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WCC Baseball Conference Play Begins this Week

March 30, 2010

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CONFERENCE PLAY BEGINS THIS WEEK
The West Coast Conference went 20-13 against its opponents last week to close out the last full week of non-conference play. San Diego took two out of three from #10 Coastal Carolina, LMU went undefeated with five wins, Portland swept Southern Utah, and Santa Clara split with San Diego State before taking two of three from Princeton to round out the teams with winning weeks.

This week, San Francisco got off to a good start, defeating No. 19 Stanford on the road. Many of the teams will be playing limited games as they get ready for the start of conference play. Santa Clara will host Portland in the only conference games this week.

UPCOMING SCHEDULE

All Times PST

MONDAY, MARCH 22
TEAMS LOCATION
TIME
RECAP
Hawaii at San Diego San Diego, CA 3:00 PM HAW def. USD 8-6
San Francisco at No. 19 Stanford Palo Alto, CA 5:30 PM USF def. STAN 5-1
TUESDAY, MARCH 30
TEAMS LOCATION
TIME
RECAP
Saint Mary's at UC Davis Davis, CA 2:30 PM
USC at LMU Los Angeles, CA 3:00 PM
Oregon State at Portland Portland, OR POSTPONED
Pepperdine at #2 UCLA Los Angeles, CA 6:00 PM
Albany NY at Santa Clara Santa Clara, CA 6:00 PM
Washington State at Gonzaga Spokane, WA POSTPONED
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 31
BYU at San Francisco San Francisco, CA 2:00 PM
Cal Poly at LMU Los Angeles, CA 3:00 PM
THURSDAY, APRIL 1
Saint Mary's at Southern Mississippi Hattiesberg, MS 3:00 PM
Portland at Santa Clara Santa Clara, CA 7:00 PM
FRIDAY, APRIL 2
Saint Mary's at Southern Mississippi Hattiesberg, MS 10:00 AM
Portland at Santa Clara Santa Clara, CA 6:00 PM
Gonzaga at Hawaii Honolulu, HI 8:35 PM
SATURDAY, APRIL 3
Saint Mary's at Southern Mississippi Hattiesberg, MS 10:00 AM
Portland at Santa Clara Santa Clara, CA 6:00 PM
Gonzaga at Hawaii Honolulu, HI 8:35 PM
SUNDAY, APRIL 4
Gonzaga at Hawaii Honolulu, HI 3:05 PM

AROUND THE WCC

WCC Rawlings Pitchers of the Week: Aaron Griffin, LMU & Matt Bywater, PEP:
Freshman Aaron Griffin was outstanding on the hill for LMU against Cal State Fullerton on Tuesday. The right-hander tossed his first career complete game as LMU defeated the Titans, 4-2. Griffin had a shutout headed into the ninth inning when Fullerton posted two runs in the frame. Griffin, a native of El Cajon, Calif., used 119 pitches (73 strikes) to record the complete game and improve to 2-1 on the year. He faced 34 hitters and retired 15 of 16 batters from the second through the seventh, including 10 straight from the fourth into the seventh. Griffin allowed seven hits, a walk and two runs while striking out five. The two runs and three of the seven hits came in the ninth inning. The complete game was the first for the Lions since Lee Roberts tossed nine against Gonzaga on May 15, 2009.

Bywater delivered his second complete-game shutout victory of 2010 Saturday, striking out eight Stony Brook batters in a 3-0 Pepperdine victory at Eddy D. Field Stadium. Bywater tossed 100 pitches, scattered six hits but did not walk or hit a batter. Bywater cruised through the Stony Brook lineup until there were two outs in the ninth inning. But with runners on second and third, Bywater got cleanup hitter Robert Dyer to hit a soft chopper to the shortstop for the game's final out. Bywater started the game by striking out the side in the first and then faced the minimum 18 batters up through the seventh. He allowed two baserunners during this stretch but caught Trevor Jankowski stealing in the third, and induced a 3-6-3 double play ball off Dyer in the fourth. Bywater's defense spun another double play behind him in the eighth with two on and one out, raising his season GIDP total to eight.

Also nominated: Kyle Kraus, POR; Matt Hauser, USD; Nate Garcia, SCU

WCC Rawlings Player of the Week: Mark Castellitto
In four games last week (2-2) Castellitto went 10-for-17 (.588) with 4 HR, 2 2B, 11 runs, 13 RBI...had a .667 on-base percentage and slugged 1.412...had a career-night last Thursday at Utah Valley going 5-for-7 with 3 HR, 1 double, 5 runs scored, and 7 RBI in a 23-12 win...followed that up with a 4-for-5 performance on Friday...he closed out his week with a 4-RBI game, hitting a three-run homer in the 8th inning to put the game out of reach in the Zags 8-3 win on Saturday...upped his average 54 points last week...now hitting .364 with team- highs of 8 HR and 26 RBI through 23 games.

Also nominated: Shon Roe, LMU; Mike Ferraro, USD; Tommy Medica, SCU

WCC Teams Garner Preseason Rankings
San Diego and Pepperdine were each listed among the nation's elite in numerous rankings heading into the 2010 campaign. The Toreros have been ranked in several publications, with the highest ranking coming in the Baseball America preseason poll, that had San Diego at No. 19. Collegiate Baseball ranked the Waves at No. 34 heading into the season, while Gonzaga received votes in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches poll.

San Diego
Baseball America - No. 19
USA TODAY/ESPN - No. 23
Collegiate Baseball - No. 24
NCBWA - No. 24

Pepperdine
Collegiate Baseball - No. 34USA TODAY/ESPN - Receiving Votes
NCBWA - Receiving Votes

Gonzaga
USA TODAY/ESPN - Receiving Votes

WCC's Preseason All-Americans
Several WCC standouts were tabbed for 2010 preseason All-American honors. After winning the Triple Crown last year, Saint Mary's Troy Channing was tabbed a Louisville Slugger preseason second team All-American and was ranked No. 6 on the Rivals.com power rankings for third basemen. Santa Clara's Geoff Klein and Tommy Medica were both named honorable mention preseason All-America catchers by Ping! Baseball.

Two Players Named To Stopper Of The Year Watch List
Gonzaga junior right hander Cody Martin and Portland junior right hander Zach Varce were both named to this year's Stopper of the Year Watch List.

This marks Martin's second time being nominated to the list as he also made the midseason watch list as well. Last year, Martin posted a 3.07 ERA while going 5-4 with six saves and 68 strikeouts in 58.2 innings. In his freshman season, he set the school record for saves in a season with nine.

Last season, Varce led the league with a 2.69 ERA and tied for the league lead with nine saves, which also tied the school record. Posting a 3-5 record, he held opposing batters to an average of .249 and had 62 strikeouts in 60.1 innings.

The Boys of Summer
This past summer, many WCC baseball players took part in summer leagues all across the country with many receiving All-Star recognition and individual rewards. Below is a list of all the WCC players receiving recognition.

Alaska Baseball League
Jonathan Johnson, LMU - Gold Glove
Drew Heid, GON - MVP
Ryan Carpenter, GON - All-Star

Cal Ripken League
Jonathan Abrahamson, USF - All-Star, Co-Pitcher of the Year
Ryan Mulligan, SMC - All-Star

Cape Cod
Kyle Blair, USD - All-Star

Hawaii Collegiate
Mark Anderson, SMC - All-Star
Tyler Brubaker, PEP - All-Star
Ricky Villarreal, PEP - All-Star
Joe Vierra, LMU - All-Star
Case Miyahara, LMU - All-Star

New York Collegiate
Miles Silverstein, PEP - All-Star
Brad Jesernig, PEP - All-Star

Northwoods League
Zach Varce, POR - All-Star
Riley Henricks, POR - All-Star
Troy Channing, SMC - Rising Star (Rivals.com)
Aaron Gates, PEP - All-Star
Chris Engell, USD - Silver Slugger Award

Prospect League
Nate Johnson, PEP - All-Star

USF's Nino Giarratano named to USA Baseball Coaching Staff
This will mark the second stint with Team USA for Giarratano, following his work as an assistant coach on Rob Walton's Collegiate National Team staff in 2008. That year, the team won the Gold Medal with a 12 inning victory over Japan and finished the season undefeated at 24-0. He joins Bill Kinneberg (Utah), Dave Serrano (Cal State Fullerton), and Ed Blankmeyer (St. John's). Giarratano is entering his 12th season with the Dons after guiding them to a share of third place last year.

San Diego Picked To Finish First In 2010 WCC Preseason Poll
San Diego was picked as the favorite to win this year's WCC regular season title in the 2010 preseason baseball poll, as voted on by the head coaches in the conference. The Toreros received six first place votes for a total of 48 points and are ranked 24th in Collegiate Baseball's preseason poll. Pepperdine was picked second with 38 points and is also receiving national recognition, ranked 34th in Collegiate Baseball's preseason poll. San Francisco totaled 33 points for third, while 2009 WCC Champion Gonzaga got one first place vote for 29 points to finish fourth, just edging out 2009 WCC runner-up Loyola Marymount, who received 28 points for fifth. Rounding out this year's preseason poll are Santa Clara, who received the last first place vote with 20 points, Saint Mary's with 17 points, and Portland with 11 points. The Toreros also placed the most number of players on the preseason all-conference team with five players being selected, including 2009 WCC Player of the Year, James Meador.

WCC Baseball Preseason Poll
1. San Diego - 48 (6)
Pepperdine - 38
3. San Francisco - 33
4. Gonzaga - 29 (1)
5. LMU - 28
6. Santa Clara - 20(1)
7. Saint Mary's - 17
8. Portland -11
(first place votes)

The 2009 WCC Baseball Season at a Glance
The West Coast Conference ended the season ranked in the top half of the NCAA RPI rankings, coming in at No. 11, finishing ahead of the Western Athletic (WAC) and Big Ten conferences ... Gonzaga University received the WCC's only bid to the NCAA Tournament by virtue of winning the WCC Baseball Championship Series against Loyola Marymount. The regular season and championship series title were the first in program history as the Zags finished ranked 22nd in the country according to Baseball America ... Half of the WCC schools finished with even or winning records against nationally ranked non-conference opponents, led by LMU, who finished with a 6-2 record ... Saint Mary's Troy Channing finished a historical year by becoming just the third player in conference history to win the Triple Crown. Channing led all freshmen in the country in home runs and RBI per game on his way to earning numerous accolades including being named to NCBWA and Baseball America All-America teams, the Louisville Slugger Freshman All-America team and being named a finalist for the Dick Howser Trophy as well as the WCC Freshman of the Year ... The WCC had 24 players chosen in the MLB First Year Player Draft, the second most in league history, led by LMU's Angelo Songco, who was picked in the 4th round (127th overall) ... Songco was also a semifinalist for the Golden Spikes Award ... The WCC had numerous players on preseason watch lists, including four pitchers on the Stopper of the Year list and eight players on the Wallace Award Watch list ... Four players were also placed on the 2009 CoSida Academic All District VII Team, the most of any conference in the district ... San Diego's James Meador won the Player of the Year award


WCC TEAM NOTES

SCHOOL TEAM NOTES

Overall Record: 10-13
WCC Record: 0-0
  • Gonzaga picked up wins over Utah Valley (23-12, 8-3), while losing one to the Wolverines (21-17) and Washington State (7-5)

  • OF Mark Castellitto had a big week en route to earning WCC Rawlings Player of the Week honors. He went 10-for-17 (.588) and belted four home runs, two doubles, scored 11 runs, and drove in 13 RBI. In the opening win over Utah Valley, he went yard three times and had seven RBI. He was also named the NCBWA National Player of the Week.

  • OF Drew Heid had his six-game multi-hit streak come to an end in the series finale against Utah Valley, but is still tied for the league-lead in hits with 40 on the season.

  • 1B Andy Hunter notched a hit in every game last week to extend his hitting streak to a team-best seven games, inlcuding a home run against the Cougars to give him six on the season.

  • Today's game against WSU is postponed and GU will play a three-game set at Hawaii (4/2-4).
  • Overall Record: 13-11
    WCC Record: 0-0
  • LMU went undefeated last week with wins over Cal State Fullerton (4-2) and Albany NY (4-1, 11-6, 12-3, 7-4).

  • RHP Aaron Griffin earned WCC Rawlings Co-Pitcher of the Week after netting the win over Cal State Fullerton. He went the distance with a shutout heading into the ninth inning, and ended up allowing two runs and striking out five.

  • SS Shon Roe led the offense for the week, going 8-for-18 (.444) with three doubles, a home run, six runs, and three RBI, with multi-hit games in three of the four against Albany.

  • OF's Ryan Hawthorne and Nick Devian have been on fire for the Lions as Hawthorne is riding a 13-game hitting streak, while Devian is on a 10-game streak after getting just three hits in the first seven games.

  • The Lions have just two games this week, hosting USC (3/30) and Cal Poly (3/31).

  • Overall Record: 8-14
    WCC Record: 0-0
  • The Waves fell to USC (3-2) and lost the first game against Stony Brook (7-4), before winning the last two (3-0, 4-2).

  • LHP Matt Bywater tossed in his second complete game shutout of the season in the first win over Stony Brook en route to earning WCC Rawlings Co-Pitcher of the Week honors. In 44.0 innings pitched, he has struck out 43 batters, ranking sixth in the league. Bywater currently leads the league with a 2.05 ERA.

  • LHP Robert Dickmann matched Bywater by going the distance in the second win over Stony Brook as he allowed just two runs, while striking out seven.

  • Pepperdine is second in the league in team pitching (4.40) and is the only team in the league with three pitchers all have complete games in Bywater, Dickmann, and RHP Cole Cook.

  • Pepperdine has just one game this week, at #2 UCLA (3/30).
  • Overall Record: 15-6
    WCC Record: 0-0
  • The Pilots went undefeated last week, sweeping Southern Utah (10-0, 7-2, 3-2). The game against Oregon St. (3/30) was postponed this week.

  • RHP Kyle Kraus stayed undefeated (4-0) by tossing in a complete game for the second consecutive game in the second win in the series. He allowed just two runs, while striking out 14 batters, which tied for the second most single-game strikeouts in UP history.

  • OF Garrett Queen extended his hitting streak to eight games and is now hitting .387 after missing the first four games of the season.

  • C Beau Fraser had his five game multi-hit streak snapped in the series finale and is hitting .419 on the season, second best in the WCC.

  • Portland will begin conference play with a three-game series at Santa Clara (4/1-3).
  • Overall Record: 7-12
    WCC Record: 0-0
  • The Gaels won against Sacramento State (5-4) and UC Riverside (6-4), befoer losing the last three against the Highlanders (1-0, 8-5, 8-4).

  • 1B Troy Channing registered a hit in all five games last week to extend his team best hitting streak to seven games, including a home run against Sacramento State, to give him seven on the season, fourth best in the league.

  • In the win over UC Riverside, 3B Patrick Wisdom went a perfect 4-for-4 with three runs scored and two driven in. RHP Mark Anderson went the distance for his third straight quality start, allowing four runs while striking out five.

  • In the win over Sacramento State, Wisdom, OF Brenden Kalfus, and SS Mikey Reynolds all registered a double as the Gaels won on a bases loaded walk in the ninth.

  • The Gaels are at UC Davis (3/30) before playing a three-game set at Southern Miss. (4/1-3).
  • Overall Record: 14-12
    WCC Record: 0-0
  • San Diego beat UC Riverside (15-8) and lost the first game at #10 Coastal Carolina (10-2), before winning the last two (5-3, 2-1). The Toreros opened the week with an 8-6 loss to Hawaii.

  • RHP Matt Hauser was instrumental in the two wins over Coastal Carolina, earning the save in both games to give him five for the season, second best in the league. In 22.1 innings pitched as a reliever, he has only given up four earned runs this season.

  • OF Mike Ferraro led the offense over the week, going 5-for-10 (.500) with a double, one RBI, and three runs scored as he extended his team-best hitting streak to five games.

  • LHP Sammy Solis (4-1) got his fourth win of the season in the first victory over Coastal, tossing in 6.2 innings and striking out seven. His 2.80 ERA ranks fourth in the league.

  • The Toreros have the rest of the week off, before playing at #1 ASU (4/5-6).
  • Overall Record: 13-13
    WCC Record: 0-0
  • San Francisco fell to Cal (8-3), before defeating UCSB in the first game (6-4) and losing the last two (3-2, 11-6).

  • The Dons opened this week with a 5-1 win at #19 Stanford. 3B Stephen Yarrow led the offense, going 2-for-3, with a home run and three RBI. The home run gives him nine for the season, which leads the league. He is currently fifth on USF's all-time career list (24).

  • 1B Nick Balog registered a hit in each game last week, to extend his team best hitting streak to nine games and has notched four doubles and is hitting .448 in during that span.

  • Freshman Jared Denham is off to a quick start. In 22 games played, the outfielder is leading the team with a .397 batting average (29-for-73) and has added a team leading nine doubles.

  • The Dons have just one more game this week, hosting BYU (3/31).
  • Overall Record: 11-11
    WCC Record: 0-0
  • Santa Clara fell to San Diego State (13-6) before defeating the Aztecs (5-1) and won the first two against Princeton (19-4, 12-3) before losing the third (16-8).

  • RHP Nate Garcia matched his career-high by fanning 13 batters in the series opener against Princeton in just six innings of work, allowing just three hits and one earned run. He now has 290 career strikeouts and can become one of just five players in SCU history to reach 300.

  • OF Tommy Medica continues to have the hottest bat in the league as he has extended his hitting streak to 15 games. In that span, he has had 10 multi-hit games and has driven in 18 runs.

  • As a team, the Broncos are hitting a league-best .343, the only team above .300. In addition to Medica, Santa Clara has four other batters riding six-game hitting streaks.

  • The Broncos host Albany NY (3/30) and Portland (4/1-3) to open conference play.