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WCC Baseball Weekly Notes

March 17, 2009

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ALL EIGHT TEAMS CONTINUE NON-CONFERENCE PLAY
The West Coast Conference enjoyed another winning week last week, going 17-12 against its opponents and has gone 11-10 against teams in the top 25 so far this season. Portland will be the only team in tournament play this week as it hosts the Rose City Invitational, where it will host Hawai'i, Oregon, and Washington. Pepperdine and San Diego remain in the national top 30 rankings with the Waves coming in at No. 17 according to Baseball America and the Toreros coming in at No. 29 according to the NCBWA. Heading in to this week Pepperdine and Gonzaga are tied for the top spot in the conference standings with 11-5 records.

UPCOMING SCHEDULE

All Times PST

MONDAY, MARCH 16
TEAMS LOCATION
TIME
RECAP
Columbia at No. 29 San Diego San Diego, CA 3:00 PM
TUESDAY, MARCH 17
TEAMS LOCATION
TIME
RECAP
Sacramento State at San Francisco San Francisco, CA 2:00 PM
George Fox at Portland Portland, OR Cancelled
Columbia at No. 29 San Diego San Diego, CA 3:00 PM
Cornell at Saint Mary's Moraga, CA
3:00 PM
Washington State at No. 17 Pepperdine Malibu, CA 3:00 PM
LMU at Long Beach State Long Beach, CA 6:30 PM
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 18
TEAMS LOCATION
TIME
RECAP
Columbia at No. 29 San Diego San Diego, CA 3:00 PM
Cornell at Saint Mary's Moraga, CA
3:00 PM
Washington State at No. 17 Pepperdine Malibu, CA
3:00 PM
FRIDAY, MARCH 20
TEAMS LOCATION
TIME
RECAP
Saint Mary's vs. Utah Valley State Corvallis, OR 1:00 PM
Chicago State at No. 17 Pepperdine Malibu, CA (DH) 11:00 AM, TBA
No. 24 Fresno State at LMU Los Angeles, CA 3:00 PM
Hawaii at Portland Portland, OR
Rose City Invitational
3:30 PM
San Francisco at New Mexico State Lac Cruces, NM 5:05 PM
Pacific at Gonzaga Spokane, WA 6:30 PM
Oregon at Portland Portland, OR
Rose City Invitational
7:00 PM
SATURDAY, MARCH 21
TEAMS LOCATION
TIME
RECAP
Chicago State at No. 17 Pepperdine Malibu, CA (DH) 11:00 AM, TBA
No. 24 Fresno State at LMU Los Angeles, CA (DH) 11:00 AM, TBA
San Francisco at New Mexico State Las Cruces, NM (DH) 12:05 PM, TBA
Brown at No. 29 San Diego San Diego, CA 1:00 PM
Dartmouth at Santa Clara Santa Clara, CA 1:00 PM
Pacific at Gonzaga Spokane, WA 1:00 PM
Saint Mary's vs. Utah Valley State Corvallis, OR 1:00 PM
Saint Mary's at Oregon State Corvallis, OR 5:00 PM
Washington at Portland Portland, OR
Rose City Invitational
6:00 PM
SUNDAY, MARCH 22
TEAMS LOCATION
TIME
RECAP
Chicago State at No. 17 Pepperdine Malibu, CA 11:00 AM
Brown at No. 29 San Diego San Diego, CA (DH) 12:00 PM, TBA
Pacific at Gonzaga Spokane, WA 12:00 PM
San Francisco at New Mexico State Las Cruces, NM 12:05 PM
Dartmouth at Santa Clara Santa Clara, CA (DH) 1:00 PM, TBA
No. 24 Fresno State at LMU Los Angeles, CA 1:00 PM
Saint Mary's at Oregon State Corvallis, OR 1:00 PM
Portland vs. TBA Portland, OR
Rose City Invitational
TBA

AROUND THE WCC
WCC Player of the Week: Troy Channing, SMC
Channing went an impressive 11-for-20 (.550) last week, including two home runs, two doubles, four runs scored, and 12 RBI's. He tallied 19 total bases, while hitting .727 with runners in scoring position. This is his second weekly award.

WCC Pitcher of the Week: Matt Hiserman, USF
Hiserman collected a win and a save on the road against Washington. In the two games, he pitched nine scoreless innings, while only allowing two hits and striking out nine.

Also Nominated: FR LHP Ryan Carpenter, GON; SR 2B Evan Wells, GON; JR SS Derek Poppert, USF; JR C Geoff Klein, SCU; JR RHP Steve Kalush, SCU

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: 11-5
WCC Record: 0-0
  • Gonzaga went undefeated in a four-game homestand last week against Utah Valley State and are now receiving votes in the latest ESPN/USA Today Coaches' poll.

  • SR 2B Evan Wells had a big week for the Zags helping them go 4-0, going 5-for-14 (.357) and scoring six runs with two RBI's and three stolen bases.

  • In the game one win over Utah Valley, FR LHP Ryan Carpenter won his third game and has now own three of his forst four collegiate starts. He pitched seven innings, allowing only two earned runs, while striking out a career-high 10 batters and leads the team in strikeouts (29), ranking fifth in the conference.

  • The Zags are currently second in the league in hitting (.297) and pitching (4.53 ERA).

  • Gonzaga is at home this week in a three-game series against Pacific (3/20-22).
  • Overall Record: 8-11
    WCC Record: 0-0
  • Loyola Marymount went winless last week, losing to UC Riverside, before getting swept at Hawai'i. Four out of the five losses were by one run each.

  • In the loss to UC Riverside, the Lions received a home run from JR DH Brad Bauer, who went 3-for-5, and two from JR OF Angelo Songco. In game four against Hawaii, SR C Ollie Enos went 3-for-4, with three RBI's and a home run.

  • Songco is among league leaders in several categories, ranking first in runs scored (26), second in RBI's (21), third in total bases (47), and second in home runs (5).

  • LMU is currently among league leaders in several categories, leading the conference in runs scored (136) and RBI's (121), and ranking second in hits (187) and total bases (269).

  • The Lions visit Long Beach State (3/17), before hosting defending national champions No. 24 Fresno State in a four-game set (3/20-22).
  • Overall Record: 11-5
    WCC Record: 0-0
  • The Waves went 2-2 last week, defeating No. 25 Cal Poly, before taking one out of three against Wichita State.

  • In the win over Cal Poly, Pepperdine had monster games from 3B Colin Rooney and LF Ryan Van Amburg. Van Amburg went yard twice, going 4-for-5 with five RBI's, while Rooney went a perfect 4-for-4 with three RBI's. Rooney also collected a double and a triple.

  • Pepperdine won the second game against Wichita State in dramatic fashion, scoring five runs in the ninth to collect the win, becoming the first team this year to score in the ninth against the Shockers. The comeback started with a two-out rally beginning with hits from SR INF Bryce Mendonca and FR OF Brian Humphries.

  • Pepperdine is at home this week, hosting Washington State (3/17-18) and Chicago State for a four-game set (3/20-22).
  • Overall Record: 11-7
    WCC Record: 0-0
  • The Pilots' went 3-3 last week at the Johnny Quick Classic, splitting with host Fresno State, Cal State Bakersfield, and Buffalo.

  • In the victory over defending national champions Fresno State, FR RHP Kyle Kraus pitched a complete game allowing just two runs off six hits, while striking out five. SO 2B Riley Henricks was the main source of offense batting in all four of Portland's runs on 2-of-4 hitting.

  • Several players had huge days in the win over Buffalo. SO CF Craig Smith and SR DH Bryant Kraus both went 3-for-5, including home runs each while collecting four RBI's a piece. Henricks and FR LF Garrett Queen also registered three hits each.

  • The Pilots host the Rose City Invitational this week and will take on Hawai'i and Oregon in a double-header (3/20), before facing Washington (3/21).
  • Overall Record: 10-7
    WCC Record: 0-0
  • The Gaels went 1-4 last week losing to Sacramento State, before taking the first of a four-game set to UCSB.

  • FR INF Troy Channing had a huge week for the Gaels, going 11-for-20 (.550) with two homers, two doubles, and an impressive 12 RBI's en route to his second WCC Player of the Week award. He also hit .727 with runners in scoring position.

  • Channing is having a great first year, leading the league in hits (33) and runs batted in (26), while being tied for the league in home runs (6) with teammate JR OF Kyle Jensen. He is also second in batting average (.508) and slugging percentage (.846) and has a team-high 13-game hitting streak.

  • The Gaels will host Cornell for a two-game set (3/17-18), before going to Corvallis, OR for a two-game series with Utah Valley (3/20-21) and Oregon State (3/21-22).
  • Overall Record: 9-9
    WCC Record: 0-0
  • San Diego went 1-3 last week, losing to Long Beach State, before taking the third of a three-game series at Rice.

  • In the win over Rice, JR RHP AJ Griffin tossed in eight scoreless innings, allowing just three hits while striking out eight. The Toreros received doubles from JR 2B Chris Engell, FR DH Bryan Haar, and JR C Brian Farris. JR RF James Meador went yard driving in two runs.

  • Griffin currently ranks second in the conference in opponent batting average (.143) and fifth in ERA at 1.72. Teammate SO RHP Kyle Blair currently leads the league in strikeouts (35), while tying for second in innings pitched (27.2). As a team, the Toreros lead the league in strikeouts with 155.

  • The Toreros are at home for a three-game series against Columbia (3/16-18) and a three-game set against Brown (3/21-22).
  • Overall Record: 8-10
    WCC Record: 0-0
  • San Francisco went undefeated on the road last week, defeating No. 25 San Jose State, before sweeping a three-game series at Washington.

  • SO RHP Matt Hiserman collected a win and a save against the Huskies, throwing a collective nine scoreless innings in the two games, allowing only two hits and striking out nine en route to WCC Pitcher of the Week honors.

  • JR SS Derek Poppert had a good week for the Dons, going 7-for-16 (.438) in the four games, collecting a home run, three RBI's, and four stolen bags while scoring six runs.

  • The Dons lead the league in stolen bags (34) behind SR OF Zach Kim's WCC-leading 13.

  • San Francisco will play at home for the first time this season, hosting Sacramento State (3/17), before going back on the road for a four-game series at New Mexico State (3/20-22).
  • Overall Record: 7-7
    WCC Record: 0-0
  • The Broncos went undefeated last week, defeating UC Davis on the road, before sweeping a three-game series against Cornell.

  • JR C Geoff Klein led the way for the Broncos over the week, batting 7-for-16 (.438), with two doubles, eight RBI's, no strikeouts, and scoring six runs.

  • JR RHP Steve Kalush earned his first win of the season in the second game against Cornell, pitching 5.1 innings, allowing zero runs on three hits, while striking out five.

  • In the double-header against Cornell, the Broncos were led by SR OF Matt Long, who had five hits and scored three runs.

  • The Broncos stay home this week and will host Dartmouth in a three-game series (3/21-22).