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WCC weekly baseball notes, March 23, 2011

March 23, 2011

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AROUND THE WCC

Gonzaga Outfielder Billy Moon Named Rawlings WCC Player of the Week
Gonzaga sophomore outfielder Billy Moon went 8-for-17 (.471) with three doubles and seven RBI in four games last weekend in the Irish Baseball Classic.in San Antonio. On Friday against Iowa, Moon hit two RBI doubles in his first two plate appearances. His second RBI double in the third inning was the eventual game-winning hit as he helped the Bulldogs beat theHawkeyes 9-1. In Saturday's doubleheader against the Fighting Irish and the Hawkeyes, respectively, Moon went 4-for-7 with three RBI. In the Bulldogs 4-1 win over the Fighting Irish, he hit an RBI single in the fourth inning to tie the game. In game two, Moon hit two singles in the first two innings. His single in the second inning drove in two runs to help Gonzaga beat the Hawkeyes 7-2.

LMU's Alex Gillingham Named Rawlings/WCC Pitcher of the Week
LMU junior Alex Gillingham recorded a complete-game shutout over No. 14 UC Irvine on Saturday. Gillingham, who improved to 3-2 on the year, tossed 130 pitches (86 strikes) en route to the first complete-game shutout for the Lions since Martin Viramontes shut out Saint Mary's on May 2, 2010. Gillingham finished the game with a career-best 11 strikeouts and walked just one while allowing three hits. He retired 17 straight from two out in the first through one out in the seventh. For Gillingham, the complete game was the second of the year. The right-hander had tossed eight innings in each of his previous four starts this year.

Portlnd's Dennis Named To Stopper Of The Year Watch List
Portland senior closer Chris Dennis was named to the initial watch list for the seventh annual National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Stopper of the Year Award, given to the top relief pitcher in NCAA Division I baseball. Dennis, who is the all-time career leader in saves at UP, has also been named to the NCBWA Pre-Season All-American First Team and to the Louisville Slugger Preseason All-American Second Team.

Two WCC Players Candidates for Lowe's Senior CLASS Award
Portland reliever Chris Dennis and San Francisco outfielder Connor Bernatz are two of thirty NCAA baseball student-athletes selected as candidates for the 2011 Lowe's Senior CLASS Award. To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence - community, classroom, character and competition. An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School®, the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities.

Coaches Tab San Diego To Repeat in Preseason Poll
The University of San Diego is a unanimous selection to repeat as the West Coast Conference champions, garnering all seven possible first place votes and 49 points in a preseason poll of the eight WCC head coaches. Last season was memorable for USD. Led by 2010 WCC Player of the Year James Meador and Pitcher of the Year Kyle Blair, the Toreros posted a 19-2 WCC record en route to an NCAA berth and a 37-win season. Despite having ten players drafted, Coach Rich Hill and his staff have reloaded once again. The coaches selected Pepperdine to finish second in the WCC with 39 points. The complete poll follows.

2011 WEST COAST CONFERENCE PRESEASON POLL
Team (First Place Votes), Points
San Diego (7),49
Pepperdine, 39
San Francisco, 33
Portland (1), 32
Loyola Marymount, 23
Gonzaga, 20
Santa Clara, 16
Saint Mary's, 12

2011 PRESEASON ALL-WEST COAST CONFERENCE TEAM
Player, School, Yr.,Pos.
Troy Channing, Saint Mary's,Jr., IF
Ryan Hawthorne, LMU,Jr.,OF
Riley Henricks,Portland,Sr., IF
Brian Humphries, Pepperdine,Jr.,OF
Jonathan Johnston,LMU,Sr.,INF
Matt Lowenstein,LMU,So.,OF/INF
Kevin Muno,San Diego,Sr.,OF
Joe Sever, Pepperdine,So.,IF
Curtis Wagner,Santa Clara,Sr., 1B/DH
Stephen Yarrow,San Francisco,Sr., IF

Pitcher,School,Yr.
Mark Anderson, Saint Mary's,Jr.
Ryan Carpenter, Gonzaga,Jr.
Chris Dennis, Portland,Sr.
Kyle Kraus, Portland,Jr.
Martin Viramontes,LMU,Jr.

A New Look
The West Coast Conference has teamed with CBSSports.com College Network, its web site host and multimedia partner, to re-launch WCCsports.com. Among the new features on the site are front-and-center video content, larger images and graphics, campus updates, fan polls, and integration with other West Coast Conference social media platforms - such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. Visitors to WCCsports.com can also find additional features such as a WCC insider blog, and interactive results.

What'd He Say?
For the latest scores and news, follow the West Coast Conference on Twitter @WCCSports.

Did you know that WCC Commissioner Jamie Zaninovich is on Twitter, too? See what The Commish has on his mind. Follow him @WCC_Commish.

 
WCC TEAM NOTES

SCHOOL TEAM NOTES

Overall Record: 10-7-1
WCC Record: 0-0
  • Gonzaga continued its red-hot play, going 3-0-1 in the Irish Baseball Classic in San Antonio over the weekend. The Bulldogs are unbeaten in their last six games.
  • Junior OF Billy Moon was named the West Coast Conference Rawlings Player of the Week on Monday. Moon was 8-for-17 (.471) at the plate in the four-game San Antonio tournament, ripping three doubles and driving in seven runs.
  • Junior LHP Tyler Olson leads all WCC starters in earned run average. In four starts, Olson has posted a 1.57 ERA while registering a 2-1 mark on the hill.
  • Gonzaga finally opens its home slate this weekend, as it welcomes No. 11 UC Irvine for a three-game series in Spokane starting Friday at 6 p.m.

Overall Record: 13-9
WCC Record: 0-0
  • Loyola Marymount reamins atop the West Coast Conference standings, despite posting a 2-2 record last week.
  • Junior RHP Alex Gillingham was named the West Coast Conference Rawlings Pitcher of the Week on Monday. Gillingham pitched a complete game shutout in a 4-0 victory over No. 14 UC Irvine on Saturday. He walked just one while notching a personal-best 11 strikeouts in the win.
  • Redshirt junior C Matt Koch leads the WCC in doubles (11) and total bases (43) through games played Sunday, March 20. Koch, who is hitting .325, is also tied for the conference lead with 16 runs batted in.
  • The Lions hosted Long Beach State in a mid-week game on Tuesday, and will lock horns with Cal State Northridge in a three-game set over the weekend.

Overall Record: 10-10
WCC Record: 0-0
  • After falling to Long Beach State on Tuesday, Pepperdine rebounded to sweep then-No. 23 Coastal Carolina in a three-game series in Malibu over the weekend.
  • Junior OF Brian Humphries had a stellar weekend in the sweep over the Chanticleers. He went 6-for-13 (.545) at the plate with three runs scored - including two game-winning runs.
  • Freshman LHP Matt Maurer has been a key cog in the Waves' bullpen. In six March appearances, Maurer is 3-0 with a save, while posting a miniscule 0.99 earned run average. During the month, Maurer has struck out 20 while walking just three.
  • Pepperdine has played as many home games as any other WCC team (13), and the Waves will host a three-game series against Dayton this weekend as part of a 12-game homestand.

Overall Record: 8-10
WCC Record: 0-0
  • Portland's game with VMI was postponed on Tuesday, and then UP was swept in a four-game series at Air Force over the weekend in the first-ever meetings between the two schools.
  • As a team, Portland leads the West Coast Conference in batting, hitting .277 as a unit. Individually, the Pilots are paced by senior 3B/DH Kevin Armijo, who is hitting .340 on the season.
  • Senior closer Chris Dennis leads the West Coast Conference with six saves so far this season. Dennis has registered a save in 75% of Portland's wins so far this season.
  • The Pilots return home for a pair of contests this weekend, hosting Seattle University on both Friday and Saturday afternoon.

Overall Record: 6-11
WCC Record: 0-0
  •  Saint Mary's took two of three games at UC Riverside over the weekend. Earlier in the week, the Gaels' scheduled home game against Nevada was rained out.
  • Sophomore RHP Martin Agosta allowed just one run over 7.2 innings in a 2-1 Gaels victory over UC Riverside on Saturday. The Sacramento, Calif. native walked just two while striking out seven.
  • Saint Mary's leads the WCC in pitching this season, posting a 2.69 team earned run average thus far. Junior RHP Mark Anderson is 4-1 with a 1.60 ERA over six starts.
  • The Gaels won 9-3 at Nevada on Tuesday, and will entertain New Orleans in a three-game series that begins on Friday in Moraga.

Overall Record: 4-14
WCC Record: 0-0
  • San Diego lost a pair to No. 23 Coastal Carolina before dropping three games to No. 24 Oregon. The fourth game of the Toreros-Ducks series was rained out.
  • The San Diego offense showed some signs of life in the Oregon series, as the Toreros pounded out 33 hits on the weekend, including a 13-hit effort on Sunday. Junior catcher Zach Sullivan was 3-for-4 with a run scored in the 10-inning setback.
  • Freshman IF Kris Bryant has shown little difficulty in adjusting to the college game. The Las Vegas native leads the West Coast Conference with six home runs.
  • The Toreros visit Fresno State for a four-game series beginning Friday. USD and the Bulldogs will play single games on Friday and Sunday, with a doubleheader slated for Saturday.

Overall Record: 9-11
WCC Record: 0-0
  • San Francisco blanked San Jose State at AT&T Park and downed No. 16 Cal before being swept in a three-game series at No. 15 Arizona.
  • Senior RHP Matt Hiserman is having a strong season. In the recent Cal Baseball Classic at AT&T Park, Hiserman earned a save and a victory over nine innings of work without allowing a run.
  • Senior OF Pete Lavin leads the West Coast Conference with 11 stolen bases so far this season. He ranks second in the WCC with 28 hits.
  • San Francisco hosts No. 24 Oregon on Wednesday, before taking on Pacific in a three-game series beginning Friday in Stockton. Saturday's game is at USF.

Overall Record: 7-10
WCC Record: 0-0
  • The Broncos were the lone WCC team not to take the diamond last week. Santa Clara's four-game home series against Minnesota was rained out over the weekend.
  • Senior C Patrick Terry was 10-for-20 at the plate with two doubles and four runs batted in over the four-game weekend against Utah and UW-Milwaukee.
  • Senior RHP Cory Hall is 2-2 in four starts with a 2.89 ERA to lead the Broncos. Hall has issued just five walks while striking out 20 over 28 innings pitched.
  • The Broncos battled 12th-ranked Stanford on Tuesday afternoon in a late addition to the schedule. SCU is slated to host Brown in a four-game series beginning with a doubleheader on Saturday afternoon.