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No. 25 USD Opens WCC Play Against SMC

March 28, 2006

USD Baseball Release in PDF Format
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West Coast Conference Release in PDF Format
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WHO, WHAT, WHEN, WHERE: The red hot University of San Diego Torero baseball team (18-10) will continue its seven-game home-stand this weekend as they open West Coast Conference play against the Gaels of Saint Mary's College. Friday's game is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. and both Saturday and Sunday's games will begin at 1 p.m. All games will be played at Cunningham Stadium.

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 three-game sweep against the University of Nevada, Las Vegas this past weekend. USD held on for a 7-6 win on Friday, cruised to a 10-3 win on Saturday and blanked the Rebels on Sunday with a 3-0 decision. On Friday, the Toreros jumped out to a 6-0 lead, but UNLV put on a late rally, but fell short. Jordan Abruzzo led the offense for USD going 2-for-4 with one RBI. On Saturday, the Toreros bats came alive as five batters recorded multiple hits with Abruzzo leading the way going 2-for-5 with two RBI and one home run. Keoni Ruth also had a solid day at the plate with his 3-for-5 and two runs scored performance. On Sunday, Ricardo Pecina picked up his third win of the season allowing no runs on four hits in 6.0 innings of work. Abruzzo again led the USD offense going 2-for-4 with one RBI and one double to run his hit streak to six. Ryan Lilly also increases his team-leading hit-streak to 11 games with his 1-for-4, one double performance.

SCOUTING THE GAELS: Saint Mary's College enters the week with a 13-12 overall record after dropping two-of-three this past weekend against the University of Utah. Senior outfielder Sam Carter leads the Gaels offense with his .385 batting average. Carter leads the team in doubles with eight, has a team-leading 33 RBI, is second on the team in hits with 37 and home runs with six. On the mound for the Gaels, senior right-hander Cory Madden leads the way with a 3-1 record and an ERA of 2.80. SMC is under the direction of third-year head coach Jedd Soto. During his tenure in Moraga, Calif. Soto has posted a 47-83 record and for his career he has a record of 128-109.

TOREROS RETURN TO NATIONAL RANKINGS: After a three-week hiatus, the University of San Diego baseball team has made its return to the nation's elite as they have broken back into the top-25 coming in at No. 25 in the latest Rosenblatt Report top-25 poll.

TOREROS ON THE AIR: This Friday's game against Saint Mary's College can be heard live via the internet at www.usdtoreros.com by the voice of the Toreros Jack Murray. There will also be select games throughout the remainder of the 2006 season that can be heard on usdtoreros.com, simply check the web site's baseball schedule page and look for the listen links that will appear in the right column of the page next to the particular game/series.

HOME SWEET HOME: The Toreros will continue their seven-game homestand this weekend as they open WCC play against Saint Mary's College in a three-game series at Cunningham Stadium. During USD's nine home games they have posted a 8-1 record after registering a three-game sweep of UNLV this past weekend. USD is hitting .328 as a team at home while holding their opponents to a .197 batting average. USD will look to improve upon those numbers over the next four games with Cal State Northridge coming to town on Tuesday to close out the seven-game home stand in a 2 p.m. non-conference game.

TOREROS RED HOT ENTERING WCC PLAY: The Toreros have won six of their last seven contests including a three-game non-conference sweep of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas this past weekend at Cunningham Stadium. USD held off a late surge by the Rebels to claim a 7-6 win on Friday, cruised to a 10-3 win on Saturday and blanked the Rebels on Sunday in a 3-0 win. During the last seven games the Toreros are hitting .296 as a team while the Toreros pitching staff is holding the opponents to a .200 batting average. Leading the way for the Toreros offense has been the play of junior shortstop Steve Singleton. Singleton hit 14-for-30 (.467) with three doubles, one home run and six RBI during that stretch. During this seven game stretch the Toreros have also receive strong pitching performances as both Josh Butler and Ricardo Pecina have recorded 2-0 records with Pecina bolstering a 1.04 ERA and Butler a 1.12 ERA over that stretch.

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 .

GOING STREAKING: Senior third baseman Ryan Lilly in the midst of a 11-game hit streak. Lilly's streak began on Mar. 10 in the first of a three-game sweep of cross-town rival San Diego State University. During this stretch Lilly has hit 16-for-42 (.381) with 16 hits, three doubles and seven RBI to move his overall batting average up to .289, good for fourth on the team. Other Toreros currently on hitting streaks include junior shortstop Steve Singleton (seven games) and Jordan Abruzzo (six games).

ABRUZZO HAS SOLID WEEK: Junior catcher Jordan Abruzzo had a solid week at the plate for the Toreros going 6-for-13 (.462) with one double, one home run and five RBI. Abruzzo has moved his batting average up to .308, good for second on the team, and leads the Toreros in doubles with 10, home runs with four and RBI with 25.

NOTES ON POSITION PLAYERS

Daniel Magness, JR, 1B: Had a good weekend for the Toreros going 3-for-10 (.300) with one double. Magness is now hitting .287 with 29 hits, four doubles, one home run and 11 RBI.

Keoni Ruth, JR, 2B: Ruth had a productive week for the Toreros going 5-for-12 (.417) with two doubles and three RBI. Ruth has moved his batting average up to .293, good for third on the team. Ruth remains perfect on stolen base attempts going 13-for-13 to lead the team.

Steve Singleton, JR, SS: Singleton went 5-for-12 (.417) with two RBI over the weekend. Singleton leads the team in hitting with his .408 batting average and team-leading 49 hits, has eight doubles three home runs and 19 RBI.

Ryan Lilly, SR, 3B: Lilly had a solid performance at the plate this past week going 4-for-12 (.333) with one double and one RBI. Lilly is now hitting .289 with 28 hits, four doubles, one home run and 16 RBI.

Kevin Hansen, SO, LF: Kevin Hansen has been earning his time out in left field over the past couple of games. On the season, Hansen is hitting .262 with 22 hits, two doubles and nine RBI.

Justin Snyder, SO, CF: Snyder went 3-for-12 with three RBI this past weekend. Snyder is hitting .282 with 29 hits, five doubles, two home runs and 16 RBI.

Shane Buschini, JR, RF: Buschini is hitting .265 with 30 hits, eight doubles, three home runs and 19 RBI.

Jordan Abruzzo, JR, C: Abruzzo went 6-for-13 (.462) with one double, one home run and five RBI this past weekend. Abruzzo has moved his batting average up to .308, good for second on the team, and leads the Toreros in doubles with 10, home runs with four and RBI with 25.

SINGLETON STILL ABOVE .400: Junior shortstop Steve Singleton not only is leading the team in hitting with his .408 batting average, but is also leading the WCC heading into the first weekend of play against Saint Mary's. Singleton also leads the team in hits with 49, is tied for second in doubles with eight and tied for second in RBI with 19.

BUTLER'S ERA STILL BELOW 1.00: Junior right-hander Josh Butler continues his dominance on the mound with his 0.95 ERA. Butler has made nine appearances for the Toreros this season with eight starts, and only three times has an opponent been able to bring across a run, and only two of those times has an opponent brought more then one run across. Butler's ERA is also best in the West Coast Conference. Butler has registered a team-best 49 strikeouts and is second in the conference in this category heading into the first weekend of WCC play.

PECINA LOOKING STRONG: Freshman Ricardo Pecina continues to look good on the mound for the Toreros. This past weekend Pecina picked up his third win of the season in USD's 3-0 win against UNLV. In the game, Pecina allowed no runs on four hits in six complete innings of work. Pecina is now 3-1 with an ERA of 3.24, good for third on the team.

ROMANSKI GETS TWO SAVES: Freshman left-hander Josh Romanski picked up two saves for the Toreros this past weekend against UNLV. On Friday, Romanski entered the game in the ninth inning with the Toreros leading by one and the bases loaded. He was able to shutdown the Rebels late rally allowing no runs on no hits while striking out two. On Sunday, Romanski threw three innings allowing no runs on no hits while striking out three.

WCC FORMAT CHANGE FOR 2006: The West Coast Conference will change its league baseball format and schedule beginning in 2006. A one-division format will once again be implemented and the eight institutions will compete in a 21-game conference season. This new format is a departure from a two-division format, West and Coast, with a 30-game conference schedule that has been used in the WCC since the beginning of the 1999 season. Under the one-division, 21-game format, each school will play the other seven opponents one time over the course of an eight-week conference season. Each team will play seven three-game series, with one week serving as the bye week. The top two finishing teams will play in the WCC Championship Series with the regular-season champ serving as series' host.

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.

TOREROS SCHEDULE RANKED 10TH TOUGHEST: The San Diego baseball team has the 10th toughest non-conference schedule in the nation, as stated by BoydsWorld.com. The Toreros, who open their 2006 slate with a three-game home stand against the defending national champions, Texas Longhorns, will play eight games against teams that rank in the top-10 for strength of schedule for all games - No. 4 USC (one game), No. 7 Cal State Northridge (two games), No. 8 UC Riverside (two games) and No. 9 Georgia (three games). Besides Texas, USD will face one other team in non-conference play that appear in Baseball America's Top-20, No. 7 Rice (Mar. 14). Other non-conference opponents include UC Davis (three games, Feb. 10-12), Vanderbilt (one game, Feb. 17), Kansas (one game, Feb. 18), UC Irvine (two games, Feb. 21 & Apr. 25), Cal Poly (three games, Mar. 3-5), Washington (two games, Mar. 7-8), San Diego State (four games, Mar. 10-12; May 2nd), Texas Southern (one game, Mar. 15), Houston (three games, Mar. 17-19), and UNLV (three games, Mar. 24-26).

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.