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WCC Weekly Baseball Notes, March 29, 2011

March 29, 2011

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AROUND THE WCC

Pepperdine Outfielder Harrison Kain Named Rawlings WCC Player of the Week
Harrison Kain hit .563 (9-for-16) with five runs, five RBI, two stolen bases and an on-base percentage of .632 as the Waves went 2-2 on the week. Kain started his week with a 2-for-4, two RBI game vs. the Mustangs, in which he was credited with driving in the game-tying and winning runs. Pepperdine went on to win the game, 5-3. In game one vs. Dayton - a 9-1 win - Kain reached base four times on three singles and a hit by pitch, scored three runs and stole both second and third base in the third inning. He also drove in the Waves' ninth and final run on an infield hit. Kain kept his hitting streak going in a game two 3-1 defeat to Dayton, singling and scoring the Waves' lone run. Pepperdine's offense sprang back to life in game three vs. the Flyers - an 8-6 win - with Kain driving in the game-tying run (5-5) as part of the Waves' four-run sixth. He added an insurance run in the eighth.
Also Nominated: Shon Roe, LMU; Patrick Wisdom, SMC; Zack Kometani, USD

Gonzaga's Marco Gonzales Named Rawlings/WCC Pitcher of the Week
For the second-straight start on the mound, freshman Marco Gonzales pitched a complete-game to help Gonzaga shut out 11th-ranked UC Irvine 3-0 at the Patterson Baseball Complex and Washington Trust Field Sunday. Coming off his first career complete-game victory against the University of Notre Dame March 19, Gonzales (3-2) carried that momentum against the Anteaters (14-6). He struck out six, walked two and scattered four hits to earn his first shutout and help the Bulldogs (13-7-1) sweep the Anteaters in their long-awaited home debut.
Also Nominated: Alex Gillingham, LMU; Eric Karch, PEP; Mark Anderson, SMC; Paul Sewald, USD; Cory Hall, SCU

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: 13-7-1
WCC Record: 0-0
  • Gonzaga ran its unbeaten streak to nine with a three-game sweep of then-No. 11 UC Irvine over the weekend. The games served as Gonzaga's home opening series, and also propepelled the Bulldogs into first place in the WCC standings.
  • Freshman LHP Marco Gonzales was named the Rawlings WCC Pitcher of the Week following his second consecutive complete game effort - a 3-0 blanking of No. 11 UC Irvine.
  • Senior RHP Cody Martin ranks 14th nationally, sporting a miniscule 0.67 earned run average. Martin has allowed just two earned runs in over 26 innings of work thus far.
  • Gonzaga visits Washington State on Tuesday, before hosting New Mexico in a three-game series that begins on Friday.

Overall Record: 15-10
WCC Record: 0-0
  • Loyola Marymount fell 3-2 to Long Beach State on Tuesday, and then took two-of-three games from Cal State Northridge over the weekend.
  • Junior RHP Alex Gillingham pitched seven shutout innings in a victory over Cal State Northridge on Saturday. Gillingham, last week's Rawlings WCC Pitcher of the Week, has not allowed an earned run over his last 16 innings of work.
  • Junior INF Shon Roe was 8-for-17 (.471) at the plate with a double and three runs batted in over LMU's four contests last week. Roe, who leads the Lions in at-bats with 96, is hitting .302 for the season.
  • In their only game this week, the Lions will host UC Santa Barbara on Wednesday at Page Stadium. First pitch is set for 3 p.m.

Overall Record: 10-10
WCC Record: 0-0
  • Pepperdine knocked off Cal Poly last Tuesday and then took two-of-three from Dayton at home over the weekend.
  • Senior OF Harrison Kain was named the Rawlings WCC Player of the Week on Monday for his efforts last week. Kain was 9-for-16 (.563) out of the leadoff spot, scoring five runs and driving in five more. He also stole a pair of bases.
  • Freshman RHP Eric Karch was effective out of the bullpen for Pepperdine last week. The reliever worked 3.2 scoreless innings, striking out four over three outings.
  • The Waves visit Cal Poly on Tuesday, before returning home to welcome future WCC member BYU in a three-game series beginning Thursday in Malibu.

Overall Record: 10-10
WCC Record: 0-0
  • Weather continued to be a challenge for Portland, as the Pilots' game with Concordia was rained out. UP did sweep a pair of games from visiting Seattle University.
  • Junior Turner Gill leads the Pilots and ranks fifth in the WCC with a .345 batting average so far this season.
  • Portland has belted more home runs - 12 - than any other West Coast Conference team. Riley Henricks and Ben Grubb each lead the team with three apiece.
  • The Pilots visit Washington Tuesday evening, before traveling to Omaha to face Creighton in a three-game series beginning Friday.

Overall Record: 9-11
WCC Record: 0-0
  •  The Gaels won 9-3 at Nevada on Tuesday, before sweeping New Orleans in a three-game series played at Laney College in Oakland over the weekend.
  • Sophomore 3B Patrick Wisdom helped SMC to a 4-0 week with a 7-for-13 effort at the plate. He homered, scored five runs, and drove in seven more. For the season, Wisdom is hitting .338, with a team-leading 15 runs driven in.
  • Junior RHP Mark Anderson blanked New Orleans in a complete game effort on Friday, strking out seven. Anderson is 4-1 with a 1.59 ERA. He has tossed three shutouts (two complete games) so far this month.
  • Saint Mary's visits Stanford on Tuesday night, before traveling to Southern Utah for a three-game series that begins on Thursday.

Overall Record: 4-17
WCC Record: 0-0
  • San Diego was swept over the weekend in a three-game series at nationally-ranked Fresno State. Saturday's 3-2 loss was a marathon 22-inning game - the third longest in NCAA history.
  • Junior RHP Paul Sewald pitched seven scoreless innings in relief during the 22-inning marathon with Fresno State. Sewald struck out a career-high eight batters on the night.
  • Freshman IF Kris Bryant has shown little difficulty in adjusting to the college game. The Las Vegas native leads the West Coast Conference and ranks 20th in the nation with six home runs.
  • The Toreros will play host to New Orleans in a three-game series beginning Friday afternoon, with single games on Saturday and Sunday.

Overall Record: 11-13
WCC Record: 0-0
  • San Francisco fell to No. 24 Oregon on Wednesday, but rebounded to take two of three at Pacific over the weekend.
  • The Dons lead the nation in fielding percentage, with a 0.986 mark. USF has been charged with just 13 errors in 24 games this season.
  • Senior OF Pete Lavin leads the West Coast Conference and ranks 21st nationally with 14 stolen bases on the season. He has been thrown out just four times.
  • San Francisco welcomes nationally-ranked Cal on Tuesday afternoon, before heading off to No. 9 Fresno State for a three-game weekend set.

Overall Record: 11-10
WCC Record: 0-0
  • After falling to 12th-ranked Stanford in a late addition to the schedule, the Broncos rolled to a four-game home sweep of Brown University over the weekend. SCU is now 10-1 at home.
  • The Santa Clara offense ripped 61 hits over four games in a sweep of the Bears, an average of over 15 hits per game.
  • Senior RHP Cory Hall tossed SCU's first complete game of the season, striking out 11 Brown batters in a Broncos win. Hall's ERA is now 2.92 on the season.
  • Santa Clara will continue its homestand against UC Davis on Wednesday, before hosting Cal State Bakersfield in a three-game series this weekend.