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Toreros Head to Houston for a Five-Game Spring Break

March 13, 2006

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WHO, WHAT, WHEN, WHERE: The University of San Diego Torero baseball team (12-8) will look to increase its five-game win streak this week with a five-game road trip to the state of Texas. USD will open the road swing with a single game against No. 2 Rice University on Tuesday in a 5 p.m. (PST) game at Recking Park. The Toreros will then travel across town to play a single game on Wednesday against Texas Southern University at 5 p.m. (PST). After taking Thursday off the Toreros will complete their Texas road swing with a three-game set against the University of Houston. Both Friday's and Saturday's games are scheduled for a 5 p.m. (PST) start with Sunday's game scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. (PST).

LAST TIME OUT: The Toreros ran their current win streak to five games posting a 4-0 record this past week. USD opened the week with a 8-4 win against the University of Washington. In the game, Josh Romanski led offensive charge for USD with his 2-for-3 one RBI performance. Ricardo Pecina picked up his first win of the season for the Toreros allowing three runs on nine hits in 5.1 innings of work. Wednesday's game with Washington was rained out. The Toreros then continued their momentum into the weekend series with the Aztecs of San Diego State University. USD registered a 3-1 win on Friday behind a strong pitching performance from freshman Brian Matusz. Matusz allowed one run on four hits while striking out 10 in eight innings of work. USD and SDSU were then forced to play a doubleheader on Sunday thanks to mother nature's heavy rain storm on Saturday. In game one, USD pounded SDSU 16-1. USD had six players record multiple hits on the day with Jordan Abruzzo leading the way going 2-for-5 with four RBI and one home run. Steve Singleton went 4-for-5 with three runs scored and Keoni Ruth hit a grand slam in the seventh inning. In the nightcap at Tony Gwynn Stadium, the Toreros completed the three-game sweep with a 10-5 win. Daniel Magness led the way with his 3-for-4, two RBI performance. Singleton also had a solid game at the plate for the Toreros going 3-for-6 with two RBI and one double.

SCOUTING THE OWLS: Rice University enters the contest with a 15-5 overall record after winning two of three this past week. Rice is ranked as high as No. 2 in the latest Rosenblatt Reports top-25 polls. RU also appears at No. 3 in the latest Baseball America Poll and No. 5 in the latest Collegiate Baseball Top-30 Poll. Rice is led offensively by Josh Rodriguez who is hitting a team-best .352 with 25 hits, seven doubles, one home run and a team-leading 22 RBI. On the mound, Rice is led by Eddie Degerman who is 4-0 with an ERA of 0.98. The Owls are under the direction of 15th-year head coach Wayne Graham who has posted a 643-263 record while at Rice.

SCOUTING THE COUGARS: The University of Houston enters the week with a 11-9 overall record after taking two-of-three this past weekend against UC Irvine. Houston is led offensively by freshman catcher/RHP Luis Flores who is hitting a team-leading .356 with 21 hits, a team-best six doubles and has seven RBI. On the mound, UH is led by sophomore right-hander Ricky Hargrove who has a record of 2-1 with an ERA of 2.10. The Cougars are under the direction of 13th-year head coach Rayner Noble who has posted a 401-292 overall record during his tenure at Houston.

GOING STREAKING: The Toreros are currently riding a five-game win streak and will look to extend that against Rice on Tuesday. USD fell victim of a seven-game losing streak just prior to starting the current five-game win streak. USD opened the season with a five-game win streak, sweeping the defending national champion Texas Longhorns, followed by two wins against UC Davis.

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.

PECINA SEES ACTION: Redshirt freshman Ricardo Pecina picked up his first win of the season this past Tuesday against the Huskies of the University of Washington. In the game Pecina allowed three runs on nine hits while striking out five batters in 5.1 innings of work in the frigid temperatures of the Pacific Northwest. Pecina also saw some action this past Sunday in the second game of a doubleheader with San Diego State. In the 10-5 win Pecina threw three complete innings allowing no runs on three hits while striking out two. On the season Pecina has moved to 1-1 and lowered his ERA to 5.62.

STRIKEOUT KING: Freshman left-hander Brian Matusz had yet another solid pitching performance for the Toreros this past weekend. On Friday, the Toreros were guided to a 3-1 win against the Aztecs behind Matusz's pitching performance. Matusz allowed one run on four hits, while striking out 10 in eight innings of work. The 10 strikeouts was his second highest single-game strikeout performance of the season, only trailing an 11 strikeout performance against the Georgia Bulldogs. Matusz is leading the team in strikeouts with 45, averaging 1.3 per inning pitched. Matusz has posted a 2-1 record with an ERA of 3.93.

MAGNESS LOOKING STRONG: Junior first baseman Daniel Magness had been hot as of late for the Toreros. This past week, Magness went 7-for-15 (.467) with one double and four RBI. In Sunday's second game against San Diego State, Magness led the offensive charge with his 4-for-5 one double, two RBI performance. Magness has moved his batting average up to .274 after this past weeks performance.

NOTES ON POSITION PLAYERS

Daniel Magness, JR, 1B: Had a big weekend for the Toreros going 7-for-15 (.467) with one double and four RBI, including a 4-for-5 one double two RBI performance in the 10-5 win on Sunday.

Keoni Ruth, JR, 2B: Ruth cracked his first grand slam of the season in the Toreros 16-1 thumping of San Diego State on Sunday. Ruth leads the Toreros in stolen bases with 10, and has not been thrown out on a stolen base attempt this season.

Steve Singleton, JR, SS: Singleton moved his batting average back above .400 after his 10-for-18, three double and three RBI performance this past week. Singleton is currently riding a six-game hit streak and is now hitting .407.

Ryan Lilly, SR, 3B: Lilly had a solid performance at the plate this past week hitting .500 for the weekend. He went 5-for-10 with one double and three RBI which moved his batting average up to .262.

Josh Romanski, FR, LF: Romanski went 3-for-7 (.429) this past weekend against SDSU. Romanski has moved his batting average to .286.

Justin Snyder, SO, CF: Snyder is third on the team in hitting with a .297 batting average, has 22 hits, good for fourth on the team, is tied for second on the team in doubles with five and has 12 RBI.

Shane Buschini, JR, RF: Buschini is hitting .280 with 23 hits, good for third on the team, has five doubles, two home runs and 11 RBI.

Jordan Abruzzo, JR, C: Abruzzo has a team-leading 18 RBI, eight doubles, has 24 hits, good for second on the team, and is hitting .289 on the season.

BUTLER'S CANNON: Junior right-hander Josh Butler continues to impress all who watch him, only surrendering five runs on the season to post a team-leading 0.89 ERA. Butler picked up his fourth win this past Saturday allowing no runs on four hits, while tying a season-high eight strikeouts in seven complete innings of work during the 16-1 win against San Diego State. Butler also picked up his first save of the season during USD's win against Washington. Butler threw two scoreless innings allowing one hit while striking out two.

SINGLETON'S HOT BAT: Junior shortstop Steve Singleton continues to lead USD's offense with his .407 batting average, team-leading 35 hits, is tied for second on the team in doubles with five and tied for second in RBI with 13. Singleton, who had an 11-game hit streak to begin the season, is currently riding a six game hit streak and has recorded 11 multi hit games to lead the team. Singleton has recorded six two-hit games, four three-hit games and one four-hit game that he recorded this past Sunday in the 16-1 win against San Diego State.

GOING, GOING, GONE: Junior second baseman Keoni Ruth provided the Torero fans with one of the greatest plays in baseball, he hit a grand slam in the Toreros 16-1 win against cross-town rival San Diego State University. Ruth's grand slam was just one of the offensive highlights from the game one victory this past Sunday.

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.