April 4, 2006
WHO, WHAT, WHEN, WHERE:
WHO, WHAT, WHEN, WHERE:The red hot University of San Diego Torero baseball team (20-11, 2-1 WCC) will close out their seven-game home stand with a 3 p.m. game against Cal State Northridge at Cunningham Stadium on Wednesday. The Toreros will then travel to the Pacific Northwest for a three-game West Coast Conference Series against the University of Portland this upcoming weekend. Friday's game is scheduled to begin at 3 p.m. and both Saturday's and Sunday's game are set to begin at 1 p.m.
HOME SWEET HOME: The University of San Diego Toreros are bolstering a 10-2 record at home this season and as a team they are hitting .335 at Cunningham Stadium while the Toreros pitching staff is holding opponents to a .205 batting average. USD opened the season with a three-game sweep of the defending national champions, Texas Longhorns, at Cunningham Stadium, then suffered their first loss at home against UC Irvine on Feb. 21. USD then swept both cross-town rival San Diego State and UNLV before posting a 2-1 record this past weekend against the Gaels of Saint Mary's College in their West Coast Conference opener at home.
LAST TIME OUT:The Toreros posted a 2-1 record this past weekend to claim its opening West Coast Conference series against Saint Mary's College. USD pounded out 16 hits in Friday's 13-4 win against the Gaels in which both Justin Snyder and Kevin Hansen went a perfect 2-for-2 with Hansen driving in three runs. Jordan Abruzzo led the offense for the Toreros going 3-for-5 with three RBI. The Toreros then dropped game two, 5-3, before bouncing back on Sunday with a 9-4 win. In Sunday's win, USD fell behind 4-0, but then scored nine unanswered runs to come from behind and claim the series. Daniel Magness was the offensive hero for the Toreros going 2-for-3 with two RBI and one home run. Steve Singleton finished the day going 2-for-5 with two RBI to run his hit streak to 10 games.
SCOUTING THE MATADORS: Cal State Northridge enters the week with a 15-17 overall record and a 0-3 mark in the Big West Conference after being swept by top-ranked Cal State Fullerton this past weekend. Brett Blumenthal leads the offensive charge for the Matadors hitting a team-best .364 with a team-leading 32 hits, 23 RBI, has three doubles, one triple and two home runs. On the mound for CSUN, Craig Baker leads the way with his 3.26 ERA and has a record of 4-5. Baker also leads the team in strikeouts with 65. The Matadors are under the direction of fourth-year head coach Steve Rousey who has posted a 66-133-1 record during his tenure in Northridge.
SCOUTING THE PILOTS: The University of Portland enters the week with a 10-17 overall record and a 0-3 mark in the West Coast Conference after being swept by Gonzaga University this past weekend in Spokane, Wash. The Pilots are led offensively by Sean Nicol who is hitting a conference-leading .419 with a team-best 36 hits, 14 home runs and is tied for the team-lead in RBI with 46. Nicol also places second on the team in doubles with seven. On the mound for the Pilots, Sean Sargent leads the way with his 4.28 ERA and a record of 3-5. The Pilots are under the direction of ninth-year head coach Chris Sperry who has posted a 139-283-1 record during his tenure in Portland.
TOREROS MOVE UP IN NATIONAL RANKINGS: After the Toreros posted another winning weekend, USD moved up seven spots in the latest Rosenblatt Report top-25 poll to No. 18. USD has spent five of the nine weeks in the 2006 season ranked among the nations's elite reaching as high as No. 8 back on Feb. 20 in the Collegiate Baseball top-30 poll.
COUCH HAS STRONG OUTING: San Diego sophomore right-hander Matt Couch had a strong showing for the Toreros this past Sunday in picking up his fifth win of the season. Couch allowed four runs on seven hits while striking out six in 7.0 innings of work. Couch retired six of his first seven batters before allowing four runs in the third inning, but responded to the four runs by retiring 12 of his final 13 batters not allowing a single walk. Couch is now 5-0 with 3.59 ERA, good for second best on the team.
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.
SINGLETON CONCLUDES SOLID MONTH: Junior shortstop Steve Singleton has concluded yet another solid month for the Toreros. During the month of March, Singleton led the team in hitting going 29-for-70 (.414) with 29 hits, seven doubles, one home run and 11 RBI. During the Toreros 16 games in the month, Singleton recorded at least one hit in all but two games, recorded at least two hits in 10 of the games and recorded three or more hits in four of the games including a 4-for-5 performance against cross-town rival San Diego State University. Singleton is currently ridding a 10-game hit-streak and is leading the team in batting with his .410 batting average and leads the team in hits with 55, has nine doubles, three home runs and 22 RBI. For his efforts during the month, Singleton was nominated for the West Coast Conference Player of the Month.
BUSCHINI RETURNING TO FORM: Junior right-fielder Shane Buschini appears to be returning to his 2005 first-team All-WCC form after having a productive weekend at the plate for the Toreros. Buschini led the team in hitting this past weekend going 6-for-13 (.462) with one home run and five RBI. Buschini has moved his bating average up to .286 with 36 hits, nine doubles, is tied for the team-lead in home runs with four and has 24 RBI. Last season at about the same time Buschini also found his way with the bat and maintained it all through the conference part of the season hitting .398 with 41 hits, 10 doubles, two home runs and 15 RBI in WCC play.
NOTES ON POSITION PLAYERS
Daniel Magness, JR, 1B:Magness had a productive weekend for the Toreros hitting .455 going 5-for-11 with one home run and three RBI. Magness was huge for USD on Sunday as he gave the Toreros a the lead at 5-4 with his two-run homer over the right field fence.
Keoni Ruth, JR, 2B: Had another solid weekend at the plate for USD going 5-for-12 (.417) with five RBI and one stolen base to remain perfect in this category at 14-14. Ruth is now hitting .305 with 39 hits, six doubles, 22 RBI and is currently riding a six-game hit streak.
Steve Singleton, JR, SS: Singleton went 6-for-14 (.429) with one double and three RBI this past weekend. Singleton is now leading the team in batting percentage at .410, hits with 55, is second on the team in home runs with three and tied for second in doubles with nine.
Ryan Lilly, SR, 3B: Lilly saw his 12-game hit streak come to an end in Saturday's 5-3 loss to Saint Mary's. Lilly is now hitting .274 with 29 hits, four doubles, one home run and 14 RBI.
Kevin Hansen, SO, LF: Hansen went 4-for-11 with three RBI this past weekend while playing in both left field on Friday and Saturday and third base on Sunday. Hansen is now hitting .274 with 26 hits, two doubles and 12 RBI.
Justin Snyder, SO, CF: Snyder had a solid performance at the plate this past weekend going 3-for-7 (.429) with one triple and one RBI. Snyder also recorded eight walks over the weekend to bolster a .733 on base percentage.
Shane Buschini, JR, RF: Buschini was the hottest Torero at the plate this past weekend going 6-for-13 (.462) with one double and five RBI. Buschini moved his batting average up to .286 with 36 hits, nine doubles, is tied for the team-lead in home runs with four and has 24 RBI.
Jordan Abruzzo, JR, C: Abruzzo went 5-for-14 (.357) with one double and three RBI this past weekend. Abruzzo is second on the team in hitting with his .313 batting average, leads the team in doubles with 11 and in RBI with 28.
BUTLER HAS ANOTHER STRONG OUTING:Junior right-hander Josh Butler continues to dominate from the mound for the Toreros as he picked up his conference-leading seventh win this past Friday. Butler (7-2) allowed three runs, two earned, on six hits, while striking out 10 in seven complete innings of work. Butler's ERA went above 1.00 for the first time this season as he now has a conference leading ERA of 1.13 and has recorded a team-best 59 strikeouts in 63.2 innings of work.
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 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.
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.
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.