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Toreros Host UNLV in Final Preseason Tune-up

March 20, 2006

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WHO, WHAT, WHEN, WHERE: The University of San Diego Torero baseball team (15-10) will host the University of Nevada, Las Vegas in a three-game series this upcoming weekend at Cunningham Stadium. This will be the final preseason tune-up for the Toreros as they open West Coast Conference play next week against Saint Mary's College. Friday's game is set to kick off at 2 p.m. with both Saturday's and Sunday's games scheduled for a 1 p.m. start.

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.

LAST TIME OUT: The Toreros posted a 3-2 record during Spring Break, registering an 11-2 loss to Rice University on Tuesday, before winning three straight. On Wednesday, the Toreros began the win streak with a 8-1 pounding of Texas Southern University. In the game, Shane Buschini led the USD offense going 3-for-6 with three RBI and two doubles. Ricardo Pecina picked up the win on the mound allowing one run on six hits while striking out five in 6.1 innings of work. USD then took on a three-game series with Houston opening with a 9-4 win in 11 innings against the Cougars. In that game, the Toreros scored five-runs in the 11th inning to win the game. Steve Singleton led the offensive charge for the Toreros going 3-for-6 with three RBI, one home run and two doubles. USD then claimed the three-game series with the Cougars on Saturday behind Josh Butler's gem. Butler threw a complete game shutout allowing no runs on five hits while striking out a season high nine in the 2-0 decision. On Sunday, USD suffered a heartbreaking loss as both teams were knotted at 2-2 in the bottom of the ninth, when the Cougars hit a walk-off home run to avoid the USD sweep.

SCOUTING THE REBELS: The University of Nevada, Las Vegas enters the week with a .500 record at 12-12 after recording a three-game sweep of The Citadel this past weekend. The Rebels are led offensively by Zach Borba who is hitting .376 with a team-leading 32 hits, has four doubles, one triple and 10 RBI. On the mound, UNLV is led by Kevin Skogley who is 1-1 with an ERA of 4.35. UNLV is under the direction of third-year head coach Buddy Gouldsmith. During his tenure at UNLV Gouldsmith had posted a 84-65 overall record.

BUTLER NAMED WCC PITCHER OF THE WEEK: The University of San Diego junior right-hander Josh Butler was tabbed as the West Coast Conference Pitcher of the Week, it was announced Monday. Butler, a junior from Danville, Calif., threw a complete game shutout this past weekend against the University of Houston. In Saturday's 2-0 win against the Cougars, Butler allowed just five hits while striking out a season-high nine batters in picking up his fifth win of the season. With the win, Butler moves to 5-2 with an ERA of 0.72.

STILL ABOVE 400: Junior shortstop Steve Singleton continues his assault on opposing pitchers with his .407 batting average. Over this past week Singleton again had a solid week for the Toreros at the plate going 9-for-22 (.409) with three doubles, one home run and four RBI including a 3-for-6 two RBI and two double performance in Friday's 9-4 win against the University of Houston. Singleton leads the Toreros in hits with 44, and is tied for the team lead in home runs with three and is second on the team in doubles with eight and RBI with 17. With his performance over this past week, Singleton was nominated for the West Coast Conference Player of the Week.

HOME SWEET HOME: The Toreros finally get to return to the friendly confines of Cunningham Stadium and will play its next seven games on their home field. USD has played 19 of its first 25 games on the road. During USD's six home games they have posted a 5-1 record after defeating cross-town rival San Diego State University two weeks ago twice at Cunningham Stadium. USD opened the season with a three-game sweep of the defending national champions, Texas Longhorns, then dropped one game to UC Irvine before recording two wins against the Aztecs. While playing at home the Toreros are hitting .343 as a team while the pitching staff has held opponents to a .204 batting average.

DOUBLE, DOUBLE: Junior catcher Jordan Abruzzo continues to lead the team in doubles with nine. Abruzzo not only leads the Toreros in doubles, but also has a team-leading 20 RBI. Last season Abruzzo was second on the team in doubles with 14 and tied for the team-lead in RBI with 42. Abruzzo is hitting .288 with 30 hits, both good for second on the team.

PECINA LOOKS SOLID IN WIN: Redshirt freshman Ricardo Pecina looked solid on the mound for the Toreros in the 8-1 win against Texas Southern University this past Wednesday. Pecina allowed one run on six hits, while striking out five batters, his second highest strikeout total of the season. Pecina is now 2-1 with an ERA of 3.95.

LILLY'S SWINGING IT WELL: Senior third baseman Ryan Lilly swung the bat well this past week posting a 7-for-20 (.350) two double and two RBI performance. Lilly was able to drive in the winning run in the Toreros 9-4, 11 inning win against Houston this past Friday. After this performance, Lilly has moved his batting average up to .282 with 24 hits, three doubles, one home run and 15 RBI.

WHERE DID HE GO?: Junior Keoni Ruth continues his assault into the all-time record books at San Diego for stolen bases. Ruth is a perfect 13-for-13 on the season moving his career total to 36, just 11 behind Andy Roberts (1986-89) for 10th all-time. This past week Ruth was 5-for-5 in this category. Ruth also had a solid performance for the Toreros at the plate this past week going 7-for-20 (.350) with two doubles and one RBI. For the season Ruth is hitting .279 with 29 hits, four doubles, one triple, one home run and 14 RBI.

NOTES ON POSITION PLAYERS

Daniel Magness, JR, 1B: Had a good weekend for the Toreros going 6-for-18 (.333). Magness has moved his overall batting average up to .286 with 26 hits, three doubles, one home run and 11 RBI.

Keoni Ruth, JR, 2B: Ruth had a productive week for the Toreros going 7-for-20 (.350) with two doubles and one RBI. For the season, Ruth is now hitting .279 with 29 hits, four doubles, one triple, one home run and 14 RBI.

Steve Singleton, JR, SS: Singleton went 9-for-22 (.409) with three doubles, one home run and four RBI over this past week including a 3-for-6 two RBI and two double performance in Friday's 9-4 win against the University of Houston. Singleton moved his batting average up to .407 with a team-leading 40 hits and is second on the team in both RBI with 17 and doubles with eight.

Ryan Lilly, SR, 3B: Lilly had a solid performance at the plate this past week going 7-for-20 (.350) with two doubles and two RBI. Lilly was able to drive in the winning run in the Toreros 9-4, 11 inning win against Houston this past Friday. After this performance, Lilly has moved his batting average up to .282 with 24 hits, three doubles, one home run and 15 RBI.

Josh Romanski, FR, LF: Romanski is hitting .260 with 20 hits, one double, one home run and nine RBI. Romanski has also seen time as both a starter and closer for the Toreros bull pen posting a 0-4 record with an ERA of 5.31.

Justin Snyder, SO, CF: Snyder is hitting .283 with 26 hits, five doubles, two home runs and 13 RBI.

Shane Buschini, JR, RF: BUschini has moved his batting average up to .282 after hitting .286 this past week going 6-for-21 with three doubles and five RBI. Buschini has recorded 29 hits, eight doubles, two home runs and 16 RBI on the season.

Jordan Abruzzo, JR, C: Abruzzo has a team-leading 20 RBI, nine doubles, has 30 hits, good for second on the team, and is hitting .289 on the season, also good for second on the team.

BASEBALL NOW A TICKETED SPORT: All USD baseball home games are now a tickets event, effective at the start of the 2006 season. General Admission tickets will available to the general public on the day of each game. USD faculty, staff, and student tickets will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Faculty and staff will be allowed a maximum of two tickets, and students will be allowed one ticket per person. Additional tickets are $5 per person. Only cash will be accepted, no credit cards, please. All three baseball games against Texas are expected to sell out. Seating will be limited and fans are encouraged to show up early. Tickets will go on sale and be available for pick up 90 minutes prior to each game. Reserved seating is not available.

TOREROS TABBED SECOND IN WCC: The Toreros were tabbed to finish second in the West Coast Conference according to the preseason WCC coaches poll. USD received two first place votes and 42 points, with the Waves of Pepperdine University coming in at 48 points and 6 first place votes. Following USD was San Francisco (34 points), LMU (32 points), Gonzaga (26 points), Santa Clara (18 points), Saint Mary's (16 points) and Portland (8 points). Last season the Toreros finished 30-27-1 overall (16-14 in WCC; 2nd place in Coast Division), marking the seventh straight season with 30 or more victories .

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.