WA 6:30 PM
LMU at Hawaii Honolulu, HI 9:35 PM
SATURDAY, MARCH 14
TEAMS LOCATION
TIME
RECAP
Portland vs. CS Bakersfield Fresno, CA
Fresno State Pepsi/Johnny Quick Classic
2:00 PM
No. 25 UCSB at Saint Mary's Moraga, CA (DH) 11:00 AM, TBA
No. 11 Pepperdine at Wichita State Wichita, KS (DH) 12:00 PM
Utah Valley at Gonzaga Spokane, WA (DH) 12:00 AM, TBA
Cornell at Santa Clara Santa Clara, CA (DH) 11:00 AM, TBA
No. 20 San Diego at No. 9 Rice Houston, TX 1:00 PM
San Francisco at Washington Seattle, WA 1:00 PM
LMU at Hawaii Honolulu, HI 9:35 PM
SUNDAY, MARCH 15
TEAMS LOCATION
TIME
RECAP
No. 11 Pepperdine at Wichita State Wichita, KS 11:00 AM
Cornell at Santa Clara Santa Clara, CA 1:00 PM
No. 20 San Diego at No. 9 Rice Houston, TX 1:00 PM
San Francisco at Wahington Seattle, WA 1:00 PM
No. 25 UCSB at Saint Mary's moraga, CA 1:00 PM
Utah Valley at Gonzaga Spokane, WA 1:00 PM
LMU at Hawaii Honolulu, HI 4:05 PM

AROUND THE WCC
WCC Player of the Week: Zach Kim, USF
JR OF Zach Kim was impressive over the week, batting .500 (8-for-16) with two doubles, his first homerun of the season, three RBI, and five runs scored en route to WCC Player of the Week honors. Kim also stole three bases to raise his team leading total to 11.

WCC Pitcher of the Week: Nate Garcia, SCU
JR RHP Nate Garcia was unstoppable for Santa Clara in the win over Oregon. He pitched a complete game, allowing just one run on six hits, while striking out a season-high 12 batters en route to his second WCC Pitcher of the Week award.

Also Nominated: JR RHP Steven Ames (GON); JR 3B Colin Rooney (PEP); FR RHP Cole Cook (PEP); SR INF Brady Fuerst (SCU); JR RHP Doug Murray (USF)

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: 7-5
WCC Record: 0-0
  • Gonzaga went 1-4 last week, losing at Washington State, before going 1-3 at the Palm Springs Tournament, losing to No. 11 Oklahoma State, UC Riverside, and Texas Tech, before defeating San Francisco.

  • In the win against the Dons, JR CF Drew Heid and SR 1B Ryan Wiegand both led the way, going 3-for-5 and registering two RBI's a piece. JR RHP Steven Ames pitched six innings, allowing just one run for the win and is 3-0 on the season.

  • In the loss to Texas Tech, LHP Ryan Carpenter tossed in six innings, striking out a career-high nine batters.

  • The Zags currently have six batters hitting over .300 and lead the league (.307).

  • Gonzaga's games against Washington (3/10-11) were postponed and it will host a four game set againt Utah Valley (3/13-15).
  • Overall Record: 8-7
    WCC Record: 0-0
  • Loyola Marymount defeated No. 5 UC Irvine, before getting swept 4-0 at UCSB last week. It opened this week with a 10th inning loss to UC Riverside.

  • In the win over UC Irvine, the Lions were led by JR OF Angelo Songco and FR SS Shon Roe. Songco went 4-for-5 with a double and three RBI's, while Roe went 3-for-5, scoring two runs.

  • Songco is among league leaders in several categories, ranking first in runs scored (23), RBI's (21), total bases (41), and is tied for the lead in home runs with five.

  • The first game againt UCSB was anyone's game as the two teams combined for five hits, with SR RHP Lee Roberts tossing in 6.1 innings, striking out eight in the process in the 1-0 loss.

  • The Lions are on the road this week, playing a four game series against the University of Hawaii (3/12-15).
  • Overall Record: 10-3
    WCC Record: 0-0
  • The Waves continue their hot play, going 4-1 last week, with a win over UCLA, before going 3-1 against Evansville. They opened this week with a win over No. 25 Cal Poly.

  • In the win over UCLA JR 3B Colin Rooney hit his first home run as a Wave in the the top of the ninth for the winning run. SR 1B Ryan Heroy chipped in going 3-for-4 with one one RBI. Rooney went 6-for-12 over the week with a home run and four RBI's.

  • Pepperdine won its third straight home game in walk-off fashion with its first win over Evansville. FR C Nate Johnson drove in a run off a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the ninth to give the Waves the win. SO RHP Tyler Hess closed the game striking out six in 3.2 innings for the win.

  • Pepperdine is on the road the rest of the week, playing a three-game series at Wichita State (3/13-15).
  • Overall Record: 8-6
    WCC Record: 0-0
  • The Pilots went 4-1 last week, going 2-1 at Southern Utah, before sweeping a three-game set with UC Davis. They opened the week with losses to No. 25 Fresno State and Buffalo at the Johnny Quick Classic.

  • In the first win over Southern Utah, Portland was led by three players with three hits. SR 1B Cort Carpenter was 3-4, SO CF Craig Smith went 3-6, while FR SS Kris Kauppila was 3-5. Kauppila is tied for the league lead in doubles with eight.

  • In the second win over UC Davis, both Smith and Carpenter went yard, while SO 2B Riley Henricks was 3-of-4, with three RBI's.

  • The Pilots continue play at the Johnny Quick Classic, taking on CS Bakersfield (3/11 and 14), host Fresno State (3/12), and Buffalo (3/13).
  • Overall Record: 9-4
    WCC Record: 0-0
  • The Gaels went 3-1 last week, defeating Stanford, before taking 2-of-3 from Sacramento State. They opened the week with a loss at Sacramento State.

  • FR RHP Kyle Barraclough earned his second collegiate win against the Cardinal, going six innings, giving up two runs, while allowing only four hits and striking out eight. He was supported by SO 2B Michael Gastelum, who went 2-for-4, hitting in three runs. JR RF Kyle Jensen added a run on his fourth home run of the season and is tied for the league lead with five.

  • FR INF Troy Channing is having a great first year, tied for the league lead in hits (24), while ranking second in RBI's (16) and total bases (39).

  • The Gaels will finish the week off at home where they will host No. 25 UC Santa Barbara for a four-game set (3/13-15).
  • Overall Record: 8-7
    WCC Record: 0-0
  • San Diego went 2-3 last week, defeating Western Carolina, before going 1-3 against San Diego State. It opened the week with a loss at Long Beach State.

  • In the win overe Western Carolina, the Toreros registered a season-high 16 hits and were led by JR C Steven Chatwood, who went 4-for-5 with a homerun and a double, and SR SS Sean Nichol, who went 3-for-4. SO 3B Victor Sanchez added four RBI's off a grandslam in the first.

  • JR RHP Matt Thomson gave San Diego its first win this season over the Aztecs, pitching eight innings, while striking out a career-high nine batters.

  • The Toreros close out the week on the road with a four-game series at No. 9 Rice (3/12-15).
  • Overall Record: 5-10
    WCC Record: 0-0
  • San Francisco went 1-4 last week, losing at Cal, before going 1-3 at the Palm Springs Tournament, where it defeated Texas Tech, and lost to Oregon State, No. 11 Oklahoma State, and Gonzaga. The Dons opened the week with a win over No. 25 San Jose State.

  • JR OF Zach Kim was impressive over the week, batting .500 (8-for-16) with two doubles, his first homerun of the season, three RBI, and five runs scored en route to WCC Player of the Week honors. Kim also stole three bases to raise his team leading total to 11.

  • JR RHP Doug Murray led the Dons to their only win of the week, a 2-1 victory over Texas Tech. Murray threw 8.1 innings, allowing just one run off five hits, while striking out a season/Dons career high 10 batters.

  • San Francisco closes the week with a three-game set at Washington (3/13-15).
  • Overall Record: 3-7
    WCC Record: 0-0
  • The Broncos went 1-3 last week in their four-game series at Oregon, winning the first game, before dropping the final three.

  • JR RHP Nate Garcia was unstoppable for Santa Clara in the win over Oregon. He pitched a complete game, allowing just one run on six hits, while striking out a season-high 12 batters en route to his second WCC Pitcher of the Week award.

  • SR INF Brady Fuerst led the way over the week, batting .333 (5-15) with a double and three runs scored.

  • In the third game, the Broncos hung tough, before losing in 13 innings.

  • The Broncos travel to UC Davis (3/11), before returning home for a three-game set against Cornell (3/11-15).