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WCC Baseball Weekly Notes - 5/1

May 1, 2007

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WCC/Rawlings Player of the Week
Josh Romanski, San Diego

Josh Romanski turned in fantastic performances on the mound and at the plate to lead the Toreros to a pair of wins over Pepperdine and sole possession of first place in the WCC standings. The sophomore tossed a complete game shutout over the Waves on Sunday, surrendering just four hits and striking out seven batters to notch his eighth win of the season. He was also USD's leading hitter in the two games with Pepperdine, batting .625 (5-for-8) with four RBI and two runs scored.

WCC/Rawlings Co-Pitchers of the Week
Clayton Mortensen, Gonzaga & Brian Wilson, LMU

Gonzaga's Clayton Mortensen and LMU's Brian Wilson each delivered dominating mound performances in keeping their respective squads in the WCC race. Mortensen tossed a complete game masterpiece in Saturday's 1-0 win at USF, striking out 10 batters and surrendering just four hits. The senior retired 11 straight Dons at one point, and the outing marked his fourth complete game effort this season. Wilson had a hand in two LMU wins at Santa Clara, nailing down a save on Friday before striking out eight batters in 5.2 innings to record the win in Saturday's victory over the Broncos. The sophomore finished the weekend with 10 strikeouts in just 6.2 innings pitched.

Upcoming Games

May 1
Patten at Saint Mary's - 2:00 PM
California at San Francisco - 3:00 PM
Santa Clara at Stanford - 6:00 PM

May 2
Cal State Fullerton at Pepperdine - 3:00 PM

May 4
San Francisco at San Diego* - 3:00 PM
Santa Clara at Saint Mary's* - 3:00 PM
LMU at Gonzaga* - 6:30 PM

May 5
LMU at Gonzaga* - 1:00 PM
San Francisco at San Diego* - 1:00 PM
Santa Clara at Saint Mary's* - 1:00 PM

May 6
LMU at Gonzaga* - 1:00 PM
San Francisco at San Diego* - 1:00 PM
Santa Clara at Saint Mary's* - 1:00 PM

* Denotes Conference Game

Around The WCC

Conference Play Hits The Home Stretch
With just six games remaining in conference play for each WCC squad, league teams enter the home stretch of the 2007 season this weekend. San Diego opened up a three-game lead on Pepperdine in the WCC standings, and will host San Francisco for three games this weekend. Gonzaga sits just three games back in the league table, and will host LMU in a crucial series in Spokane this week. Santa Clara and Saint Mary's resume their Bay Area rivalry in Moraga this weekend, while the Waves and Portland will have the weekend off.

The NCAA released the college baseball Ratings Percentage Index (RPI) report for the first time in history last Tuesday, and Pepperdine and San Diego were listed high on the national chart. The Toreros checked in at No. 20, while the Waves were right on USD's heels at No. 21. Gonzaga was the next highest WCC team in the RPI listing, checking in at No. 87.

Pepperdine's Enright And San Diego's Matusz Named To Howser Trophy Watch List
Pepperdine right-hander Barry Enright and San Diego left-hander Brian Matusz were two of 50 players named to the Dick Howser Trophy watch list last week. Presented by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA), the Howser Trophy is awarded annually to the top player in collegiate baseball and will be given to the winner on June 15 at the College World Series in Omaha. Enright and Matusz were also named to the watch lists for both the Brooks Wallace and Roger Clemens Awards prior to the start of the 2007 season.

WCC Team Notes

Gonzaga Bulldogs (27-21 / 10-5 WCC)
- The Zags dropped two-of-three at San Francisco over the weekend to fall to 10-5 in WCC play, but moved into a tie for second place with Pepperdine in the conference standings.

- Darin Holcomb continued to swing a hot bat for the Zags, collecting eight hits on the week and slugging his sixth home run of the season in Sunday's loss at USF. Holcomb brought his season hits total to a team-high 71, and enters the week ranked ninth on the Gonzaga career hits list with 218.

- Clayton Mortensen struck out 10 batters in a complete game effort on Saturday. Mortensen can become just the seventh Bulldog hurler to reach the century mark for strikeouts in a single season by fanning just three more batters.

- The Zags look to keep pace in the WCC race when they host LMU for a weekend series.

Loyola Marymount Lions (20-27-1 / 7-8 WCC)
- The Lions rebounded from a 14-8 loss to then-No. 16 ranked UC Irvine to take two-of-three from Santa Clara on the road, moving into a tie for fourth place with the Broncos in the WCC standings.

- Brian Wilson enjoyed an outstanding weekend, tossing a scoreless ninth inning to earn the save in Friday's victory at Santa Clara before working 5.2 innings and striking out eight batters in Saturday's win. Wilson also contributed at the plate, slugging a two-run pinch-hit home run to provide the difference in Friday's 5-4 win.

- Justin Bunkis, who entered the season without a home run during his career as a Lion, clubbed his third round-tripper of the season in Sunday's loss at SCU.

- The Lions continue their conference slate on the road this weekend, traveling to Gonzaga for a three-game set.

Pepperdine Waves (30-16 / 10-5 WCC)
- The Waves suffered a three-game sweep at San Diego over the weekend, falling to second place in the WCC standings for the first time this season. It marked the first series sweep of the season for Pepperdine, who fell to 30-16 overall and 10-5 in WCC play.

- Travis Tartamella clubbed a two-run home run in Friday's loss to San Diego, giving the freshman three round-trippers on the year.

- Eric Thames went 3-for-5 with an RBI in Monday's 7-3 loss to the Toreros. The sophomore transfer raised his batting average to .310 (49-for-158), and has driven in a team-high 41 runs so far this season.

- Pepperdine will look to get back on the winning track when they host No. 18 ranked Cal State Fullerton (5/2) before taking a weekend off from WCC play.

Portland Pilots (19-23 / 6-9 WCC)
- Portland fell to No. 8 ranked Oregon State at home last week and traveled to Saint Mary's over the weekend, taking two-of-three from the Gaels in WCC play.

- Rocky Gale capped a 3-for-3 performance at the plate with two-run double in the ninth inning to lift the Pilots to a 3-2 win over the Gaels on Friday. The freshman went 4-for-10 with a run scored and five RBI over the weekend.

- Given Kutz struck out seven batters in eight innings of work en route to his fifth victory of the season in Saturday's 13-4 win. Kutz has fanned 77 batters so far this season, moving him into 10th place on the Portland single-season list.

- Portland has the week off before opening a five-game road stretch at Washington (5/8).

Saint Mary's Gaels (18-25-1 / 1-14 WCC)
- Saint Mary's snapped a 15-game skid with a 7-6 win at Sacramento State last Tuesday, and posted its first conference win of the season with a 5-2 triumph over Portland on Sunday.

- Michael Nisco tossed two innings in Sunday's win over the Pilots to earn his third save of the season. It marked the ninth career save for the senior, who moved into third place on the Saint Mary's career saves list.

- Randy Wells enjoyed an outstanding weekend at the plate against Portland, going 7-for-11 with four RBI through three games including a 3-for-4 performance on Sunday. Wells is the top hitter on the SMC squad, entering the week with a .356 (53-for-149) batting average.

- The Gaels host Patten (5/1) in a mid-week tilt before welcoming Bay Area rival Santa Clara to The Guisto for three games this weekend.

San Diego Toreros (35-14 / 13-2 WCC)
- San Diego moved into first place in the WCC standings following a three-game sweep of Pepperdine at Cunningham Stadium over the weekend. It marked the first-ever series sweep for the Toreros over the Waves.

- Brian Matusz struck out 11 Pepperdine batters in a dominating outing on Friday to bring his season strikeout total to 138, moving him into fourth place on the USD single-season list and eighth place in the WCC annals.

- Jordan Abruzzo collected four hits on the weekend to bring his career hits total to 288, which put him ahead of former San Francisco standout and WCC/Rawlings 40th Anniversary Team honoree Taggert Bozied into seventh place on the conference's career chart.

- The Toreros look to move closer to a WCC regular season crown when they host San Francisco for a three-game set this weekend.

San Francisco Dons (23-23 / 6-9 WCC)
- San Francisco rebounded from a mid-week loss to UC Davis to take two-of-three from Gonzaga at Benedetti Diamond over the weekend to improve to 6-9 in conference play.

- Jonnie Knoble was outstanding at the plate last week, going 9-for-15 and raising his batting average to .329 (51-for-155) on the season. The senior collected his 176th career hit on Sunday, moving him into a tie for 13th place on the USF career list.

- Aaron Poreda threw his first complete game of the season, going the distance and striking out seven batters in Friday's 4-2 win over the Zags. It marked the 16th career win for the junior, who moved into sole possession of fourth place on the USF all-time wins chart.

- San Francisco closes out a five-game home stand against California (5/1) before traveling to San Diego for three games this weekend.

Santa Clara Broncos (22-23 / 7-8 WCC)
- Santa Clara went 2-2 on the week, knocking off Fresno State on Tuesday before dropping two-of-three to LMU at Schott Stadium over the weekend.

- Tommy Medica capped a solid week by going 2-for-4 with two runs scored and three RBI in Sunday's 11-1 win over the Lions. The freshman has been phenomenal against conference opponents this season, collecting at least a hit in 14-of-15 league contests and batting a league-best .476 (30-for-63) in WCC play.

- Matt Long clubbed his second home run of the season to cap a 2-for-4 performance in Sunday's win. Long ranks third on the team with a .323 (54-for-167) batting average.

- The Broncos make the short trip to face Stanford (5/1) before taking on Bay Area rival Saint Mary's in Moraga this weekend.