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WCC Baseball Weekly Notes

May 5, 2009

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CONFERENCE PLAY CONTINUES THIS WEEK
With just two weeks remaining in the regular season, Gonzaga and LMU are tied for first place in the standings. However, San Diego, San Francisco, and Pepperdine remain in contention for the top two spots. The Toreros sit 2.0 games back, the Dons are 2.5 games back, and the Waves are 3.5 games back of both Gonzaga and LMU. The Zags and Lions will conclude conference play next week against each other, with the winner of the series guaranteed a spot in the WCC Championships.

This week, San Diego has just one series left and will take on San Francisco as both teams will look to make a final push for the top two spots in the standings. Pepperdine, also in the hunt for a spot in the WCC Championships, will take on Portland in one of its two remaining conference series. Be sure to log on to wccsports.com later this week to listen to podcasts with Ryan Wiegand (GON) and Angelo Songco (LMU), this week's WCC Co-Players of the Week and Matt Fields (GON), the WCC Pitcher of the Week.

UPCOMING SCHEDULE

All Times PST

MONDAY, MAY 4
TEAMS LOCATION
TIME
RECAP
Pepperdine at UCSB Santa Barbara, CA 3:00 PM
TUESDAY, APRIL 21
TEAMS LOCATION
TIME
RECAP
Hawaii at Saint Mary's Moraga, CA 3:00 PM
No. 18 Oregon State at Portland Portland, OR 3:00 PM
Pacific at San Francisco San Francisco, CA
3:00 PM
San Diego at No. 4 Arizona State Tempe, AZ 6:00 PM
Pepperdine at Long Beach State Long Beach, CA
6:30 PM
WEDNESDAY, MAY 6
TEAMS LOCATION
TIME
RECAP
UCSB at Pepperdine Malibu, CA 3:00 PM
San Diego at No. 4 Arizona State Tempe, AZ 3:00 PM
Stanford at Santa Clara Santa Clara, CA 6:00 PM
FRIDAY, MAY 8
TEAMS LOCATION
TIME
RECAP
Pepperdine at Portland Portland, OR 3:00 PM
San Francisco at San Diego San Diego, CA 3:00 PM
Santa Clara at Saint Mary's Moraga, CA 3:00 PM
SATURDAY, MAY 9
TEAMS LOCATION
TIME
RECAP
Pepperdine at Portland Portland, OR 1:00 PM
San Francisco at San Diego San Diego, CA 1:00 PM
Santa Clara at Saint Mary's Moraga, CA 1:00 PM
LMU at Arizona Tucson, AZ 7:00 PM
SUNDAY, APRIL 26
TEAMS LOCATION
TIME
RECAP
Pepperdine at Portland Portland, OR 1:00 PM
San Francisco at San Diego San Diego, CA 1:00 PM
Santa Clara at Saint Mary's Moraga, CA 1:00 PM
LMU at Arizona Tucson, AZ 7:00 PM

AROUND THE WCC
WCC Player of the Month: FR 3B Troy Channing, SMC
Troy Channing had a huge month of March, twice earning the WCC Player of the Week award. In the month, he hit .417, going 35-for-84, while scoring 22 runs, tallying six doubles and 10 home runs, and batting in 37 RBI. His slugging percentage was .845, while his on base was .474. He also had a hit in 17 straight games during the month, while leading all freshman in the country in hits, home runs, RBI, slugging percentage, and total bases.

WCC Pitcher of the Month: FR RHP Cole Cook, PEP
Cole Cook went 4-1 during the month of March, totaling 30 strikeouts, a 2.59 ERA, and a league-best .149 opponent's batting average. Cook was originally the Waves' middle reliever, but earned the job of weekend starter after holding off UCLA, Evansville, Cal Poly, and Wichita State long enough for Pepperdine to come back and win each of those games. His only loss of the month came at No. 23 San Diego, where he pitched eight innings, giving up just two hits.

WCC/Rawlings Co-Player of the Week: Ryan Wiegand, GON
Wiegand collected his second straight weekly award helping his team remain in a share for first place. He went 7-for-13 (.538) with three doubles and six RBI. He had multiple hits and RBI in all three games against Saint Mary's.

WCC/Rawlings Co-Player of the Week: Angelo Songco, LMU
Songco helped his team go 4-0 last week and take over a share of first place in the conference. He went 7-for-12 (.583) with five runs scored, a double, a triple, a home run, and four RBI. He also slugged 1.111 and had an on base percentage of .692.WCC/Rawlings Pitcher of the Week: Matt Fields, GON
Fields earned his second weekly honor of the season by tossing in his first career complete game that was also a shutout. He allowed just five hits while striking out eight and improved to 4-0 in conference play.

Also Nominated: Alex Gillingham, LMU; Stephen Yarrow, USF; Alex Rivers, SCU; Jon Karcich, SCU

WCC Teams Garner Preseason Rankings
San Diego and Pepperdine were each listed among the nation's elite in numerous rankings heading into the 2009 campaign. The Waves were ranked No. 8 and the Toreros checked in at No. 15 in the Rivals.com rankings. The Toreros came in at No. 11, while the Waves finished 17th by Baseball America. The USA Today/ESPN poll had the Toreros at No. 15, while the Waves came in at No. 21. The Toreros finished 18th in the NCBWA poll, while the Waves were ranked No. 21.

San Diego
Baseball America - No. 11
USA TODAY/ESPN - No. 15
Rivals.com - No. 15
Collegiate Baseball - No. 17
Pingbaseball.com - No. 17
NCBWA - No. 18

Pepperdine
Rivals.com - No. 8
Pingbaseball.com - No. 12
Baseball America - No. 17
USA TODAY/ESPN - No. 21
NCBWA - No. 21
Collegiate Baseball - No. 23

WCC's Preseason All-Americans
Seven WCC standouts were tabbed for 2009 preseason All-American honors, with two earning first team recognition. San Diego's AJ Griffin earned first team honors by the NCBWA and third team honors by Collegiate Baseball, while teammate Victor Sanchez earned third team honors by Baseball America. Joining Griffin with first team honors is Pepperdine's Bryce Mendonca, who was recognized by Collegiate Baseball. Also recognized by Collegiate Baseball were Santa Clara's Thain Simon with second team honors and Tommy Medica with third team honors. Joining Medica on the third team were Pepperdine's Nick Gaudi and Saint Mary's Kyle Jensen.

Four WCC Hurlers Named To Stopper Of The Year Watch List
Four WCC pitchers were among the 40 players named to the initial watch list for the fourth annual National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) Stopper of the Year Award, the association announced Tuesday. Gonzaga RHP Cody Martin, Pepperdine RHP Nick Gaudi, San Diego RHP AJ Griffin, and Santa Clara right hander Thain Simon were each named to the preseason watch list for the award, which is presented to the top relief pitcher in NCAA Division I baseball. The West Coast Conference enjoyed the second highest amount of players from any conference to be named to the list, following the ACC with nine. The Big 12 also placed four, while the SEC and Pac-10 had three each.

WCC Standouts Named To Wallace Award Watch List
Eight WCC players headline the 2009 Brooks Wallace Player of the Year Watch List. The Wallace Award is presented annually to the nation's top collegiate baseball player in conjunction with the College Baseball Hall of Fame induction ceremonies. The 2009 award banquet will be at 7 p.m., Thursday, July 2, in the United Spirit Arena on the campus of Texas Tech University.

San Diego led the way with junior All-American closer AJ Griffin along with sophomore right-hander Kyle Blair and sophomore lefty Sammy Solis. Also on the list from the WCC were senior Ryan Wheeler of Loyola Marymount, sophomore Riley Henricks of Portland, sophomore Thain Simon of Santa Clara, junior Kyle Jensen of Saint Mary's, and sophomore Matt Lujan of San Francisco.

Player, School              2008 Key StatsKyle Blair, USD             3.86 ERA, 99 SOA.J. Griffin, USD           2.15 ERA, 14 SVRiley Henricks, POR         .301, 69 hits, 8 HRKyle Jensen, SMC            .421, 82 hits, 13 HRMatt Lujan, USF             3.19 ERA, 7 winsThain Simon, SCU            2.59 ERA, 9 winsSammy Solis, USD            3.83 ERA, 42 SORyan Wheeler, LMU           .345, 70 hits, 20 2B

LMU Names Jason Gill Head Coach
Jason Gill begins his first year at the helm of the LMU baseball program after serving as an assistant coach for the Lions in 1999 and 2000. Gill, who has spent the last four years working under head coach George Horton at Oregon and Cal State Fullerton, returns to the bluff to become the seventh head coach of the Lions' program. Overall, Coach Gill has been to Omaha four times as a player and a coach, to the postseason a total of nine times, coached four Conference Players of the Year, and has seen 14 of his student-athletes make the Major Leagues.

San Diego and Pepperdine Picked To Finish First In 2009 WCC Preseason Poll
San Diego and Pepperdine were chosen to finish as West Coast Conference champions in the 2009 preseason baseball poll, as selected by conference coaches. The Toreros, who have been ranked as high as No. 11 in the national preseason polls, received the same amount of points as Pepperdine, but garnered one more first place vote. San Diego is coming off the most successful season in program history, as the Toreros compiled a 44-17 overall record en route to the WCC crown in 2008. Pepperdine earned three first place votes and was picked second with 45 overall points, while Santa Clara checked in at No. 3 in the poll with 32 points. Gonzaga nabbed the last first place vote, receiving 30 points to come in at No. 4. San Francisco, off a fourth place finish from last year, was picked to finish No. 5, with 26 points. LMU, under first year Head Coach Jason Gill, is expected to finish sixth, with 20 points. Saint Mary's and Portland round out this year's preseason poll, earning 14 and nine points respectively.

WCC Baseball Preseason Poll
1. San Diego - 45 (4)
Pepperdine - 45 (3)
3. Santa Clara - 35
4. Gonzaga - 30 (1)
5. San Francisco - 26
6. LMU - 20
7. Saint Mary's - 14
8. Portland - 9
(first place votes)


WCC TEAM NOTES

SCHOOL TEAM NOTES

Overall Record: 30-14
WCC Record: 12-6
  • Gonzaga's midweek games against Washington State were cancelled before the Zags went 2-1 against Saint Mary's.

  • SR 1B Ryan Wiegand led the way for the Zags for the second straight week, becoming Gonzaga's all-time hits leader en route to earning his second consecutive WCC/Rawlings Co-Player of the Week award. He went 7-for-13 (.538) with three doubles and six RBI. He had multi-hits and multi-RBI in all three games and is on an 11-game hitting streak.

  • SR RHP Matt Fields tossed his first career complete-game in the series opener against Saint Mary's, which also turned out to be a shutout. He only allowed five hits and struck out eight on his way to his second WCC/Rawlings Pitcher of the week award.

  • Gonzaga is off this week before it takes on Oregon State next week in a two-game set (5/12-13) and its biggest series of the year against LMU (5/15-17), which will decide who hosts the 2009 WCC Championship series.
  • Overall Record: 29-21
    WCC Record: 12-6
  • Loyola Marymount went 4-0 last week, defeating Cal State Bakersfield, before sweeping San Diego.

  • JR OF Angelo Songco went 7-for-12 (.583) over the week with five runs scored, a double, a triple, a home run, and four RBI en route to earning WCC/Rawlings Co-Player of the Week honors for the second time this season. The home run was his 13th of the season and 32nd of his career. He is now two shy of entering the Lions' single-season Top-10 in home runs, and sits seventh in home runs all-time.

  • The Lions earned the series sweep over the Toreros with a "walk-off" RBI single by SR C Ollie Enos. The "walk-off" victory was the third of the year for LMU and puts the Lions at 9-2 when playing against ranked opponents.

  • LMU has a three-game set at Arizona (5/9-11) and closes out the season at USC (5/13) and with a three-game series at Gonzaga (5/15-17) to decide the host of the WCC Championships.
  • Overall Record: 25-19
    WCC Record: 7-8
  • The Waves were off last week due to finals and opened this week with a continuation game win at UCSB.

  • FR C Nate Johnson hit what ended up being a game-winning, two-run shot before the game was postponed last month.

  • FR RHP Cole Cook, SO LHP Scott Alexander, and SR RHP Nick Gaudi combined to hold the Gauchos to one run on four hits over the final six innings, while combining for eight strikeouts. Gaudi earned his ninth save of the year to lead the league and has allowed just one hit in eight of his last nine appearances. He is now fourth on the WCC all-time saves list with 24.

  • The Waves have just allowed 25 errors in 44 games played this year to lead the NCAA.

  • The Waves play at Long Beach State (5/5) and host UCSB (5/6), before resuming conference play at Portland for a three-game series (5/8-10).
  • Overall Record: 22-20
    WCC Record: 5-10
  • The Pilots had just one game last week due to finals, defeating Concordia College.

  • SR LF Bryant Kraus led the way against Concordia with a 3-for-4 performance, including his ninth home run of the year. Kraus is tied for fifth in the league in home runs and has had multiple hits in four straight games.

  • FR SS Kris Kauppila had a single in the game and has now hit in nine straight games to lead the team and has had multiple hits in five of his last nine games.

  • Portland has now scored at least seven runs in three of its last four games.

  • The Pilots host No. 18 Oregon State (5/5), before returning to conference play, where they will host Pepperdine in a three-game series (5/8-10).
  • Overall Record: 27-23
    WCC Record: 8-10
  • The Gaels went 2-3 last week, losing to San Jose State and beating then No. 13 Cal Poly, before going 1-2 against Gonzaga.

  • FR 3B Troy Channing continues to build upon the school record he set two weeks as he hit home run No. 19 against San Jose State. Channing has the possibility of becoming just the third player in WCC history to win the Triple Crown as he ranks first in the league in home runs (19) and RBI (70), while being tied for second in batting average (.385).

  • SO DH Greg Ditmer led the way in the win over the Mustangs, going 2-for-3 with three RBI. FR RHP Kyle Barraclough started the game allowing just one hit in four innings, while striking out five and FR RHP Mark Anderson finished off the remaining five, allowing just one run off four hits.

  • The Gaels host Hawaii (5/5), before playing their final conference series of the season, hosting Santa Clara in a three-game set (5/8-10).
  • Overall Record: 27-21
    WCC Record: 10-8
  • San Diego went 0-4 last week, losing to UC Riverside, before getting swept by LMU.

  • JR 2B Chris Engell has been the most consistent Torero as of late as he is on a league-leading 12-game hitting streak and has had multiple hits in eight of those games.

  • JR RHP AJ Griffin has had three saves this year before becoming a full-time starter and 28 in his career, tying him for the No. 1 spot on the WCC all-time saves list.

  • JR LF James Meador is having an outstanding season for San Diego as he is tied for second in the league in batting average (.385) and tied for first in hits (72).

  • San Diego plays at No. 4 Arizona State (5/5-6), before closing out conference play with a three-game series at home against San Francisco (5/8-10).
  • Overall Record: 23-25
    WCC Record: 8-7
  • San Francisco went 1-3 last week, falling to Stanford, before going 1-3 at then No. 13 Cal Poly.

  • SO INF Stephen Yarrow led the way over the week for the Dons. He went 8-for-15 (.533), while collecting three doubles, a triple, a home run, and two stolen bases and slugged 1.067. He also had three hits in the last two games of the week.

  • SR OF Zach Kim had three stolen bases against the Broncos to bring his league-leading total to 30 and has at least one steal in 13 of his last 18 games. Kim is also tied for fourth in the league in hits with 68.

  • JR INF Doug Poppert was on an 11-game hitting streak before getting shutout in the series finale.

  • The Dons host Pacific (5/5) before a three-game series at San Diego (5/8-10).
  • Overall Record: 16-28
    WCC Record: 4-11
  • The Broncos went 1-4 last week, losing to San Jose State, before going 1-3 against San Diego State.

  • JR RHP Alex Rivers tossed in his first complete game in the win over the Aztecs, allowing just two runs in the first two innings, before registering a shutout for the remaining seven. He gave up just four hits while striking out seven.

  • JR SS Jon Karcich produced two perfect games against San Diego State. He went 5-for-5 in game one of the double header and went 3-for-3 in the series finale.

  • JR RHP Nate Garcia (6-4) has gone at least six innings in every contest this season and has struck out at least six in nine of his 11 starts.

  • The Broncos host Stanford (5/6), before returning to conference play, where they head over to Saint Mary's for a three-game series (5/8-10).