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WCC Baseball Weekly Notes - 4/28

April 28, 2008

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WCC/Rawlings Player of the Week
Drew Heid, Gonzaga

Gonzaga's Drew Heid led the Zags to a series win at Saint Mary's over the weekend, posting a pair of four-hit performances and clubbing five doubles against the Gaels. The sophomore batted .667 (10-for-15) through four games on the week, scoring six runs and collecting five RBI as Gonzaga posted a 2-2 mark. After slugging his second home run of the season at Washington State on Tuesday, Heid went 4-for-4 with three RBI in Friday's series-opening win at Saint Mary's.

WCC/Rawlings Pitcher of the Week
Ricardo Pecina, San Diego

Ricardo Pecina pitched the Toreros to a 4-2 victory over then-No. 23 ranked Long Beach State on Tuesday, marking his second straight win over a ranked opponent. The junior scattered four hits and struck out a career-high 11 batters in 7.2 innings of work on the afternoon, improving to 4-2 for the season. Pecina, who lowered his ERA to 3.53 with his performance, has struck out 34 batters in his last four outings. The win marked San Diego's 13th straight victory, setting a program record.

Upcoming Games

Apr. 28
1 Stanford at Santa Clara - 5:00 PM

Apr. 29
UCLA at Pepperdine - 3:00 PM
Sacramento State at Santa Clara - 5:00 PM
Oregon State at Gonzaga - 6:00 PM
LMU at UC Irvine - 6:00 PM
San Diego at Cal State Fullerton - 6:00 PM
San Francisco at Pacific - 6:35 PM

Apr. 30
Oregon State at Gonzaga - 1:00 PM
Pepperdine at UC Santa Barbara - 2:00 PM
Fresno State at San Francisco - 3:00 PM
LMU at UCLA - 6:00 PM

May 2
1 *San Diego at Pepperdine - 1:00 PM
*Santa Clara at LMU - 3:00 PM
Saint Mary's at Miami (FL) - 4:00 PM
*San Francisco at Gonzaga - 6:30 PM

May 3
1 *San Diego at Pepperdine - 1:00 PM
*Santa Clara at LMU - 1:00 PM
*San Francisco at Gonzaga - 1:00 PM
Saint Mary's at Miami (FL) - 4:00 PM

May 4
Saint Mary's at Miami (FL) - 10:00 AM
*San Diego at Pepperdine - 1:00 PM
*Santa Clara at LMU - 1:00 PM
*San Francisco at Gonzaga - 1:00 PM

* Denotes Conference Game; 1 Televised on CBS College Sports

Around The WCC

WCC Regular Season Race Hits The Home Stretch
The WCC conference race hits the home stretch this weekend, with first place San Diego traveling to second place Pepperdine for a three-game set. The first two games of the series will be broadcast live on CBS College Sports, and the Toreros can clinch at least a share of the WCC regular season title with a series sweep. Santa Clara travels to LMU this weekend, while Gonzaga hosts USF for a WCC set. Saint Mary's will travel for a non-conference series, taking on top-ranked Miami (FL) for three games in Coral Gables.

WCC Baseball On Television
An unprecedented amount of WCC baseball games will be broadcast to a national television audience this season, as five tilts involving conference teams will be televised during the 2008 campaign. WCC baseball continues its long standing relationship with CBS College Sports (formerly CSTV) this season, as four games will be televised on the network. It marks the fifth straight year that CBS College Sports will broadcast a regular season league contest, and the second straight year that multiple league games will be broadcast. ESPNU will televise the fifth national broadcast of the WCC baseball season, marking the first time that a regular season league tilt will be carried by the network. Below is a list of the games involving WCC teams that will be broadcast this season.

April 21 - Stanford at Santa Clara - 5:00 pm (PT), CBS College Sports
April 28 - Stanford at Santa Clara - 5:00 pm (PT), CBS College Sports
May 2 - San Diego at Pepperdine - 1:00 pm (PT), CBS College Sports
May 3 - San Diego at Pepperdine - 1:00 pm (PT), CBS College Sports
May 9 - Portland at Pepperdine - 3:00 pm (PT), ESPNU

WCC Team Notes

Gonzaga Bulldogs (25-18 / 7-7 WCC)
- Gonzaga rebounded from a mid-week loss at Washington State to take two-of-three from Saint Mary's in WCC play, improving to 25-18 on the year and 7-7 in league action.

- Drew Heid enjoyed an outstanding week at the plate, batting .667 (10-for-15) and posting a pair of four-hit performances against the Gaels over the weekend. The sophomore raised his batting average in conference play to .449 (22-for-49), the fourth-highest clip in the WCC.

- Evan Wells stretched his season-high hitting streak to 16 straight games with hits in each of Gonzaga's games at Saint Mary's. Wells enters the week batting a team-best .361 (56-for-155), and his current streak is the longest by a Zag this season.

- Gonzaga hosts No. 23 Oregon State (4/29 & 4/30) for a two-game mid-week set before welcoming San Francisco to Spokane for a crucial three-game WCC series this weekend.

Loyola Marymount Lions (20-23/ 5-10 WCC)
- The Lions notched a 7-1 win over UC Riverside last Tuesday, but suffered a three-game sweep at then-No. 9 San Diego over the weekend to fall to 5-10 in WCC play.

- Ryan Wheeler clubbed his team-leading 16th double of the season to cap a 2-for-4 performance at the plate in Friday's 11-4 loss to the Toreros. Wheeler, who is also batting a team-high .348 (55-for-158), moved into a tie for the WCC lead with the two-bagger.

- Nate Keadle picked up his first victory of the season, surrendering just four hits and one earned run over seven innings of work to earn the decision against UC Riverside. The seven innings pitched marked a career-high for the senior.

- LMU looks for its fifth win against a ranked opponent this season, traveling to face No. 7 UC Irvine (4/29) and UCLA (4/30) before returning home to host Santa Clara for a WCC series.

Pepperdine Waves (25-13 / 8-3 WCC)
- The Waves had the week off for finals and graduation, and enter the home stretch of the 2008 season just three games back in the WCC standings with 10 league contests remaining.

- Eric Thames is enjoying a phenomenal campaign, as the senior enters the week leading the conference in home runs (12), runs scored (47), triples (6), total bases (116), on base percentage (.525), and slugging percentage (.829). He also ranks second in the league in batting average (.414) and RBI (52).

- Newcomers Nathan Newman, Scott Alexander, and Matt Bywater have combined to earn 15 of Pepperdine's 25 victories on the mound this season.

- Pepperdine returns to action with a busy week, hosting UCLA (4/29) and traveling to UC Santa Barbara (4/30) before taking on No. 7 San Diego for three games this weekend.

Portland Pilots (18-25 / 3-12 WCC)
- Portland's mid-week tilts with Washington and Oregon State were postponed due to wet weather, but the Pilots returned to action in WCC play over the weekend, dropping two-of-three at San Francisco.

- Danny Meier and Riley Henricks each slugged a pair of home runs in Saturday's 5-2 win over the Dons. It marked the 12th round tripper of the season for Meier, who moved into a tie for eighth place on the Portland single-season home run chart.

- Ari Ronick surrendered just one run in eight innings to earn the win on Saturday. Ronick also moved into a tie with former teammate Given Kutz (2004-05, 07) for fifth place on the UP innings pitched list with 275.2 during his career.

- UP has the week off before resuming the season at home against Washington (5/6).

Saint Mary's Gaels (21-19-1 / 5-10 WCC)
- Saint Mary's fell to then-No. 5 ranked Stanford, 7-4, before returning home and dropping two-of-three to visiting Gonzaga in WCC play over the weekend.

- Brian Justice tossed a gem in Saturday's 3-2 win over the Bulldogs, allowing just five hits and two earned runs to pick up his fourth win of the season. The junior has held opponents to a .253 batting average this season, the ninth-lowest clip in the WCC.

- Kyle Jensen batted .545 (6-for-11) during the three-game set with Gonzaga, raising his season batting average to a conference-best .418 (61-for-146). The sophomore also leads the WCC with 12 home runs on the year, which also ranks sixth on the SMC single-season chart.

- The Gaels make the trip across the country to face No. 1 ranked Miami (FL) for a three-game series this weekend.

San Diego Toreros (35-11 / 13-2 WCC)
- USD continued to roll, extending its winning streak to a program-record 16 straight games following a series sweep of LMU over the weekend.

- Brian Matusz struck out nine batters en route to earning his ninth victory of the season in Friday's 11-4 win over LMU. Matusz moved into fourth place on the WCC's career strikeouts list with 355, passing former Saint Mary's standout Jeff Peterson (1981-84).

- AJ Griffin set the Torero record with his 21st career save in Saturday's 6-4 win, and moved into sole possession of fourth place on the WCC's all-time saves chart.

- Jose Valerio slugged a pair of home runs and drove in six runs in Sunday's 11-3 win.

- The Toreros begin an eight-game road stretch at No. 12 Cal State Fullerton before traveling to No. 13 Pepperdine for a three-game match up of the top teams in the WCC standings.

San Francisco Dons (25-19 / 8-7 WCC)
- San Francisco went 3-2 during a busy week, knocking off Sacramento State and falling to Fresno State before taking two-of-three from Portland in a three-game WCC set.

- Mitchell Bialosky was outstanding in relief, earning a pair of victories out of the USF bullpen last week. The senior struck out eight batters in just 5.2 innings of work, earning victories over Sacramento State and Portland to improve to 3-5 on the year.

- Connor Bernatz set a career-high with five hits in Wednesday's loss at Fresno State. Bernatz enters the week batting a team-high .370 (54-for-146), and carries the top batting average among WCC freshmen.

- The Dons tackle another busy week, traveling to Pacific (4/29) and hosting Fresno State (4/30) before heading to Gonzaga for a crucial three-game WCC set.

Santa Clara Broncos (25-16 / 7-5 WCC)
- Santa Clara rebounded from a 13-6 loss to then-No. 5 Stanford to knock off Fresno State, 10-8, and sweep visiting Hawaii-Hilo in a three-game non-conference series.

- Evan LeBlanc enjoyed an outstanding week at the plate, batting .429 (9-for-21) with nine runs scored and nine RBI through five games. LeBlanc also slugged his fourth home run of the season, and raised his batting average to a team-high .376 (65-for-173).

- Matt Long hit for the cycle in Saturday's 10-3 win over the Vulcans, scoring four runs and driving in a pair. The four runs scored marked a career-high for the junior, who clubbed his eighth home run of the season in the second inning.

- The Broncos host No. 3 Stanford (4/28) in a match up televised on CBS College Sports, before hosting Sacramento State (4/29) and traveling to LMU for a WCC series this weekend.