April 12, 2007
WCC Baseball All-Access
The WCC Baseball All-Access video streaming package continues this week with a pair of games, as San Diego hosts Portland on Friday before Gonzaga travels to Santa Clara for a series finale on Sunday. To watch the games for free, fans can sign up for the WCC's All-Access package on WCCsports.com.
Portland at San Diego
The first WCC Free All-Access baseball game of the week matches Portland and San Diego in the opener of a crucial conference series on Friday. The Pilots dropped two-of-three to Gonzaga last weekend and are coming off of a 12-4 loss to No. 8 ranked Oregon State on Tuesday, while the Toreros swept Saint Mary's last weekend to improve to 4-2 in WCC play before falling to UC Riverside in a mid-week tilt, 8-7.
Chase Powell has led Portland at the plate, batting a team-high .326 (30-for-92) on the season. Senior Justin Pierce has provided punch in the UP lineup, clubbing a team-high four home runs. Pierce needs just two more dingers to move into a tie for 10th place on the Portland career list with 18 round-trippers. David Gruener, a transfer from Notre Dame in his first year on The Bluff, tossed his second complete game of the season in last Thursday's 9-1 win over Gonzaga, earning his first victory in a Pilot uniform.
The Toreros come into the weekend series with a 26-13 mark, and ranked as high as No. 21 in the national polls. San Diego's lineup boasts two of the top power hitters in the conference, as seniors Shane Buschini and Jordan Abruzzo have combined to hit 15 of USD's 22 home runs so far this season. Buschini paces the conference with eight dingers, while Abruzzo has driven in a league-high 44 runs for the Toreros. The pitching duo of sophomores Brian Matusz and Josh Romanski has been equally impressive on the mound, combining to record an 11-3 mark with each pitcher sporting a sub-3.00 ERA.
Gonzaga at Santa Clara
The WCC All-Access baseball action continues on Sunday for the final game of a three-game set between Gonzaga and Santa Clara. The Broncos have gotten off to a 4-2 start in league play after taking two-of-three from San Francisco on the road last weekend, while the Zags have also started conference play with a 4-2 mark following a doubleheader sweep of Portland on Sunday.
Gonzaga enters the week as one of the hottest teams in the WCC, having won three straight games and four of its last five contests. Darin Holcomb is enjoying an outstanding season at the plate, as the junior leads the team with four home runs and 28 RBI, while batting .338 (51-for-151) for the Zags. Junior Shawn Wayt has also has also come on strong for Gonzaga, clubbing his first home run of the season in Tuesday's 12-6 win over Washington State. Junior hurler Brandon Harmon has emerged as one of the WCC's most dominant starters, tossing complete games in each of his last three starts and earning two straight WCC/Rawlings Pitcher of the Week honors.
Santa Clara looks to continue its recent success in WCC action, playing its first conference series at home this weekend. Catcher Tommy Media was tabbed for WCC Player of the Week recognition after batting a phenomenal .769 (10-for-13) during last weekend's series at San Francisco. The freshman enters the week batting a team-high .397 (29-for-73) on the season. Junior Ryan Conan slugged a pair of home runs last weekend, including a grand slam in Saturday's series finale, to bring his team-high home run total to four on the year. Conan also leads the team and ranks second in the conference with 36 RBI. Reliever Jeff Lombard has been outstanding out of the bullpen for the Broncos, posting a 2.42 ERA with six saves in 19 mound appearances.