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WCC Baseball Weekly Notes - 3/17

March 17, 2008

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WCC/Rawlings Player of the Week
Grant Kveder, Gonzaga

Grant Kveder enjoyed an outstanding week at the plate, batting .500 (10-for-20) as Gonzaga went 4-2 and claimed the Pepsi/Johnny Quick Classic title in Fresno. Kveder, who also scored five runs and collected five RBI on the week, was named tournament MVP following his performance. The junior went 5-for-5 in a 17-10 win over New Mexico State on Friday, scoring three runs and collecting three RBI. The catcher also stole a pair of bases on the week.

WCC/Rawlings Pitcher of the Week
Kyle Blair, San Diego

Kyle Blair was dominant on the mound as San Diego posted a 15-0 win over Hawaii-Hilo on Sunday. The freshman right-hander set a Torero program record, striking out 16 Vulcan batters in just eight innings of work, surrendering just two hits and walking just two batters to earn his first collegiate win.The strikeout total snapped the previous San Diego record of 14 set by former Torero standout Mike Saipe during the 1994 season.

Upcoming Games

Mar. 17
Fairleigh Dickinson at Saint Mary's (DH) - 11 AM/TBA
Utah Valley at Gonzaga - 6:00 PM
San Diego at Hawaii-Hilo - 6:00 PM

Mar. 18
Fresno State at San Francisco - 2:00 PM
Cal State Northridge at LMU - 3:00 PM
Cal State Fullerton at Pepperdine - 3:00 PM
Utah Valley at Gonzaga - 6:00 PM
Saint Mary's at San Jose State - 6:00 PM
San Diego at Hawaii - 6:35 PM

Mar. 19
Southern Utah at Portland - 3:00 PM
Utah Valley at Gonzaga - 6:00 PM

Mar. 20
Fairleigh Dickinson at San Francisco - 2:00 PM
Southern Utah at Portland - 3:00 PM
Cal State Northridge at LMU - 3:00 PM
Pepperdine at Oregon State - 6:00 PM

Mar. 21
Fairleigh Dickinson at San Francisco - 12:00 PM
Gonzaga at Sacramento State - 2:00 PM
Saint Mary's at UC Santa Barbara - 2:00 PM
1 Portland vs. Utah Valley - 2:00 PM
Pepperdine at Oregon State - 6:00 PM

Mar. 22
LMU at Cal State Northridge (DH) - 11 AM/2 PM
Harvard at San Diego (DH) - 11 AM/3 PM
Saint Mary's at UC Santa Barbara (DH) - 11 AM/TBA
Santa Clara at Cal Poly (DH) - 1 PM/TBA
Fairleigh Dickinson at San Francisco - 1:00 PM
Pepperdine at Oregon State - 1:00 PM
Gonzaga at Sacramento State - 2:00 PM
Portland at Washington - 2:30 PM

Mar. 23
Gonzaga at Sacramento State - 1:00 PM

1 At Husky Ballpark (Seattle, WA)

Around The WCC

WCC Ranked No. 6 In Boyd's World RPI
West Coast Conference baseball teams are enjoying tremendous success in the early part of the non-conference season, propelling the WCC to a No. 6 listing in the conference RPI ratings, according to boydsworld.com. The WCC trails only the Pac-10, the ACC, the Big 12, the SEC, and the Big West in the RPI rankings, and is listed above highly regarded baseball conferences like Conference-USA and the Sun Belt. All eight WCC institutions currently rank in the top 115 of the RPI provided by boydsworld.com. The league set an all-time high by finishing the 2008 season ranked No. 8 in the conference RPI listing.

WCC's Strength Of Schedule Tops
West Coast Conference teams typically play a very demanding schedule and this season is no different as the WCC is ranked No. 1 in the boydsworld.com strength of schedule ranking. Against the toughest schedule in the nation, WCC teams have combined to post an 80-55 (.593) cumulative record. The WCC is followed in the strength of schedule rankings by fellow west region conferences, the Big West, Pac-10, Western Athletic Conference (WAC), and the Mountain West Conference.

WCC Team Notes

Gonzaga Bulldogs (10-7 / 0-0 WCC)
- Gonzaga claimed the title of the Pepsi/Johnny Quick Classic in Fresno with a 10-7 win over Utah on Saturday. The Zags also posted wins over New Mexico State and Indiana, going 4-2 in the tournament.

- Grant Kveder was tabbed for tournament MVP honors after leading the Bulldogs to the Pepsi/Johnny Quick title. The junior transfer batted .500 (10-for-20) through the six-game event, scoring five runs and collecting five RBI.

- Evan Wells was perfect at the plate in a 17-10 win over New Mexico State on Friday, going 4-for-4 and driving in six runs on the afternoon. Wells enters the week batting .328 (22-for-67), and is tied for second on the team with 22 hits so far this season.

- Gonzaga hosts Utah Valley for a three-game mid-week series before traveling to Sacramento State for a three-game set this weekend.

Loyola Marymount Lions (8-10/ 0-0 WCC)
- The Lions traveled to California over the weekend where they dropped three-of-four to the then-No. 12 ranked Golden Bears.

- Martin Viramontes pitched the Lions to victory in the second game of Saturday's doubleheader, tossing six innings and striking out four batters in LMU's 6-2 win.

- Andy Preston clubbed his second home run of the season in Saturday's win, capping a 2-for-4, three RBI performance.

- Angelo Songco homered in back-to back games over the weekend to bring his season home run total to a team-leading three on the year.

- LMU hosts Cal State Northridge (3/18 & 3/20) before traveling to meet the Matadors (3/22) for a doubleheader this weekend.

Pepperdine Waves (13-5 / 0-0 WCC)
- The Waves knocked off Western Illinois, 5-1, before taking two-of-three from Oral Roberts at Eddy D. Field Stadium over the weekend.

- Scott Alexander improved to 3-1 on the season, as the freshman tossed 7.1 innings and struck out four batters in Saturday's 10-2 win over Oral Roberts.

- Bryce Mendonca swiped his team-leading 12th base of the season in Saturday's win. The junior transfer has been successful in 12 of his 14 steal attempts so far this year.

- Eric Thames capped a 2-for-3 performance with his team-leading fourth triple of the season in Saturday's win. The senior also scored a pair of runs, and drove in three in the victory.

- Pepperdine hosts No. 25 ranked Cal State Fullerton (3/18) before traveling to Oregon State for a three-game series this weekend.

Portland Pilots (12-8 / 0-0 WCC)
- Portland knocked off conference rival Gonzaga, 12-7, before dropping three straight at the Pepsi/Johnny Quick Classic in Fresno to fall to 12-8 on the season.

- Riley Henricks, Bryant Kraus, and Danny Meier each collected three hits in Wednesday's win over the Bulldogs. Kraus enters the week batting a team-high .354 (28-for-79), while Henricks is hitting at a .337 (28-for-83) clip to rank second on the team.

- Brennan Thorpe earned the victory after surrendering just one earned run in seven innings of work against the Zags. The junior improved to 2-0 on the season with the win.

- The Pilots host Southern Utah (3/19 & 3/20) for a pair of games before traveling to Seattle, where they will meet Utah Valley (3/21) and Washington (3/22).

Saint Mary's Gaels (10-4-1 / 0-0 WCC)
- Saint Mary's swept a doubleheader against Fairleigh Dickinson on Sunday, knocking off the Knights by scores of 7-1 and 14-4.

- Scott Schneider continued his outstanding sophomore season on the mound, striking out 10 batters in seven innings and surrendering just one earned run in Sunday's 7-1 win over Fairleigh Dickinson. Schneider improved to a perfect 4-0 on the season, and has posted a miniscule 1.36 ERA on the season.

- Brian Justice surrendered just one hit, and struck out three batters in 3.1 innings of relief to collect his first save as a Gael in Sunday's 14-4 win over the Knights. It marked the first relief appearance of the season for Justice, who has made three starts for the Gaels this year.

- The Gaels travel to San Jose State (3/18) before heading to UC Santa Barbara for a three-game weekend series.

San Diego Toreros (12-7 / 0-0 WCC)
- San Diego notched a perfect 5-0 record on the week, defeating then-No. 20 Cal State Fullerton and Western Illinois before taking the first three games of a series at Hawaii-Hilo.

- Victor Sanchez clubbed his team-leading seventh home run of the season in Saturday's 5-0 win over Hawaii-Hilo. The freshman, who also leads the team with 21 RBI, enters the week batting .328 (21-for-64).

- Kyle Blair set the San Diego single-game strikeout record, fanning 16 Vulcan batters in just eight innings of work during Sunday's 15-0 win. The freshman broke the previous Torero record of 14 set by Mike Saipe during the 1994 season.

- San Diego wraps up its road trip with games at Hawaii-Hilo (3/17) and Hawaii (3/18) before hosting Harvard (3/22) for a doubleheader this weekend.

San Francisco Dons (8-10 / 0-0 WCC)
- San Francisco posted a 9-1 win over Pacific at home before dropping two-of-three to Houston on the road over the weekend.

- Matt Baugh earned the win following the longest outing of his career, as the senior tossed 10 innings in Saturday's 6-4 win over the Cougars. Baugh struck out five batters en route to notching his second victory of the season.

- Kyle Morgan enjoyed an outstanding weekend at the plate, as the senior batted .462 (6-for-13) during the series with Houston. The senior also drove in four runs to increase his team-leading RBI total to 16 on the season.

- The Dons return to Benedetti Diamond for a five-game home stand this week. San Francisco hosts Fresno State (3/18) before welcoming Fairleigh Dickinson to the Hilltop for a three-game set this weekend.

Santa Clara Broncos (10-7 / 0-0 WCC)
- Santa Clara knocked off Cal Poly, 8-5, before suffering a four-game sweep against UC Davis over the weekend. The losses to the Aggies dropped the Broncos to 10-7 on the season.

- Thain Simon earned the win out of the bullpen against Cal Poly, tossing 1.2 innings and striking out a pair of Mustang batters. The freshman has gone 4-0 in eight relief appearances so far this season, and has posted a 1.54 ERA.

- Jon Karcich and Gabe Alcantar each homered during Sunday's 12-7 loss to the Aggies. It marked the third home run of the season for each player, which is tied with Evan LeBlanc for the team lead.

- The Broncos look to end a four-game slide when they travel to Cal Poly (3/22) for a doubleheader this weekend.