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Battle For First Place On the Line This Weekend

April 24, 2007

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IN A NUTSHELL: The 16th-ranked University of San Diego baseball team (32-14,10-2 WCC) will return to the friendly confines of Cunningham Stadium for a first-place showdown with No. 12 Pepperdine University. The Toreros will play on Friday at 3 p.m., then play on Sunday at 1 p.m. and conclude the series on Monday with a 3 p.m. game. The teams are not playing on Saturday because of Pepperdine's graduation.

THE POLLS: After posting a 3-1 record this past week, USD jumped up two spots to No. 16 in the latest Collegiate baseball top-30 poll, up two spots in the latest Baseball America top-25 poll to No. 17 and have moved up to No. 19 in the latest Rivals.com top-25 poll. Pepperdine remained at No. 13 in the latest Baseball America top-25 poll, are No. 15 in the Collegiate Baseball top-30 poll and are No. 12 in the latest Rivals.com top-25 poll.

LAST TIME OUT: San Diego posted a 3-1 record this past week. USD began the week with a tough 6-4 loss to cross-town rival San Diego State University, but rebounded to sweep the Lions of Loyola Marymount University to move their West Coast Conference win streak to nine and into a tie for first place in the WCC. In Tuesday's loss to the Aztecs, Shane Buschini led the way with his 2-for-3, one double, one triple and one RBI performance. Both Kevin Hansen and James Meador also had a good day at the plate as they went 2-for-4 with Hansen coming around to score two runs. In the first game on Saturday, Josh Romanski turned in yet another dominating performance as he went the distance, surrendering one unearned run on seven hits, while striking out five. Jordan Abruzzo tied the all-time career leader in hits with his 2-for-5 one RBI performance. Justin Snyder also had a solid day at the plate as he went 2-for-3 with one RBI. In game two on Saturday, Brian Matusz was nothing short of brilliant on the mound as he allowed one run on five hits, while striking out eight. Offensively, Abruzzo became the all-time hits leader at USD with his 3-for-6, two doubles and two RBI performance and Daniel Magness was another solid force at the plate as he went 4-for-6 with one double and one RBI. In Sunday's game, Magness led the way with his 3-for-5 three RBI performance. Sean Nicol also went 3-for-5 and Mike Metzger had a big day as well, going 2-for-3 with one triple and two RBI.

SCOUTING THE WAVES: Pepperdine enters the week with a 30-13 overall record and a 10-2 mark in the WCC after posting a 2-2 record this past week. Pepperdine began the week with a 6-2 loss to UCLA, then took two of three from Santa Clara over the weekend. The Waves are led offensively by Adrian Ortiz, who has a team-leading .395 batting average, 73 hits, has five doubles a team-best four triples, one home run and 19 RBI. On the mound, Pepperdine turns to Barry Enright to anchor down the rotation as he has a 10-1 overall record with a 1.58 ERA.

MR. ALL-TIME: Senior catcher Jordan Abruzzo has now become the all-time leader at USD in career-hits (284) and career-RBI (200). Abruzzo is also moving his way up the all-time doubles list, and is currently fourth all-time with 58, one behind Kevin Herde (1990-93), and fourth in home runs with 35, four behind Dave Rolls (1985-88) for third. Abruzzo is now hitting .333 with 64 hits, 12 doubles, one triple, eight home runs and 51 RBI. In conference action, Abruzzo has one of the hottest bats in the WCC as he is hitting .460, third best in the WCC, with 23 hits, four doubles, two home runs and 14 RBI.

ROMANSKI GOES THE DISTANCE...AGAIN: Sophomore left-hander Josh Romanski threw his second complete game of the season in Saturday's 5-1 win. In the game, he allowed one unearned run on seven hits, while striking out five. Romanski continues to provide the Toreros with a perfect 1-2 punch, along with classmate Brian Matusz. On the season, Romanski is 7-2 with a team-leading ERA of 2.33. In conference play, Romanski is 3-0 with a 0.53 ERA. In his last six outings, he has only allowed six runs, five earned, while striking out 41 batters. Romanski has also been a solid force at the plate with the bat, as he is hitting .325 with 55 hits, six doubles, two triples, one home run and 15 RBI.

TOREROS ON THE AIR: All of this week's games can all be heard live via the internet at www.usdtoreros.com by the voice of the Toreros Jack Murray. This is a subscription service that will give you access to live video events of USD athletic teams, coaching interviews and much more. The cost for this service will be $6.95 per month or a yearly subscription can be purchased for $49.95.

TOREROS TO PLAY LIVE ON CSTV MONDAY: Monday's series finale against Pepperdine can be seen live on CSTV. This marks the second consecutive year these two teams have met on a televised game, with the Toreros claiming last season's match-up, 6-1.

LEADING THE NATION: Sophomore left-hander Brian Matusz continues to lead the nation in strikeouts with his 127 strikeouts. The 127 k's on the season is the fourth best single-season strikeout total at USD, with Steve Davis setting the all-time mark of 148 in 1968. The Division I record for single-season strikeouts is 142, set by Glenn Godwin back in 1982. Matusz has now recorded double-digit strikeouts in seven games, reaching a career-high 13 on three separate occasions. On the season, Matusz is 8-2 with an ERA of 2.57.

MAGNESS SWINGING IT WELL: Senior first baseman Daniel Magness had the most productive week at the plate for the Toreros and played a huge role in USD posting a 3-1 record this past week. Magness went 9-for-18 (.500) with four doubles and four RBI. In Saturday's second game, Magness went 4-for-6 with one double and one RBI.

NICOL'S BAT IS BACK: Sophomore shortstop Sean Nicol has snapped out of his hitting slump and had a solid performance this past week with a 6-for-18 (.333) one home run and four RBI performance. Nicol's three-run homer in the second game on Saturday against Loyola Marymount, was huge as it broke open a pitching dual, gave USD a 3-1 lead and the momentum, as the Toreros would go on to score nine more unanswered runs over the final three innings to claim the 12-1 win.

HANSEN ALSO HAS SOLID WEEK: Junior third baseman Kevin Hansen was quietly a solid force at the plate for the Toreros this past week. For the week, Hansen went 8-for-17 (.471) with three RBI and represented four USD runs. On the season, Hansen is hitting .299 with 50 hits, nine doubles, two triples and 22 RBI.

NOTES ON POSITION PLAYERS

Daniel Magness, SR, 1B - Magness went 9-for-18 (.500) with four doubles and four RBI. In Saturday's second game, Magness went 4-for-6 with one double and one RBI. On the season, he is hitting .294 with 47 hits, six doubles and 27 RBI.

Justin Snyder, JR, 2B - Snyder had another strong performance at the plate this past week as he went 7-for-16 (.438) with one double, one home run and seven RBI. On the season, Snyder leads the team in hitting with a .363 batting average, has a team-leading 69 hits, 15 doubles, has three home runs and 29 RBI.

Sean Nicol, SO, SS - Nicol snapped out of his hitting slump this past week and had a solid performance, going 6-for-18 (.333) with one home run and four RBI. On the season, Nicol has moved his batting average up to .315 with 56 hits, seven doubles, one triple, four home runs and 17 RBI.

Kevin Hansen, JR, 3B - Hansen went 8-for-17 (.471) with three RBI and represented four USD runs this past week. On the season, Hansen is hitting .299 with 50 hits, nine doubles, two triples and 22 RBI.

Kevin Muno, FR, LF - On the season, Muno is hitting .246 with 17 hits, three doubles, one triple and four RBI.

Josh Romanski, SO, CF - Romanski is hitting .325 with 55 hits, six doubles, two triples, one home run and 15 RBI.

Shane Buschini, SR, RF - This past week, Buschini went 7-for-17 with two doubles, one triple, one home run and five RBI. On the season, Buschini is hitting .329 with 57 hits, 15 doubles, two triples, 11 home runs and 45 RBI.

Jordan Abruzzo, SR, C - Abruzzo became the all-time hits leader at USD with his 7-for-19 three doubles three RBI performance this past week. On the season, he is hitting .333 with 12 doubles, one triple, eight home runs and 51 RBI.

Logan Gelbrich, JR, DH - Gelbrich also had a solid week at the plate for the Toreros as he went 5-for-16 with three doubles and two RBI. On the season, Gelbrich is hitting .306 with 48 hits, 11 doubles, three home runs and 24 RBI.

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 2007 spring season will be Hill's 20th year as a head coach at the collegiate level, and ninth at USD, having enjoyed 16 winning seasons in 19 years. Since taking over at USD in 1999, Hill has been remarkable in leading the Toreros to eight 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. In 2006, Hill led USD to its highest national ranking in program history at No. 8, as well as USD's first-ever at-large berth into the NCAA Regionals.

LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION: All USD home games, as well as select road games, will be streamed live via video on the athletics department website. Fans can watch all the action live from the comfort of their home by logging onto usdtoreros.com. Once on the home page, click the LIVE button on the top right of the page. This is a subscription service that will give you access to live video events of USD athletic teams, coaching interviews and much more. The cost for this service will be $6.95 per month or a yearly subscription can be purchased for $49.95.

RECRUITING CLASS RANKED NO. 6: StudentSportsBaseball.com released their list of the Top 20 college baseball recruiting classes in the country and the University of San Diego checks in at No. 6. San Diego's recruiting class includes two AFLAC All-Americans - outfielder Sequoyah Stonecipher (Mission Bay HS) and right-handed pitcher Kyle Blair (Los Gatos HS). The recruiting class also includes one Team USA member in Victor Sanchez (Gahr HS), four players have earned All-CIF honors and all 10 student-athletes have earned all-league first- or second-team honors on their respective high school teams. This group will report to USD in the fall of 2007.

2007 GAMETRACKER AVAILABLE: All of San Diego's home games, as well as select road 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.