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Aztecs Up Next for Toreros, then Open WCC Play at Gonzaga

March 26, 2007

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IN A NUTSHELL: The 20th-ranked University of San Diego baseball team (21-10) will host cross-town rival San Diego State University on Tuesday, looking to extend its current six-game winning streak over the Aztecs with a 3 p.m. game at Cunningham Stadium. USD will then hit the road to begin West Coast Conference action this weekend against Gonzaga University and their new ball park. Friday's game is scheduled for a 3 p.m. start and both Saturday's and Sunday's games will begin at 1 p.m.

THE POLLS: After USD posted a 2-1 record this past week, the Torero baseball team moves up in the latest national rankings. The Toreros are up one spot in the latest Baseball America top-25 poll to No. 20, are up one spot in the latest Rivals.com top-25 poll to No. 21 and have remained at No. 24 in the latest Collegiate Baseball top-30. This marks the eighth consecutive week the Toreros have been ranked among the nation's elite. Gonzaga and San Diego State are not ranked.

LAST TIME OUT: San Diego took 2-of-3 against the UNLV Rebels in the final non-conference series of the season this past week. USD began the series with a 6-4 win. Brian Matusz was dominating yet again on the mound for USD as he allowed two runs, one earned, on two hits, while striking out nine in 6.2 innings of work. Jordan Abruzzo led the USD offense as he went 2-for-5 with one home run and three RBI. On Saturday, the Toreros captured the series with a 5-4 win, holding off a late Rebel rally. Freshman AJ Griffin recorded his seventh save of the season, tying him for 10th all-time at USD in single-season saves. Offensively for the Toreros, Sean Nicol led the way with his 4-for-5, one run scored performance. Abruzzo was also solid at the plate as he went 2-for-5 with a double and two RBI. On Sunday, the Rebels were able to avoid the sweep with a 3-2 win. In the game, Nicol led the way with his 2-for-3 performance. Kevin Muno was the only other USD player to record multiple hits as he went 2-for-4 with one double and one run scored.

SCOUTING THE AZTECS: San Diego State University enters the ball game with a 17-11 overall record after picking up a pair of wins against Air Force this past week. The Toreros have claimed six consecutive wins over the Aztecs and have won seven of the last eight. Shortstop Troy Hanzawa , leads the team with a .367 batting average, has a team-best 40 hits, three doubles, five triples, one home run and 16 RBI. On the mound Tuesday, the Toreros will face Lance Sewell who has a 4-1 overall record and a 2.45 ERA.

SCOUTING THE BULLDOGS: Gonzaga University enters the week with a 16-13 overall record after dropping 2-of-3 this past weekend to Utah Valley State. The Bulldogs have opened their new stadium, Patterson Baseball Complex and Washington Trust Field, and will host their first conference series in the ballpark when the Toreros come to town this weekend. This past season, USD took 2-of-3 from the Zags in San Diego which now moves the all-time series to 28-20-1 in favor of the Toreros. The Bulldogs are led by Bryan Winston, who has a team-best .400 batting average with 30 hits, six doubles, one home run and 12 RBI. On the mound, the Zags look to Brandon Harmon to anchor things down with his 3-4 record and 4.79 ERA.

NICOL GOES OFF: Sophomore shortstop Sean Nicol went off this past week as he led the team in hitting with a .613 batting average going 8-for-13 with one double and one run scored. Nicol has been a huge offensive help for the Toreros this season. For the past two weeks, Nicol has been a solid force at the plate as his combined numbers for the past two weeks are 12-for-25 (.480) with two doubles, one home run and one RBI. He is currently the team's second leading hitter with a .356 batting average, has seven doubles, one triple, three home runs and 10 RBI.

MATUSZ STILL GOING STRONG: Sophomore left-hander Brian Matusz continues to show why he is one of the nation's best pitchers. The preseason All-American turned in another dominating performance in Friday's win over UNLV. Matusz allowed two runs, one earned, on two hits in 6.2 innings of work. Matusz, the unofficial nation's leader in strikeouts, rung up nine Rebels batters and runs his season strikeout total to 92, which is just one shy of his total from a year ago. In fact, Matusz is just four strikeouts away from tying for 10th all-time at USD in single-season strikeouts. The single-season strikeout leader is Steve Davis, who had 148 strikeouts in 1968. The division I single-season strikeout leader is Glen Godwin, who recorded 142 strikeouts in 1982. On the season, Matusz has a 5-1 record with a 2.51 ERA.

GRIFFIN CRACKS INTO RECORD BOOKS: Freshman right-handed closer, AJ Griffin, picked up his sixth save of the season in Saturday's 5-4 win over UNLV. With the save, he is now tied for 10th all-time at USD in single-season saves with Nate Boman (2004) and Chris Collins (1991). The all-time single-season saves holder is Tony Perez, who registered 13 saves in 2003. Griffin has a team-leading 18 appearances on the season with a 4-1 record and an ERA of 4.14.

BUSCHINI GOES YARD...AGAIN: Senior right fielder Shane Buschini picked up his team-leading seventh home run of the season in Sunday's heartbreaking 3-2 loss to UNLV. Buschini set a new personal best with the seventh home run, topping the six home runs he hit as a sophomore in 2005. Buschini had a solid all around week at the plate this past week as he went 4-for-12 with one double, one home run and four RBI. On the season, Buschini is hitting .300 with 36 hits, a team-leading nine doubles, seven home runs, has one triple and 25 RBI.

ROMANSKI CONTINUES TO SHINE: Sophomore Josh Romanski continues to be solid at the plate for the Toreros as he is the team's leading hitter with a .360 batting average, has 40 hits, five doubles, two triples, one home run and eight RBI. Romanski has also only struck out 10 times in 111 at bats. Romanski also had his third consecutive solid outing on the mound in Saturday's 5-4 win. Romanski allowed two runs on five hits in 7.0 innings of work. On the season, Romanski has a 4-1 record with an ERA of 3.61.

TOREROS IN THE RPI: San Diego's RPI, according to Boydsworld.com, is now up to No. 11 after posting a 2-1 record this past week. USD, who plays one the of toughest non-conference schedules in the nation, reached as high as No. 5 heading into this past Sunday's game against UNLV.

NOTES ON POSITION PLAYERS

Daniel Magness, SR, 1B - Magness went 4-for-13 (.308) with two runs scored this past week. On the season, he his hitting .295 with 31 hits, two doubles and 17 RBI.

Justin Snyder, JR, 2B - Snyder went 3-for-11 (.273) with one RBI and four runs scored this past week. On the season, Snyder is hitting .333 with 40 hits, has eight doubles, two home runs and 16 RBI.

Sean Nicol, SO, SS - This past week, Nicol went 8-for-13 with one double and one run scored. On the season, Nicol is the team's second leading hitter with a .356 batting average, has seven doubles, one triple, three home runs and 10 RBI.

Kevin Hansen, JR, 3B - Hansen went 3-for-9 (.333) with one RBI this past week. On the season, Hansen is hitting .300 with 33 hits, five doubles, two triples and 17 RBI.

Kevin Muno, FR, LF - Muno had a solid week at the plate, while only playing in two of the three games. He went 3-for-9 (.333) with one double and one run scored. Muno has been splitting time in left field with Mike Metzger and James Meador.

Josh Romanski, SO, CF - Romanski is the team's leading hitter with a .360 batting average, has 40 hits, five doubles, two triples, one home run and eight RBI. This past week he went 5-for-12 (.417) with two runs scored. He also was solid on the mound allowing two runs on five hits in 7.0 innings of work.

Shane Buschini, SR, RF - This past week, Buschini went 4-for-12 (.333) with one double, one home run and four RBI. On the season, Buschini is hitting .300 with 36 hits, a team-leading nine doubles, seven home runs, has one triple and 25 RBI.

Logan Gelbrich, JR, C - On the season, Gelbrich is hitting .306 with 34 hits, five doubles, one home run and 16 RBI, while rotating between the catcher, designated hitter and left field positions.

Jordan Abruzzo, SR, DH - Abruzzo is hitting .285 with 37 hits, seven doubles, one triple, five home runs and a team-leading 33 RBI, while rotating between the catcher and designated hitter positions.

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 2007 spring season will be Hill's 20th year as a head coach at the collegiate level, and ninth at USD, having enjoyed 16 winning seasons in 19 years. Since taking over at USD in 1999, Hill has been remarkable in leading the Toreros to eight 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. In 2006, Hill led USD to its highest national ranking in program history at No. 8, as well as USD's first-ever at-large berth into the NCAA Regionals.

LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION: All USD home games, as well as select road games, will be streamed live via video on the athletics department website. Fans can watch all the action live from the comfort of their home by logging onto usdtoreros.com. Once on the home page, click the LIVE button on the top right of the page. This is a subscription service that will give you access to live video events of USD athletic teams, coaching interviews and much more. The cost for this service will be $6.95 per month or a yearly subscription can be purchased for $49.95.

RECRUITING CLASS RANKED NO. 6: StudentSportsBaseball.com released their list of the Top 20 college baseball recruiting classes in the country and the University of San Diego checks in at No. 6. San Diego's recruiting class includes two AFLAC All-Americans - outfielder Sequoyah Stonecipher (Mission Bay HS) and right-handed pitcher Kyle Blair (Los Gatos HS). The recruiting class also includes one Team USA member in Victor Sanchez (Gahr HS), four players have earned All-CIF honors and all 10 student-athletes have earned all-league first- or second-team honors on their respective high school teams. This group will report to USD in the fall of 2007.

2007 GAMETRACKER AVAILABLE: All of San Diego's home games, as well as select road 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.