{{ article.title }}

WCC Baseball Weekly Notes

March 31, 2009

Complete Release in PDF Format Get Acrobat Reader


CONFERENCE PLAY CONTINUES THIS WEEK
The West Coast Conference closed out the first week of conference play with No. 23 San Diego and LMU both recording sweeps to take first place in the standings, capping off undefeated weeks for both teams. With the sweep, San Diego moved back into the national rankings as it came at the hands of then No. 17 Pepperdine. Pepperdine still maintains a national ranking, coming in at No. 26 according to the NCBWA. Gonzaga and Saint Mary's are tied for second place with 2-1 records and Portland and San Francisco are tied for third with 1-2 records. Pepperdine and Santa Clara round out the standings. This week, San Francisco will take on Cal in the fourth annual Dante Benedetti Classic at AT&T Park, home of the San Francisco Giants. Also this week, Santa Clara will host San Diego on April 5th in a nationally televised game to be aired on ESPNU.

UPCOMING SCHEDULE

All Times PST

MONDAY, MARCH 30
TEAMS LOCATION
TIME
RECAP
Cal State Bakersfield at Saint Mary's Moraga, CA 3:00 PM
TUESDAY, MARCH 31
TEAMS LOCATION
TIME
RECAP
Portland at Oregon Eugene, OR 3:00 PM
No. 8 UC Irvine at LMU Los Angeles, CA 3:00 PM
Long Beach State at Santa Clara Santa Clara, CA
6:00 PM
Saint Mary's at Nevada Reno, NV 6:00 PM
No. 23 San Diego at UC Riverside Riverside, CA
6:00 PM
San Francisco vs. California San Francisco, CA (AT&T Park)
Dante Benedetti Classic
6:00 PM
Gonzaga at Washington Seattle, WA 6:30 PM
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 1
TEAMS LOCATION
TIME
RECAP
San Francisco at Cal State Bakersfield Bakersfield, CA 2:00 PM
Gonzaga at Washington Seattle, WA
3:00 PM
Santa Clara at Stanford Palo Alto, CA
5:00 PM
LMU at UCLA Los Angeles, CA
6:00 PM
FRIDAY, APRIL 3
TEAMS LOCATION
TIME
RECAP
Gonzaga at No. 26 Pepperdine Malibu, CA 3:00 PM
Portland at LMU Los Angeles, CA 3:00 PM
Saint Mary's at San Francisco San Francisco, CA 3:00 PM
No. 23 San Diego at Santa Clara Santa Clara, CA 7:00 PM
SATURDAY, APRIL 4
TEAMS LOCATION
TIME
RECAP
Gonzaga at No. 26 Pepperdine Malibu, CA 1:00 PM
Portland at LMU Los Angeles, CA 1:00 PM
Saint Mary's at San Francisco San Francisco, CA 1:00 PM
No. 23 San Diego at Santa Clara Santa Clara, CA 6:00 PM
SUNDAY, APRIL 5
TEAMS LOCATION
TIME
RECAP
Gonzaga at No. 26 Pepperdine Malibu, CA 1:00 PM
Portland at LMU Los Angeles, CA 1:00 PM
Saint Mary's at San Francisco San Francisco, CA 1:00 PM
No. 23 San Diego at Santa Clara Santa Clara, CA 3:30 PM ESPNU

AROUND THE WCC
WCC Co-Player of the Week: James Meador, USD
Meador led the offense for the Toreros, helping them go 5-0 last week. He went 12-for-19 (.632), with a double, two home runs, and five RBI. He leads the team in batting average at .375.

WCC Co-Player of the Week: Kyle Jensen, SMC
Jensen was instrumental in the Gaels' first win of the week, registering a walk-off grand slam against Nevada. For the week he went 9-for-16 (.563), scoring six runs, one double, two home runs, and six RBI.

WCC Pitcher of the Week: Matt Thomson, USD
Thomson had an outstanding perfomance in a win over then No. 17 Pepperdine. He threw a complete-game two-hitter, while striking out a career-high 10 batters. For the season, he is averaging a league-leading 11.48 strikeouts per nine innings.

Also Nominated: JR CF Drew Heid, GON; SO RHP Cody Martin, GON; SR RHP Lee Roberts, LMU; SR INF Kyle Spraker, LMU; SR RHP Brian Justice, SMC; JR OF Kyle Jensen, SMC; SR OF Drew Johnson, USF; JR RHP Doug Murray, USF; JR C Geoff Klein, SCU

WCC Teams Garner Preseason Rankings
San Diego and Pepperdine were each listed among the nation's elite in numerous rankings heading into the 2009 campaign. The Waves were ranked No. 8 and the Toreros checked in at No. 15 in the Rivals.com rankings. The Toreros came in at No. 11, while the Waves finished 17th by Baseball America. The USA Today/ESPN poll had the Toreros at No. 15, while the Waves came in at No. 21. The Toreros finished 18th in the NCBWA poll, while the Waves were ranked No. 21.

San Diego
Baseball America - No. 11
USA TODAY/ESPN - No. 15
Rivals.com - No. 15
Collegiate Baseball - No. 17
Pingbaseball.com - No. 17
NCBWA - No. 18

Pepperdine
Rivals.com - No. 8
Pingbaseball.com - No. 12
Baseball America - No. 17
USA TODAY/ESPN - No. 21
NCBWA - No. 21
Collegiate Baseball - No. 23

WCC's Preseason All-Americans
Seven WCC standouts were tabbed for 2009 preseason All-American honors, with two earning first team recognition. San Diego's AJ Griffin earned first team honors by the NCBWA and third team honors by Collegiate Baseball, while teammate Victor Sanchez earned third team honors by Baseball America. Joining Griffin with first team honors is Pepperdine's Bryce Mendonca, who was recognized by Collegiate Baseball. Also recognized by Collegiate Baseball were Santa Clara's Thain Simon with second team honors and Tommy Medica with third team honors. Joining Medica on the third team were Pepperdine's Nick Gaudi and Saint Mary's Kyle Jensen.

Four WCC Hurlers Named To Stopper Of The Year Watch List
Four WCC pitchers were among the 40 players named to the initial watch list for the fourth annual National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) Stopper of the Year Award, the association announced Tuesday. Gonzaga RHP Cody Martin, Pepperdine RHP Nick Gaudi, San Diego RHP AJ Griffin, and Santa Clara right hander Thain Simon were each named to the preseason watch list for the award, which is presented to the top relief pitcher in NCAA Division I baseball. The West Coast Conference enjoyed the second highest amount of players from any conference to be named to the list, following the ACC with nine. The Big 12 also placed four, while the SEC and Pac-10 had three each.

WCC Standouts Named To Wallace Award Watch List
Eight WCC players headline the 2009 Brooks Wallace Player of the Year Watch List. The Wallace Award is presented annually to the nation's top collegiate baseball player in conjunction with the College Baseball Hall of Fame induction ceremonies. The 2009 award banquet will be at 7 p.m., Thursday, July 2, in the United Spirit Arena on the campus of Texas Tech University.

San Diego led the way with junior All-American closer AJ Griffin along with sophomore right-hander Kyle Blair and sophomore lefty Sammy Solis. Also on the list from the WCC were senior Ryan Wheeler of Loyola Marymount, sophomore Riley Henricks of Portland, sophomore Thain Simon of Santa Clara, junior Kyle Jensen of Saint Mary's, and sophomore Matt Lujan of San Francisco.

Player, School              2008 Key StatsKyle Blair, USD             3.86 ERA, 99 SOA.J. Griffin, USD           2.15 ERA, 14 SVRiley Henricks, POR         .301, 69 hits, 8 HRKyle Jensen, SMC            .421, 82 hits, 13 HRMatt Lujan, USF             3.19 ERA, 7 winsThain Simon, SCU            2.59 ERA, 9 winsSammy Solis, USD            3.83 ERA, 42 SORyan Wheeler, LMU           .345, 70 hits, 20 2B

LMU Names Jason Gill Head Coach
Jason Gill begins his first year at the helm of the LMU baseball program after serving as an assistant coach for the Lions in 1999 and 2000. Gill, who has spent the last four years working under head coach George Horton at Oregon and Cal State Fullerton, returns to the bluff to become the seventh head coach of the Lions' program. Overall, Coach Gill has been to Omaha four times as a player and a coach, to the postseason a total of nine times, coached four Conference Players of the Year, and has seen 14 of his student-athletes make the Major Leagues.

San Diego and Pepperdine Picked To Finish First In 2009 WCC Preseason Poll
San Diego and Pepperdine were chosen to finish as West Coast Conference champions in the 2009 preseason baseball poll, as selected by conference coaches. The Toreros, who have been ranked as high as No. 11 in the national preseason polls, received the same amount of points as Pepperdine, but garnered one more first place vote. San Diego is coming off the most successful season in program history, as the Toreros compiled a 44-17 overall record en route to the WCC crown in 2008. Pepperdine earned three first place votes and was picked second with 45 overall points, while Santa Clara checked in at No. 3 in the poll with 32 points. Gonzaga nabbed the last first place vote, receiving 30 points to come in at No. 4. San Francisco, off a fourth place finish from last year, was picked to finish No. 5, with 26 points. LMU, under first year Head Coach Jason Gill, is expected to finish sixth, with 20 points. Saint Mary's and Portland round out this year's preseason poll, earning 14 and nine points respectively.

WCC Baseball Preseason Poll
1. San Diego - 45 (4)
Pepperdine - 45 (3)
3. Santa Clara - 35
4. Gonzaga - 30 (1)
5. San Francisco - 26
6. LMU - 20
7. Saint Mary's - 14
8. Portland - 9
(first place votes)


WCC TEAM NOTES

SCHOOL TEAM NOTES

Overall Record: 17-7
WCC Record: 2-1
  • Gonzaga split a two-game series against Utah, before going 2-1 at San Francisco to open conference play.

  • JR CF Drew Heid led the offense for the Zags over the week, finishing 10-for-22 (.455), with four runs scored, one double, two triples, and three RBI.

  • SO RHP Cody Martin collected a pair of wins over the week, pitching 4.1 scoreless innings in the two games, while collecting three strike-outs.

  • JR RHP Steven Ames is currently undefeated this season and leads the league in wins with a record of 5-0.

  • Gonzaga will travel to play a two-game set at Washington (3/31-4/1), before returning to conference play, where it will play a three-game series at No. 26 Pepperdine (4/3-5).
  • Overall Record: 16-12
    WCC Record: 3-0
  • Loyola Marymount went undefeated over the week, defeating Cal State Northridge, before sweeping a three-game series at Santa Clara. The Lions have now won eight straight.

  • SR RHP Lee Roberts was outstanding in the conference opener, pitching a complete-game shutout over the Broncos. He allowed only six hits, while giving up zero walks and striking out seven batters. He is now 2-0 on the season.

  • SR INF Kyle Spraker was instrumental in helping the Lions to a 4-0 week. He hit .316 over the week, scoring five runs and tallying a double, two home runs, and six RBI. He ended the week by registering four hits in the series finale against Santa Clara.

  • LMU will host No. 8 UC Irvine (3/31) and play at UCLA (4/1), before returning to conference play, where it will host a three-game series against Portland (4/3-5).
  • Overall Record: 16-11
    WCC Record: 0-3
  • The Waves went winless last week, losing to Brown and UCLA, before getting swept in a three-game series at No. 25 San Diego.

  • Pepperdine has had a run of close games this season. Of the 11 losses, six of them were by two or less runs each.

  • The Waves continue to lead the league in pitching with a 3.91 team ERA, holding opponents to a league-low .229 batting average, and are second in total strikeouts with 237.

  • FR RHP Cole Cook and SR RHP Nathan Newman lead the team in pitching with ERAs of 2.82 and 2.97, respectively, and are a combined 7-3.

  • Pepperdine has most of the week off with no mid-week games scheduled and will host Gonzaga in a three-game series (4/3-5).
  • Overall Record: 15-11
    WCC Record: 1-2
  • The Pilots went 2-2 last week, defeating Corban College, before taking the last of a three-game series at Saint Mary's.

  • In the victory over Corban College, SR 1B Chase Powell led the team with four RBI and a home run along with SO CF Craig Smith. FR SS Kris Kauppila, SO 2B Riley Henricks, and Smith all had three hits each. Kauppila is currently third in the league in hits with 39.

  • In the win over Saint Mary's, FR RHP Kyle Kraus tossed in seven strong innings, allowing just one run on five hits for the win. He was helped by his older brother SR LF Bryant Kraus, who registered a home run and a double. Kraus is currently third in the league in batting average (.389) and fourth in home runs with six.

  • The Pilots head over to take on Oregon (3/31), before resuming conference play, where they will play at LMU for a three-game series (4/3-5).
  • Overall Record: 17-11
    WCC Record: 0-0
  • The Gaels went 3-1 last week, defeating Nevada, before taking the first two of a three-game set with Portland.

  • JR OF Kyle Jensen had a big week for the Gaels. Over the week, he batted 9-for-16 (.563), scoring six runs, one double, six RBI, and two home runs, including a walk-off grand slam in the victory over Nevada. He was honored with Co-WCC/Rawlings Player of the Week. Jensen is second in the league in home runs (9), while teammate FR INF Troy Channing is first (12).

  • In the conference opener against Portland, SR RHP Brian Justice got his fourth win of the season, tossing in seven innings and allowing no runs and no walks on just two hits, while striking out seven.

  • The Gaels will travel to play Nevada (3/31), before resuming conference play, where they will face San Francisco in a three-game series (4/3-5).
  • Overall Record: 19-10
    WCC Record: 3-0
  • San Diego went 5-0 last week, moving back into the national rankings. The Toreros took down Brown and Long Beach State, before sweeping Pepperdine.

  • JR RHP Matt Thomson registered a shutout in the second game against the Waves. He pitched a complete-game two-hitter, while striking out a career-high 10 batters. For his efforts, he was awarded WCC/Rawlings Pitcher of the Week honors. He leads the trio of SO RHP Kyle Blair and JR RHP AJ Griffin, who all average 10+ strikeouts per nine innings.

  • JR OF James Meador had a huge week for San Diego en route to earning Co-WCC/Rawlings Player of the Week honors. He went 12-for-19 (.632), with one double, two home runs, and five RBI, and is now tied for third in the league in hits with 39.

  • The Toreros play at UC Riverside (3/31), before continuing conference play, where they will play a three-game set at Santa Clara (4/3-5), including a national TV game on ESPNU (4/5).
  • Overall Record: 11-16
    WCC Record: 1-2
  • San Francisco went 2-2 last week, defeating UC Davis, before going 1-2 against Gonzaga.

  • JR RHP Doug Murray is undefeated at 4-0 this season and earned the win over Gonzaga. He tossed in seven innings, allowing three runs off six hits, while striking out five.

  • SR OF Drew Johnson paced the league last week with three home runs. In four games, he went 5-for-13, with four runs scored and four RBI.

  • SR OF Zach Kim leads the league in stolen bases (15), while Murray is second in wins.

  • The Dons play in the fourth annual Dante Benedetti Classic at AT&T Park (3/31) against Cal, before resuming conference play, hosting a three-game set against Saint Mary's (4/3-5).
  • Overall Record: 10-11
    WCC Record: 0-3
  • The Broncos went winless last week, losing to Cal, before getting swept in a three-game series against LMU.

  • JR C Geoff Klein led the way for the Broncos over the week. He batted .529, recording a double, one home run, five RBI, and scoring three runs. He also did not record a single strikeout over the week.

  • In the conference opener against LMU, JR RHP Nate Garcia tossed in five scoreless innings, before finishing with seven total, and gave up just two runs on five hits, while striking out nine batters. Garcia is currently ranked first in the league with 43.1 innings pitched to average 7.2 innings a contest, while ranking third in strikeouts with 47.

  • The Broncos host Long Beach State (3/31) and play at Stanford (4/1), before hosting a three-game set against No. 23 San Diego (4/3-5), including a national TV game on ESPNU (4/5).