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WCC Weekly Baseball Notes

April 29, 2010

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CONFERENCE PLAY CONTINUES THIS WEEK
The WCC reaches the halfway point of the conference schedule this week with San Diego (9-0) holding a half-game lead over Portland (11-1). The Toreros highlight this week's schedule with a series at third-place San Francisco (5-3), while Santa Clara (1-10) heads to Gonzaga (2-6) coming off an upset win over nationally-ranked Stanford. Saint Mary's (5-4) rounds out the weekend at Loyola Marymount (1-8), while Pepperdine (3-5) and Portland take the weekend off of conference play because of final exams.


WCC TEAM NOTES
SCHOOL TEAM NOTES

Overall Record: 14-28
WCC Record: 2-6
  • The Bulldogs were swept in a three-game series last weekend (4/23-25) at the University of San Diego (23-16, 9-0) with the Toreros winning 9-4 Friday, 18-3 Saturday and 17-7 Sunday.

  • Gonzaga concluded its five-game road trip with a two-game split at Washington (21-19) on Tuesday and Wednesday (4/27-28). The Bulldogs won 11-1 on Tuesday behind a pinch-hit grand slam from Clayton Eslick before falling to the Huskies 12-4 on Wednesday.

  • The Bulldogs have played 31 of their first 42 games away from the Patterson Baseball Complex, but will play nine of their final 13 games in Spokane.

  • The Bulldogs play host to Santa Clara (15-23, 1-10) this Friday-Sunday (4/30-5/2), and will host Loyola Marymount (17-21, 1-8) on May 21-23 and Portland (27-9, 11-1) on May 28-30.

  • Overall Record: 17-21
    WCC Record: 1-8
  • The Lions picked up their first WCC win with an 11-9 victory over visiting San Francisco (22-20, 5-3) on Sunday afternoon. The Lions scored three runs in the first, one in the second and seven in the fourth to build an insurmountable 11-0 lead. The Dons opened the series with an 8-5 win on Friday and 9-2 victory on Saturday. Loyola Marymount dropped to 16-13 in non-conference play with a 13-3 loss at Cal State Bakersfield (18-20) on Tuesday.

  • Sophomore outfielder Ryan Hawthorne currently ranks sixth in the West Coast Conference with a .375 batting average in 136 at-bats. Hawthorne, who is hitting .463 in conference games (19-of-41), has 10 doubles, a home run and 29 RBI on the season.

  • The Lions open up a seven-game homestand at George Page Stadium with a three-game set against Saint Mary's (14-20, 5-4) this weekend (4/30-5/2). LMU then takes a week off for finals before hosting Cal Poly (10-26) on May 11 and archrival Pepperdine (13-22, 3-5) on May 14-16.

  • Overall Record: 13-22
    WCC Record: 3-5
  • Pepperdine was dealt a three-game home sweep by the University of Portland (27-9, 11-1), falling 8-6 on Friday, 8-4 on Saturday and 5-3 on Sunday before a crowd that included Wayne Gretzky, Steve Garvey and Pamela Anderson.

  • Junior left-hander Matt Bywater currently leads the West Coast Conference in ERA at 2.89 in nine appearances and 65.1 innings pitched. Bywater, who is 3-5 overall, has allowed 59 hits, 25 runs (18 earned) and struck out 62.

  • Pepperdine is idle this week because of final examinations. The Waves will return to action with 12 games in 15 days from May 4-18 beginning with home games against UCLA (30-7) on May 4 and Long Beach State (19-18) on May 5. Pepperdine will then play a make up conference game at Santa Clara (15-23, 1-10) on May 6 before visiting Saint Mary's (14-20, 5-4) on May 7-9.
  • Overall Record: 27-9
    WCC Record: 11-1
  • Portland swept Pepperdine (13-22, 3-5) in a three-game set in Malibu last weekend (4/23-25), after losing 31 of its previous 32 games at Eddy D. Field Stadium. The Pilots won 8-6 on Friday, 8-4 on Saturday and 8-2 on Sunday as senior C.J. Cullen went 10-for-16 to earn WCC Co-Player of the Week honors.

  • Portland junior reliever Chris Dennis, who is the all-time saves leader in program history with 12, was named the WCC Co-Pitcher of the Week and the West Pitcher of the Week by College Baseball Insider for recording a save in each of the Pilots' four wins last week. Dennis is 4-0 with 12 saves and a 1.12 ERA in 36.0 innings this season.

  • The Pilots take a break from West Coast Conference action this weekend with three non-conference games in Bellevue, Washington. Portland will take on Seattle (5-28) on Friday and Sunday and BYU (18-20) on Saturday.
  • Overall Record:14-20-1
    WCC Record: 5-4
  • The Gaels have won four of their last five conference games after sweeping a three-game set at Santa Clara (15-23, 1-10) on April 23-25 at Stephen Schott Baseball Stadium.

  • Saint Mary's won 10-4 on Friday, 5-4 on Saturday and 6-3 on Sunday to record its first WCC road series sweep since it took three at Portland in 2008.

  • The Gaels' Tuesday non-conference home game against Sacramento State (14-22) was cancelled because of rain.

  • SMC still has non-conference games on the schedule against UC Davis (17-19) on May 11 in Moraga and a four-game road series at Seattle (5-28) on May 21-23. The Gaels, who play nine of their first 12 conference games on the road, visit Loyola Marymount (17-21, 1-8) this weekend (4/30-5/2) at George Page Stadium.
  • Overall Record: 23-13
    WCC Record: 9-0
  • The first-place Toreros stayed unbeaten in WCC play with a three-game home sweep over Gonzaga (14-28, 2-6). San Diego put 44 runs on the scoreboard in three days to win 9-4 on Friday, 18-5 on Saturday and 17-7 on Sunday.

  • Senior outfielder James Meador was named WCC Co-Player of the Week after going 10-for-17 with two home runs and 10 RBI on the weekend.

  • San Diego, which is ranked 24th in the nation this week by Baseball America, dropped a 13-10 non-conference home decision to #13 Cal State Fullerton (25-13) on Tuesday.

  • The Toreros, which have played 29 of their first 39 games at home, hit the road in conference play for the first time with a three-game series at third place San Francisco (22-20, 5-3) this weekend (4/30-5/2). The Toreros then visit second place Portland (27-9, 11-1) on May 7-9.
  • Overall Record: 22-20
    WCC Record: 5-3
  • The Dons won their second consecutive series by taking two of three at Loyola Marymount (17-21, 1-8). San Francisco won 8-5 on Friday and 9-2 on Saturday before falling 11-9 on Sunday. Junior left-hander Matt Lujan was named WCC Co-Pitcher of the Week after allowing just two hits and an unearned run in 7.0 innings of work on Saturday.

  • San Francisco dropped a two-game series at #2 Arizona State (35-5), by the scores of 11-5 on Tuesday (4/27) and 21-3 on Wednesday (4/28). USF head coach Nino Giarratano served as hitting instructor and third base coach at ASU in the 1990's.

  • The Dons continue a stretch of five consecutive games against ranked teams by hosting first place San Diego (23-16, 9-0) this weekend (4/30-5/2) at Benedetti Diamond.
  • Overall Record: 15-23
    WCC Record: 1-10
  • The Broncos were swept at home last weekend (4/30-5/2) by archrival Saint Mary's (14-20, 5-4) by scores of 10-4 (Friday), 5-4 (Saturday) and 6-3 (Sunday).

  • The Broncos split a pair of mid-week games, including a 9-3 home upset of #21 Stanford (21-14) on Tuesday that was sparked by back-to-back homers from Tommy Medica and Geoff Klein. Santa Clara then dropped a 12-7 decision at Pacific (25-14) on Wednesday.

  • The Broncos hit the road this weekend (4/30-5/2) to take on Gonzaga (14-28, 2-6) at the Patterson Baseball Complex. The Broncos play 12 of their final 16 games this season away from home.
  • AROUND THE WCC

    WCC Rawlings Co-Pitchers of the Week

    Matt Lujan, USF
    Junior LHP Matt Lujan for WCC Pitcher of the Week. In one start this weekend, Lujan earned the 9-2 win and take the season series from the Lions. In 7.0 innings, Lujan (1-0, 0.00 for the week), allowed just one unearned run off two hits and struck out two in 7.0 innings.

    Chris Dennis, POR
    Chris Dennis saved all four of Portland's games as the Pilots went 4-0 during the week, including a weekend conference series sweep at Pepperdine, where UP was previously 1-31. With 12 career saves, all this season, Dennis is now the all-time career saves leader at UP, topping John Nichols' previous program record of 11; Dennis needed just 20 appearances to set the new mark. His 12 saves are also a new single-season record at UP, as Nichols held the previous record of nine.During the week, Dennis allowed just one earned run in 4.1 innings. He also struck out five and surrendered four hits, while posting a 2.08 ERA. During the 3-2 win at Washington on Tuesday, Dennis recorded all three outs in the ninth on the strikeouts.

    WCC Rawlings Co-Players of the Week

    James Meador, USD
    Senior outfielder James Meador helped lead USD to a three-game sweep over Gonzaga, as he went 10-for-17 (.769) with a double, two home runs and 10 RBI. Meador fell just one triple short of hitting for the cycle in Sunday's 17-7 win, as he went 3-for-4 with a double a home run and five RBI.Also after Sunday's 3-for-4 performance, Meador moved into a tie for 10th all-time on the career hits list at USD, and he did it in stylish fashion with a three-run homer over the left field fence on his last at bat of the game. In Saturday's win, Meador went 4-for-5 with a home run and four RBI. In Friday's win, Meador went 3-for-4 with one RBI. Meador's bat helped lead USD to a 44-run weekend and a perfect 9-0 start in WCC play, the best start in league play in program history for the Toreros.

    C.J. Cullen, POR
    C.J. Cullen hit .625 (10-for-16) with a home run, a triple, six RBI's and four runs scored during the week as the Pilots went 4-0 with a win at Washington and a three-game WCC series sweep at Pepperdine. The Pilots ended an eight-game losing streak to UW and they were previously 1-31 against Pepperdine in Malibu. During the 3-2 win at Washington, he went 3-for-4 and fell a double shy of hitting for the cycle. His home run was a solo blast in the first and he scored two of Portland's three runs.Cullen had two more hits and two RBI's during series-opening 8-6 win at Pepperdine. During the 8-4 win on Saturday, he went 4-for-5 for his third four-hit game of the season, knocked in two runs, scored once, and then added on another hit and another RBI during 5-1 win on Sunday.

    WCC March Pitcher of the Month: Matt Hauser, USD:
    RHP Matt Hauser was named the WCC Pitcher of the Month for March after making nine appearances and picking up five saves with a 1.17 ERA. His month included a win and a save against #14 Rice and a pair of saves against #10 Coastal Carolina. He has pitched 22.1 innings this season in 12 appearances and has allowed just four earned runs.

    Also Nominated: John Lally, LMU; Robert Dickmann, PEP

    WCC March Players of the Month: Mark Castellitto, GON & Tommy Medica, SCU
    OF Mark Castellitto was named a Co-Player of the Month for March after hitting .406 with seven doubles, a triple, eight home runs, 21 runs scored, and 24 RBI. His month included a three home run performance in a win over Utah Valley.

    OF Tommy Medica has continued his outstanding run this season as he was named WCC Co-Player of the Month for March after hitting .403, with five home runs, six doubles, 23 runs scored and 19 RBI. He also has the longest hitting streak in the conference at an outstanding 19 games. Over that span, he has notched 13 multi-hit games.

    also Nominated: Ryan Hawthorne, LMU; Victor Sanchez, USD

    WCC Rawlings Pitcher of the Week: Cole Cook, PEP
    Bywater was impressive in the series opener against the Broncos en route to earning RHP Cole Cook tossed in his second complete game of the year en route to earning WCC Rawlings Pitcher of the Week honors in the first win over the Zags. He allowed just two runs, while striking out six. He has now gone at least seven innings in all eight games started this year and is tied for league lead in complete games (3) with teammate LHP Matt Bywater.

    Also Nominated: Cody Martin, GON; Kyle Kraus, POR; Kyle Blair, USD; Matt Hiserman, USF

    WCC Rawlings Player of the Week: Beau Fraser, POR
    C/DH Beau Fraser had an impressive week on his way to earning WCC Rawlings Player of the Week honors. He hit 9-for-16 (.562) with two home runs and 11 RBI.

    Also Nominated: Royce Bolinger, GON; Ryan Heroy, PEP; Zach Walters, USD

    WCC Teams Garner Preseason Rankings
    San Diego and Pepperdine were each listed among the nation's elite in numerous rankings heading into the 2010 campaign. The Toreros have been ranked in several publications, with the highest ranking coming in the Baseball America preseason poll, that had San Diego at No. 19. Collegiate Baseball ranked the Waves at No. 34 heading into the season, while Gonzaga received votes in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches poll.

    San Diego
    Baseball America - No. 19
    USA TODAY/ESPN - No. 23
    Collegiate Baseball - No. 24
    NCBWA - No. 24

    Pepperdine
    Collegiate Baseball - No. 34USA TODAY/ESPN - Receiving Votes
    NCBWA - Receiving Votes

    Gonzaga
    USA TODAY/ESPN - Receiving Votes

    WCC's Preseason All-Americans
    Several WCC standouts were tabbed for 2010 preseason All-American honors. After winning the Triple Crown last year, Saint Mary's Troy Channing was tabbed a Louisville Slugger preseason second team All-American and was ranked No. 6 on the Rivals.com power rankings for third basemen. Santa Clara's Geoff Klein and Tommy Medica were both named honorable mention preseason All-America catchers by Ping! Baseball.

    Two Players Named To Stopper Of The Year Watch List
    Gonzaga junior right hander Cody Martin and Portland junior right hander Zach Varce were both named to this year's Stopper of the Year Watch List.

    This marks Martin's second time being nominated to the list as he also made the midseason watch list as well. Last year, Martin posted a 3.07 ERA while going 5-4 with six saves and 68 strikeouts in 58.2 innings. In his freshman season, he set the school record for saves in a season with nine.

    Last season, Varce led the league with a 2.69 ERA and tied for the league lead with nine saves, which also tied the school record. Posting a 3-5 record, he held opposing batters to an average of .249 and had 62 strikeouts in 60.1 innings.

    The Boys of Summer
    This past summer, many WCC baseball players took part in summer leagues all across the country with many receiving All-Star recognition and individual rewards. Below is a list of all the WCC players receiving recognition.

    Alaska Baseball League
    Jonathan Johnson, LMU - Gold Glove
    Drew Heid, GON - MVP
    Ryan Carpenter, GON - All-Star

    Cal Ripken League
    Jonathan Abrahamson, USF - All-Star, Co-Pitcher of the Year
    Ryan Mulligan, SMC - All-Star

    Cape Cod
    Kyle Blair, USD - All-Star

    Hawaii Collegiate
    Mark Anderson, SMC - All-Star
    Tyler Brubaker, PEP - All-Star
    Ricky Villarreal, PEP - All-Star
    Joe Vierra, LMU - All-Star
    Case Miyahara, LMU - All-Star

    New York Collegiate
    Miles Silverstein, PEP - All-Star
    Brad Jesernig, PEP - All-Star

    Northwoods League
    Zach Varce, POR - All-Star
    Riley Henricks, POR - All-Star
    Troy Channing, SMC - Rising Star (Rivals.com)
    Aaron Gates, PEP - All-Star
    Chris Engell, USD - Silver Slugger Award

    Prospect League
    Nate Johnson, PEP - All-Star

    USF's Nino Giarratano named to USA Baseball Coaching Staff
    This will mark the second stint with Team USA for Giarratano, following his work as an assistant coach on Rob Walton's Collegiate National Team staff in 2008. That year, the team won the Gold Medal with a 12 inning victory over Japan and finished the season undefeated at 24-0. He joins Bill Kinneberg (Utah), Dave Serrano (Cal State Fullerton), and Ed Blankmeyer (St. John's). Giarratano is entering his 12th season with the Dons after guiding them to a share of third place last year.

    San Diego Picked To Finish First In 2010 WCC Preseason Poll
    San Diego was picked as the favorite to win this year's WCC regular season title in the 2010 preseason baseball poll, as voted on by the head coaches in the conference. The Toreros received six first place votes for a total of 48 points and are ranked 24th in Collegiate Baseball's preseason poll. Pepperdine was picked second with 38 points and is also receiving national recognition, ranked 34th in Collegiate Baseball's preseason poll. San Francisco totaled 33 points for third, while 2009 WCC Champion Gonzaga got one first place vote for 29 points to finish fourth, just edging out 2009 WCC runner-up Loyola Marymount, who received 28 points for fifth. Rounding out this year's preseason poll are Santa Clara, who received the last first place vote with 20 points, Saint Mary's with 17 points, and Portland with 11 points. The Toreros also placed the most number of players on the preseason all-conference team with five players being selected, including 2009 WCC Player of the Year, James Meador.

    WCC Baseball Preseason Poll
    1. San Diego - 48 (6)
    Pepperdine - 38
    3. San Francisco - 33
    4. Gonzaga - 29 (1)
    5. LMU - 28
    6. Santa Clara - 20(1)
    7. Saint Mary's - 17
    8. Portland -11
    (first place votes)

    The 2009 WCC Baseball Season at a Glance
    The West Coast Conference ended the season ranked in the top half of the NCAA RPI rankings, coming in at No. 11, finishing ahead of the Western Athletic (WAC) and Big Ten conferences ... Gonzaga University received the WCC's only bid to the NCAA Tournament by virtue of winning the WCC Baseball Championship Series against Loyola Marymount. The regular season and championship series title were the first in program history as the Zags finished ranked 22nd in the country according to Baseball America ... Half of the WCC schools finished with even or winning records against nationally ranked non-conference opponents, led by LMU, who finished with a 6-2 record ... Saint Mary's Troy Channing finished a historical year by becoming just the third player in conference history to win the Triple Crown. Channing led all freshmen in the country in home runs and RBI per game on his way to earning numerous accolades including being named to NCBWA and Baseball America All-America teams, the Louisville Slugger Freshman All-America team and being named a finalist for the Dick Howser Trophy as well as the WCC Freshman of the Year ... The WCC had 24 players chosen in the MLB First Year Player Draft, the second most in league history, led by LMU's Angelo Songco, who was picked in the 4th round (127th overall) ... Songco was also a semifinalist for the Golden Spikes Award ... The WCC had numerous players on preseason watch lists, including four pitchers on the Stopper of the Year list and eight players on the Wallace Award Watch list ... Four players were also placed on the 2009 CoSida Academic All District VII Team, the most of any conference in the district ... San Diego's James Meador won the Player of the Year award