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Toreros to Play Four Games in Five Days

April 10, 2006

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WHO, WHAT, WHEN, WHERE: The red hot 17th-ranked University of San Diego Torero baseball team (22-12, 4-2 WCC) will return to action when they open their four-game home stand with a 3 p.m. game against Cal State Northridge at Cunningham Stadium on Tuesday. The Toreros will then resume West Coast Conference play as they open a three-game series on Thursday with a 3 p.m. game against Loyola Marymount University at Cunningham Stadium. USD then plays LMU on Friday at 3:30 p.m. and Saturday at 1 p.m. to close out the series. The games against LMU have been moved up one day to honor the Easter Holiday on Sunday and Friday's game is at 3:30 in honor of Good Friday.

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.

LAST TIME OUT: The Toreros posted a 2-1 record this past weekend to claim a three-game series with the Pilots of the University of Portland. USD opened the series with a 2-0 shutout win behind the strong pitching performance from freshman left-hander Brian Matusz. Matusz allowed no runs on four hits while striking out seven in eight complete innings of work. Matusz did not allow a single batter to move past second base during his eight inning shutout. Offensively for the Toreros, both Kevin Hansen and Ruth were the hitting hero's going 3-for-4 with Ruth adding one double. USD then captured the series on Saturday as they held off a late Portland rally to register an 8-6 win. Offensively for the Toreros, Abruzzo led the way going 3-for-5 with three RBI and one double as the only Torero to record multiple hits on the day. On Sunday, the Toreros were on the losing end of a 15 inning thriller. The Pilots were able to push across one run in the bottom of the 15th inning to spoil the sweep for USD. Shane Buschini and Hansen led the offensive charge for the Toreros both going 3-for-6.

SCOUTING THE MATADORS: Cal State Northridge enters the week with a 16-19 overall record and a 1-5 mark in the Big West Conference after dropping two-of-three games this past weekend to Cal Poly SLO. Brett Blumenthal leads the offensive charge for the Matadors hitting a team-best .356 with 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 3.15 ERA and has a record of 5-5. Baker also leads the team in strikeouts with 73. The Matadors are under the direction of fourth-year head coach Steve Rousey who has posted a 67-135-1 record during his tenure in Northridge.

SCOUTING THE LIONS: Loyola Marymount Enters the week with a 14-23 overall record and a 3-3 record in the West Coast Conference after dropping two-of-three games this past weekend against Saint Mary's College. The Lions are led offensively by Erik Johnson who is hitting a team-best .360, a team leading 34 RBI, is tied for the team-lead in hits with 45 and home runs with three and has 11 doubles. On the mound for LMU, Brad Meyers leads the way with his 2.84 ERA and a record of 5-3. Loyola Marymount in under the direction of 10th-year head coach Frank Cruz. During his tenure in Los Angeles, Curz has posted a 274-282-2 overall record.

TOREROS MOVE UP IN NATIONAL RANKINGS: After the Toreros posted another winning weekend, USD moved up one spot in the latest Rosenblatt Report top-25 poll to No. 17 and made their return to Baseball America's top-25 poll coming in at No. 23. USD has now spent six of the 10 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.

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.

TOREROS ON THE AIR: Thursday's, Firday's and Saturday's games against Loyola Marymount University can all be heard live via the internet at www.usdtoreros.com by the voice of the Toreros Jack Murray. There will also be select games throughout the remainder of the 2006 season that can be heard on usdtoreros.com, simply check the web site's baseball schedule page and look for the listen links that will appear in the right column of the page next to the particular game/series.

HANSEN NAMED WCC PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Sophomore outfielder Kevin Hansen had a solid performance at the plate for the Toreros this past weekend. Hansen went 7-for-14 (.500) with two doubles and two RBI including a 3-for-4 performance in Friday's 2-0 win. Hansen has now moved his batting average to .308, good for third on the team, has 33 hits, four doubles and 14 RBI on the season.

COUCH GETS LOTS OF ACTION: Sophomore right-hander Matt Couch saw lots of action this past weekend for the Toreros. Couch came in on Friday to pick up the save throwing one inning allowing no runs on no hits while striking out two in 1.0 innings of work. Couch then made a second appearance during the weekend in Saturday's 8-6 win as he picked up yet another save. Couch allowed no runs on no hits while striking out two in 1.0 innings of work. Couch wasn't done yet, he came in the sixth inning on Sunday and allowed one run on five hits while striking out a season-high 11 batters in 9.1 innings of work in the 15 inning marathon.

NOTES ON POSITION PLAYERS

Daniel Magness, JR, 1B: Daniel Magness is hitting .290 with 36 hits four doubles, two home runs and 14 RBI. In conference play, Magness is hitting .304 with three RBI and one triple.

Keoni Ruth, JR, 2B: Keoni Ruth is hitting .301 with 43 hits, seven doubles, which is good for third on the team, and has one home run and 22 RBI. In WCC action Ruth is hitting .333 with nine hits and one double.

Steve Singleton, JR, SS: Steve Singleton continues to lead the team in hitting with his .377 batting average, team-leading 55 hits, is tied for second on the team in doubles with nine and has three home runs and 22 RBI.

Ryan Lilly, SR, 3B: Ryan Lilly is now hitting .265 with 31 hits, four doubles, one home run and 18 RBI.

Kevin Hansen, SO, LF: Kevin Hansen had a solid performance at the plate for the Toreros this past week going 7-for-14 (.500) with two doubles and two RBI. Hansen is now hitting .440 in WCC action, good for second best on the team.

Justin Snyder, SO, CF: Justin Snyder had a good weekend for the Toreros going 4-for-12 with one RBI. Snyder is now hitting .295 with 36 hits, five doubles, one triple, two home runs and 18 RBI. In WCC action Snyder is hitting .333, good for fourth on the team.

Shane Buschini, JR, RF: Shane Buschini continues to improve his numbers after another solid week at the plate for the Toreros. This past weekend he went 6-for-14 (.429) with one RBI. Buschini has now moved his batting average up to .300 with 42 hits, nine doubles, four home runs and 25 RBI. In WCC action Buschini is hitting a team-leading .444 with 12 hits and has six RBI.

Jordan Abruzzo, JR, C: Jordan Abruzzo had a productive week at the plate for USD going 5-for-13 (.385) with one double and four RBI. On the season Abruzzo is second on the team in hitting with a .319 batting average and leads the team in both doubles (12) and RBI (32). In WCC action Abruzzo is hitting .370 good for third on the team.

MATUSZ HAS ANOTHER STRONG OUTING: Freshman left-hander Brian Matusz had yet another solid performance for the Toreros on the mound. In Friday's 2-0 shutout win Matusz threw eight scoreless innings allowing only four hits while striking out seven. Matusz did not allow a single batter to move past second base during his eight inning shutout. On the season Matusz is second on the team in strikeouts with 60 and had a record of 3-2 with an ERA of 3.47. Matusz's 60 strikeouts is the second highest in the conference, one behind teammate Josh Butler.

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.

TOREROS SCHEDULE RANKED 10TH TOUGHEST: The San Diego baseball team has the 10th toughest non-conference schedule in the nation, as stated by BoydsWorld.com. The Toreros, who open their 2006 slate with a three-game home stand against the defending national champions, Texas Longhorns, will play eight games against teams that rank in the top-10 for strength of schedule for all games - No. 4 USC (one game), No. 7 Cal State Northridge (two games), No. 8 UC Riverside (two games) and No. 9 Georgia (three games). Besides Texas, USD will face one other team in non-conference play that appear in Baseball America's Top-20, No. 7 Rice (Mar. 14). Other non-conference opponents include UC Davis (three games, Feb. 10-12), Vanderbilt (one game, Feb. 17), Kansas (one game, Feb. 18), UC Irvine (two games, Feb. 21 & Apr. 25), Cal Poly (three games, Mar. 3-5), Washington (two games, Mar. 7-8), San Diego State (four games, Mar. 10-12; May 2nd), Texas Southern (one game, Mar. 15), Houston (three games, Mar. 17-19), and UNLV (three games, Mar. 24-26).

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.