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Baseball's Road Swing Continues

April 24, 2006

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WHO, WHAT, WHEN, WHERE: The 24th-ranked University of San Diego Torero baseball team (25-17, 7-5 WCC) will return to action on Tuesday as they continue their eight-game road swing with a trip to Irvine to take on the Anteaters of UC Irvine in a 6 p.m. non-conference game at Anteater Ball Park. USD will then travel to Northern California for a pivotal three-game West Coast Conference series with the Dons of the University of San Francisco. Friday's game is scheduled for a 3 p.m. start and both Saturday's and Sunday's game will begin at 1 p.m.

TOREROS IN NATIONAL RANKINGS: After the Toreros posted 1-3 record this past week, USD moved down five spots in the latest Rosenblatt Report top-25 poll to No. 24 and dropped out of the Baseball America and Collegiate Baseball polls. USD has now spent eight of the 12 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.

LAST TIME OUT: The Toreros posted a 1-3 record this past week, dropping Tuesday's game to UC Riverside 11-1, then won the series opener against West Coast Conference rival Pepperdine University 6-1, but fell to Pepperdine 4-2 on Saturday, and then dropped a heartbreaker, 5-4, in 10 innings on Sunday. Brian Matusz was key in the Toreros claiming the 6-1 win on Friday as he allowed one run on five hits while striking out six in 8.0 innings of work. Matusz helped the normally potent Pepperdine bats to a .192 batting average for the day. Keoni Ruth was the offensive hero for USD this past week going 8-for-16 with two stolen bases.

SCOUTING THE ANTEATERS: UC Irvine enters the week with a 24-17 overall record and a 5-7 record in the Big West Conference after taking two-of-three from UC Santa Barbara this past weekend. The Anteaters are led offensively by Gary Dudrey who has a team-leading .375 batting average with 36 hits, seven doubles, two triples, one home run and 11 RBI. Scott Gorgen leads the pitching staff for UCI with his team-best ERA of 2.21 and a record of 5-2. The Anteaters are under the direction of second-year head coach Dave Serrano who has posted a 55-42 overall record during his tenure in Irvine.

SCOUTING THE DONS: The University of San Francisco enters the week with a 25-18 overall record and a 7-5 record in West Coast Conference play after dropping two-of-three this past weekend to Gonzaga University. The 7-5 WCC record places the Dons in a four-way tie with USD, Pepperdine University and Gonzaga for second place in conference, one game back of Saint Mary's College for first place. The Dons are led offensively by Joey Railey who is hitting a team-best .370 with a team-leading 60 hits, has nine doubles, two triples, one home run and 20 RBI. On the mound for USF, Patrick McGuigan leads the charge with his 9-1 record and an ERA of 2.88. USF is under the direction of eighth-year head coach Nino Giarratano who has amassed a 208-230 overall record during his tenure in San Francisco.

ROMANSKI LOOKS SOLID IN START: Freshman left-hander Josh Romanski had a solid no decision performance on the mound in this past Sunday's 5-4 heartbreaking loss to Pepperdine University. Romanski, in only his fourth start of the season, allowed two runs on seven hits, while striking out five in 6.2 innings of work. Romanski is a two-way player for USD serving as a closer in the bullpen, and a left fielder and also sees time as the designated hitter spot. On the mound, Romanski has posted a 1-4 record with an ERA of 3.75 and has a team-leading four saves. Offensively, Romanski is bolstering a .274 batting average with 31 hits, three doubles, one triple, one home run and 12 RBI. During his freshman campaign thus far, Romanski has also been tabbed as the West Coast Conference player of the week on two occasions, once after the season opening series sweep of the Texas Longhorns and the other after USD captured two-of-three from Loyola Marymount two weeks ago.

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.

MATUSZ NAMED WCC PITCHER OF THE WEEK: The Toreros Freshman left-hander Brian Matusz has been named this weeks West Coast Conference Pitcher of the Week. Matusz was key in the Toreros lone win of the week as he allowed one run on five hits in Friday's 6-1 win against Pepperdine University. In the game, Matusz allowed four of the five hits he gave up in the first four innings, and then he settled down and only allowed one hit for the remainder of his outing. Matusz also held the normally potent Pepperdine batters to a .192 batting average in the win. Matusz is now 4-2 with an ERA of 3.27 and he leads the team in strikeouts with 71.

RUTH SWINGING IT WELL: Junior second baseman Keoni Ruth has been swinging the bat well as of late. Over the last eight games Ruth is batting .500 (16-for-32) with two doubles and three RBI. This past Sunday Ruth was an offensive workhorse for the Toreros as he went 4-for-5 at the plate to lead the offensive charge for USD. Ruth has slowly been creeping his batting average up and is currently third on the team with a .337 batting average and is leading the team in batting average during conference play at .444. Ruth has tallied nine doubles, one triple, one home run and has driven in 25 runs. Ruth is also the Toreros best threat to steal bases as he has swiped 16 bases in 20 attempts to lead USD in this category.

NOTES ON POSITION PLAYERS

Daniel Magness, JR, 1B: Daniel Magness went 4-for-14 (.286) with two RBI this past week and is now hitting .300 with 45 hits, five doubles, two home runs and 16 RBI.

Keoni Ruth, JR, 2B: Keoni Ruth had a huge week for USD going 8-for-16 (.500) to lead all USD hitters. On the season Ruth is hitting .337 with nine doubles, one triple, one home run and 25 RBI.

Steve Singleton, JR, SS: Steve Singleton is second on the team in hitting with a .358 batting average, and leads the team in hits with 64, is second on the team in doubles with 11, and is tied for the team-lead in home runs with four.

Ryan Lilly, SR, 3B: Ryan Lilly went 4-for-14 (.286) at the plate this past week and has been making some outstanding defensive plays at third base for USD. Lilly is now hitting .260 with 38 hits, four doubles, one home run and 20 RBI.

Kevin Hansen, SO, LF: Kevin Hansen went 3-for-11 this past week and is now hitting .289 with 39 hits, four doubles and 16 RBI.

Justin Snyder, SO, CF: Justin Snyder is now hitting .283 with 43 hits, five doubles, one triple, two home runs and 21 RBI. Snyder is bolstering a .424 on base percentage.

Shane Buschini, JR, RF: Shane Buschini is now hitting .284 with 48 hits, is third on the team in doubles with 10, is tied for the team-lead in home runs with four and has 26 RBI.

Jordan Abruzzo, JR, C: Jordan Abruzzo is now hitting .316 with 54 hits, leads the team in doubles with 14, is tied for the team-lead in home runs with four and has a team-leading 35 RBI.

Logan Gelbrich, SO, DH: Logan Gelbrich has been a solid force at the plate as of late for USD. This past week he went 5-for-11 with one double and one RBI. Gelbrich now leads the team in hitting with a .370 batting average and has 20 hits, three doubles, one home run and nine RBI.

GELBRICH SEEING ACTION: Sophomore catcher Logan Gelbrich has been getting more and more playing time as he has been swinging the bat well. Over the last eight games, Gelbrich has hit 8-for-15 (.533) with one double, one home run and four RBI. Gelbrich has been seeing a lot of time as the designated hitter over the past two weeks and also sees time behind the plate on occasion. Gelbrich now leads the team in hitting with his .370 batting average.

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.