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WCC Baseball Weekly Notes

April 7, 2009

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CONFERENCE PLAY CONTINUES THIS WEEK
The West Coast Conference closed out the second week of conference play with No. 21 San Diego recording the only sweep of the weekend. The Toreros are now the only unbeaten team in WCC play at 6-0 and have moved up in the national rankings. LMU nearly matched the Toreros' record, but lost in game three of its series against Portland and are now 5-1 and sit in second place. Gonzaga rounds out the top three in the standings after going 2-1 against then No. 26 Pepperdine and are now 4-2 in conference play.

With four teams having Friday off due to it being Good Friday, conference play will resume this Thursday. San Diego will put its undefeated conference record to the test this week, heading up to play Gonzaga, who has won 15 out of its last 18 games and are 9-1 at home this year. LMU, who has a streak of its own winning 11 out of its last 13, will look to at least maintain its hold of second place as it hosts San Francisco, who is coming off a series win against Saint Mary's.

UPCOMING SCHEDULE

All Times PST

MONDAY, APRIL 6
TEAMS LOCATION
TIME
RECAP
Washington at Gonzaga Spokane, WA 6:30 PM
TUESDAY, APRIL 7
TEAMS LOCATION
TIME
RECAP
Washington at Gonzaga Spokane, WA 12:00 PM
Pepperdine at UCSB Santa Barbara, CA 2:00 PM
Hawai'i at Santa Clara Santa Clara, CA
6:00 PM
Saint Mary's at No. 16 Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, CA 6:00 PM
LMU at No. 6 Cal State Fullerton Fullerton, CA
6:00 PM
San Diego at Stanford CANCELLED DUE TO WEATHER 6:00 PM
San Francisco at Pacific Stockton, CA 6:00 PM
THURSDAY, APRIL 9
TEAMS LOCATION
TIME
RECAP
Saint Mary's at Pepperdine Malibu, CA 3:00 PM
San Francisco at LMU Los Angeles, CA
3:00 PM
Santa Clara at Portland Portland, OR
3:00 PM
San Diego at Gonzaga Spokane, WA
6:00 PM
FRIDAY, APRIL 10
TEAMS LOCATION
TIME
RECAP
Saint Mary's at Pepperdine Malibu, CA 3:00 PM
San Diego at Gonzaga Spokane, WA 6:30 PM
SATURDAY, APRIL 11
TEAMS LOCATION
TIME
RECAP
Santa Clara at Portland Portland, OR
(DH) 9:00 AM, TBA
San Francisco at LMU Los Angeles, CA
(DH) 11:00 AM, TBA
San Diego at Gonzaga Spokane, WA
11:00 AM
Saint Mary's at Pepperdine Malibu, CA 1:00 PM

AROUND THE WCC
WCC Player of the Month: FR 3B Troy Channing, SMC
Troy Channing had a huge month of March, twice earning the WCC Player of the Week award. In the month, he hit .417, going 35-for-84, while scoring 22 runs, tallying six doubles and 10 home runs, and batting in 37 RBI. His slugging percentage was .845, while his on base was .474. He also had a hit in 17 straight games during the month, while leading all freshman in the country in hits, home runs, RBI, slugging percentage, and total bases.

WCC Pitcher of the Month: FR RHP Cole Cook, PEP
Cole Cook went 4-1 during the month of March, totaling 30 strikeouts, a 2.59 ERA, and a league-best .149 opponent's batting average. Cook was originally the Waves' middle reliever, but earned the job of weekend starter after holding off UCLA, Evansville, Cal Poly, and Wichita State long enough for Pepperdine to come back and win each of those games. His only loss of the month came at No. 23 San Diego, where he pitched eight innings, giving up just two hits.

WCC/Rawlings Player of the Week: Brad Bauer, LMU
Bauer helped LMU to a 3-2 week, going 9-for-15 (.600), scoring four runs, and tallying four doubles, a triple, four walks, and five RBI. He started the week off with an impressive 3-for-4 performance against No. 5 UC Irvine, including two doubles and a triple.

WCC/Rawlings Pitcher of the Week: Matt Fields, GON
Fields won his fourth consecutive start with the victory over then No. 26 Pepperdine. He tossed in eight innings, giving up just one run off of four hits, while striking out five.

Also Nominated: SR 1B Ryan Wiegand, GON; SO RHP Chris Eusebio, LMU; SO OF Zach Walters, USD; SO RHP Kyle Blair, USD; JR SS Derek Poppert, USF; JR RHP Doug Murray, USF

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: 21-8
WCC Record: 4-2
  • Gonzaga went 2-2, defeating Washington before the second game was cancelled due to weather, and taking the first two from Pepperdine.

  • In the series opener against Pepperdine, SR RHP Matt Fields won his fourth consecutive start, tossing in eight innings, allowing just one run off four hits, while striking out five. For his efforts, he was awarded WCC/Rawlings Pitcher of the Week.

  • FR RHP Ryan Carpenter was also impressive in the second win over the Waves, pitching 6.2 innings, allowing just one run and striking out six. He is 4-2 on the season.

  • SR 1B Ryan Wiegand led the week offensively, going 8-for-17 (.471), with five runs, three RBI, three doubles, and one home run.

  • Gonzaga will make up a series hosting Washington (4/6-7), before resuming conference play, hosting No. 21 San Diego for a three-game set (4/9-11)..
  • Overall Record: 19-14
    WCC Record: 5-1
  • Loyola Marymount snapped its eight-game win streak, losing to UC Irvine, before beating UCLA and going 2-1 against Portland last week, losing the third game in extra innings.

  • JR INF Brad Bauer led the way for the Lions over the week. He hit 9-for-15 (.600) with four runs scored, four doubles, a triple, and five RBI en route to earning WCC/Rawlings Player of the Week honors. He also had an on-base percentage of .684 and a slugging of 1.000.

  • JR CF Angelo Songco was 2-for-4, with a grand slam, in the second win over the Pilots and now has a league-leading 14-game hitting streak. He leads the league in runs scored (43) and is third in RBI (34) and home runs (9).

  • LMU plays at No. 6 Cal State Fullerton, before resuming conference play where it will host San Francisco (4/9), before playing the Dons in a double-header (4/11).
  • Overall Record: 17-13
    WCC Record: 1-5
  • The Waves had no midweek games scheduled last week and went 1-2 in their conference series with Gonzaga.

  • The Waves have been strong on the mound all year, leading the conference in team pitching with a 3.85 ERA and have given up league lows of 204 hits and 109 earned runs.

  • In the series opener against the Zags, SR RHP Nathan Newman had a quality start, going seven innings, allowing three runs off five hits, while striking out seven.

  • FR RHP Cole Cook tossed in 7.1 innings of work in the second game, giving up four runs, while striking out a career-high 10 batters.

  • Pepperdine heads on the road to take on UCSB (4/7), before continuing conference play, where it will host Saint Mary's in a three-game series (4/9-11).
  • Overall Record: 17-13
    WCC Record: 2-1
  • The Pilots went 2-2 last week, defeating Oregon on the road, and taking the last game in the series against LMU in extra innings.

  • In the victory over Oregon, SR 1B Cort Carpenter and SO 2B Riley Henricks had back-to-back solo home runs, while four pitchers combined for a four-hitter to secure the win. Henricks is currently fourth in the league in hitting at .388.

  • The Pilots avoided a sweep by LMU by knocking in four runs in the top of the 11th in the third game, two of which were SO OF Craig Smith's only RBI of the game. FR RHP Kyle Kraus had another quality start, going eight innings and giving up just two runs off three hits. Kraus leads the team in pitching with a 2.72 ERA, ranking fourth in the league.

  • The Pilots have no midweek games scheduled and will resume conference play hosting Santa Clara (4/9), before taking on the Broncos in a double-header (4/11).
  • Overall Record: 19-13
    WCC Record: 3-3
  • The Gaels went 3-2 last week, defeating Cal State Bakersfield and Nevada, before going 1-2 against San Francisco.

  • JR OF Kyle Jensen has found success against Nevada. In the first meeting on 3/24, he hit a walk-off grand slam for the win. In last week's game, he was a perfect 3-for-3, all going the distance. He is second in the league in home runs with 12.

  • FR INF Troy Channing went yard in three straight-games last week, before having his league-leading 17-game hitting streak come to an end in the third game against the Dons. He has already tied the program's single-season home run record with 15 on the year. SR RHP Brian Justice recorded his fifth win of the season against the Dons and is tied for the league high with a record of 5-1.

  • The Gaels are at No. 16 Cal Poly before resuming conference play in a three-game set at Pepperdine (4/9-11).
  • Overall Record: 22-11
    WCC Record: 6-0
  • San Diego was 3-1 last week, falling to No. 22 UC Riverside, before sweeping Santa Clara and is now the only unbeaten team in WCC play.

  • The Toreros scored a league-high 22 runs in back-to-back games against Santa Clara, including the third game which was aired live nationally on ESPNU.

  • SO RHP Kyle Blair had his second complete game this season in the series opener against the Broncos. He allowed just four runs, while striking out eight. He leads the league in innings pitched (51.1) and strikeouts (59).

  • SO OF Zach Walters led the week offensively, going 11-for-19, with a double, one triple, and three RBI. He ended the week with a 5-for-6 outing in the series finale against Santa Clara.

  • The Toreros play at Stanford, before resuming conference play, where they head up to play a three-game set at Gonzaga (4/9-11).
  • Overall Record: 14-18
    WCC Record: 3-3
  • San Francisco went 3-2 last week, falling to Cal in the Dante Benedetti Classic and defeating Cal State Bakersfield, before going 2-1 against Saint Mary's.

  • JR RHP Doug Murray remains undefeated at 5-0 this season, earning a win over Saint Mary's. He tossed in eight innings, allowing just two runs on three hits. He is one of only three pitchers in the conference to remain undefeated.

  • JR SS Derek Poppert led the way over the week, going 6-for-19 (.316), with a double, five RBI, four walks, and a stolen base. His most important hit came in the rubber match against the Gaels, where he hit a two-out RBI single in the bottom of the 10th for the win.

  • The Dons head over to take on Pacific (4/7), before continuing conference play, where they will play at LMU (4/9), before playing the Lions in a double-header (4/11).
  • Overall Record: 10-16
    WCC Record: 0-6
  • The Broncos went winless last week, falling to Long Beach State and Stanford, before getting swept by San Diego.

  • JR C Geoff Klein has stepped in nicely for All-American Tommy Medica, who was forced to undergo season-ending shoulder surgery. Klein is second in the league with 35 RBI and has played the least games among the top leaders. He is also on a league second best seven game hitting streak along with teammate FR INF Andrew Biancardi.

  • JR RHP Nate Garcia is only one of two pitchers in the conference to average seven or more innings per game and is currently third in the league in innings pitched (49.1) and strikeouts (53).

  • The Broncos host Hawai'i (4/7), before resuming conference play, where they will head up to play Portland (4/9), before playing the Pilots in a double-header (4/11).