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WCC weekly baseball notes, April 26, 2011

April 26, 2011

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AROUND THE WCC

West Coast Conference Play Heats Up
The University of San Francisco is the WCC's hottest team. The Dons have won six straight conference games. USF will host Loyola Marymount in a three-game series beginning Friday at Benedetti Diamond.

San Francisco's Pete Lavin Named Rawlings WCC Player of the Week
USF center fielder Pete Lavin hit .526 in four games last week. The senior totaled 10 hits, three doubles, six runs scored, an RBI, a walk and a stolen base from the leadoff spot. Lavin turned in a .684 slugging percentage with a .571 on base percentage. He was flawless in the outfield, catching 10 balls without an error. Lavin's play powered the Dons to their second consecutive West Coast Conference sweep with 5-4, 9-5 and 15-4 wins against rival Santa Clara. After back-to-back multiple hit games to open the series, Lavin went 4-for-6 in the final game against the Broncos.
Also Nominated: Kevin Armijo, POR; Richard Boas, SMC; Patrick Terry, SCU

Saint Mary's Martin Agosta Named Rawlings WCC Pitcher of the Week
Saint Mary's sophomore Martin Agosta threw his second complete game of the season, going 9.0 complete in the 12-1 win over No. 24 Gonzaga in Spokane on Friday. He scattered eight hits and two walks, while striking out three. With the win Agosta improves to 4-4 on the season.
Also Nominated: Jason Wheeler, LMU; Brian McIlhenny, PEP; Owen Jones, POR; Cory Hall, SCU

Gonzaga's Martin Named To Stopper Of The Year Watch List
Gonzaga closer Cody Martin was named to the midseason watch list for the seventh annual National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Stopper of the Year Award, given to the top relief pitcher in NCAA Division I baseball. Martin ranks among the national leaders and is tops in the West Coast Conference in earned run average so far this season.

Two WCC Players Candidates for Lowe's Senior CLASS Award
Portland reliever Chris Dennis and San Francisco outfielder Connor Bernatz are two of thirty NCAA baseball student-athletes selected as candidates for the 2011 Lowe's Senior CLASS Award. To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence - community, classroom, character and competition. An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School®, the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities.

Coaches Tab San Diego To Repeat in Preseason Poll
The University of San Diego is a unanimous selection to repeat as the West Coast Conference champions, garnering all seven possible first place votes and 49 points in a preseason poll of the eight WCC head coaches. Last season was memorable for USD. Led by 2010 WCC Player of the Year James Meador and Pitcher of the Year Kyle Blair, the Toreros posted a 19-2 WCC record en route to an NCAA berth and a 37-win season. Despite having ten players drafted, Coach Rich Hill and his staff have reloaded once again. The coaches selected Pepperdine to finish second in the WCC with 39 points. The complete poll follows.

2011 WEST COAST CONFERENCE PRESEASON POLL
Team (First Place Votes), Points
San Diego (7),49
Pepperdine, 39
San Francisco, 33
Portland (1), 32
Loyola Marymount, 23
Gonzaga, 20
Santa Clara, 16
Saint Mary's, 12

2011 PRESEASON ALL-WEST COAST CONFERENCE TEAM
Player, School, Yr.,Pos.
Troy Channing, Saint Mary's,Jr., IF
Ryan Hawthorne, LMU,Jr.,OF
Riley Henricks,Portland,Sr., IF
Brian Humphries, Pepperdine,Jr.,OF
Jonathan Johnston,LMU,Sr.,INF
Matt Lowenstein,LMU,So.,OF/INF
Kevin Muno,San Diego,Sr.,OF
Joe Sever, Pepperdine,So.,IF
Curtis Wagner,Santa Clara,Sr., 1B/DH
Stephen Yarrow,San Francisco,Sr., IF

Pitcher,School,Yr.
Mark Anderson, Saint Mary's,Jr.
Ryan Carpenter, Gonzaga,Jr.
Chris Dennis, Portland,Sr.
Kyle Kraus, Portland,Jr.
Martin Viramontes,LMU,Jr.

A New Look
The West Coast Conference has teamed with CBSSports.com College Network, its web site host and multimedia partner, to re-launch WCCsports.com. Among the new features on the site are front-and-center video content, larger images and graphics, campus updates, fan polls, and integration with other West Coast Conference social media platforms - such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. Visitors to WCCsports.com can also find additional features such as a WCC insider blog, and interactive results.

What'd He Say?
For the latest scores and news, follow the West Coast Conference on Twitter @WCCSports.

Did you know that WCC Commissioner Jamie Zaninovich is on Twitter, too? See what The Commish has on his mind. Follow him @WCC_Commish.

 
WCC TEAM NOTES

SCHOOL TEAM NOTES

Overall Record: 22-13-1
WCC Record: 6-3
  • Gonzaga dropped two of three games to Saint Mary's in WCC play over the weekend. The Zags' scheduled home games against Washington on Monday and Tuesday were rained out.
  • Senior RHP Cody Martin was named to the NCBWA's Stopper of the Year midseason watch list last week. Martin leads the West Coast Conference with a 0.95 earned run average, boasting a 2-1 record and seven saves in 16 appearances.
  • The Bulldogs boast the WCC's most prolific offense, leading the way with 195 runs scored so far this season.
  • Gonzaga hits the road for 13 straight when it travels to Santa Clara for a three-game series beginning Friday night at 6 p.m. Single games on Saturday and Sunday begin at 1 p.m. each afternoon.

Overall Record: 21-17
WCC Record: 5-4
  • Loyola Marymount fell to 5-4 in West Coast Conference play after dropping a pair at Pepperdine last weekend.
  • Junior RHP Alex Gillingham leads the West Coast Conference with 73.1 innings pitched. He is third in the conference with a 2.33 ERA.
  • Loyola Marymount continues to lead the WCC in hitting. As a team, the Lions have posted a .284 batting average, 350 hits, and 115 walks. All three numbers lead the West Coast Conference.
  • The Lions are in the Bay Area this weekend to continue their seven-game road trip, when they visit first-place San Francisco for a three-game series beginning Friday afternoon. First pitch is scheduled for just after 3 p.m. from Benedetti Diamond.

Overall Record: 18-20
WCC Record: 4-5
  • Pepperdine won its sixth straight PCH Cup series over rival Loyola Marymount, taking two of three games from the Lions at Field Stadium last weekend.
  • Sophomore LHP Brian McIlhenny pitched 5.1 scoreless innings out of the bullpen in two appearances against UC Santa Barbara and LMU last week. The southpaw has pitched in 20 games for the Waves this season.
  • Sophomore RHP Ricky Villarreal is tied for second in the West Coast Conference, with six saves. He has pitched in 15 games for the Waves.
  • Pepperdine is idle this week, as its student-athletes take part in final exams.

Overall Record: 14-22
WCC Record: 4-5
  • Portland's offense came to life in San Diego, as the Pilots took two of three games from the Toreros at Cunningham Stadium. It was UP's first series win at San Diego since 2002.
  • Sophomore RHP Owen Jones pitched seven shutout innings in the series opener at San Diego as the Pilots rolled to a 14-2 win. Jones struck out four and did not issue a walk on the afternoon.
  • Senior infielder Kevin Armijo was 6-for-14 (.429) over four games played last week, ripping two doubles and a triple while scoring five runs.
  • The Pilots will play host to Oregon State on Tuesday and travel to Eugene to take on Oregon on Wednesday. UP has the weekend off from WCC action.

Overall Record: 17-18
WCC Record: 5-4
  • Saint Mary's moved to within two games of first place in the WCC standings by taking a pair of games at then-No. 24 Gonzaga last weekend in Spokane.
  • Sophomore RHP Martin Agosta was named the Rawlings WCC Pitcher of the Week on Monday. He threw his second complete game of the season in the 12-1 win at Gonzaga on Friday. He scattered eight hits and two walks, while striking out three.
  • Saint Mary's pitching staff leads the West Coast Conference with a 2.99 earned run average through Sunday's games. The Gaels have also issued the fewest number of walks, 101, of any conference team.
  • The Gaels host Stanford on Tuesday, and welcome the San Diego Toreros for three beginning Saturday. Of SMC's final 20 regular season games, 16 will be played in Moraga.

Overall Record: 11-26
WCC Record: 3-6
  • San Diego dropped the first two of a three-game series to Portland last weekend. The Toreros rebounded to take Saturday's finale, defeating the Pilots, 9-0.
  • Freshman LHP Paul Paez shut down the Portland offense on Saturday, pitching four-plus perfect innings of relief. He struck out seven.
  • Freshman third baseman Kris Bryant, the West Coast Conference leader with seven home runs, is fourth in the conference with a .346 batting average through Sunday's games.
  • The Toreros host No. 10 Cal State Fullerton on Tuesday at Cunningham Stadium. USD will travel to Saint Mary's this weekend for a three-game WCC series beginning Friday.

Overall Record: 20-20
WCC Record: 7-2
  • San Francisco swept rival Santa Clara in a three-game series at Benedetti Diamond last weekend, moving into sole possession of first place atop the WCC standings.
  • Senior center fielder Pete Lavin was named the Rawlings WCC Player of the Week on Monday. Lavin hit .526 last week for USF, collecting ten hits and scoring three runs. Lavin is the second straight Don to win the award, following catcher Travis Higgs last week.
  • Junior 1B Nik Balog was 3-for-4 with a pair of doubles and six runs driven in Saturday's victory over Santa Clara. The win was the Dons' sixth straight WCC triumph.
  • The Dons take on San Francisco State on Tuesday afternoon before resuming West Coast Conference play with a three-game series at home against Loyola Marymount this weekend.

Overall Record: 14-22
WCC Record: 2-7
  • Santa Clara came up on the short end of a three-game series last weekend at first place San Francisco.
  • Senior RHP Cory Hall allowed just two runs on seven hits in a 7.1 inning effort at San Francisco in the series opener on Thursday. Hall has amassed a strikeout-to-walk ratio of better than 3:1 for the Broncos this season.
  • Senior catcher Patrick Terry hit .357 over four games played last week, belting a homer and driving in five runs. Terry's batting average is up to .310 for the season.
  • The Broncos host Pacific on Tuesday night. Santa Clara remains home for the weekend, as the Broncos welcome Gonzaga for a three-game set beginning Friday night under the lights. Saturday and Sunday are scheduled for a 1 p.m. first pitch each day.