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WCC Weekly Baseball Notes

May 5, 2010

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CONFERENCE PLAY CONTINUES THIS WEEK
The WCC is in the second half of conference play. San Diego remains undefeated (12-0), holding a one-game lead over Portland (11-1). The Toreros and Pilots will face off this weekend in Oregon for first place rights. Pepperdine will take on Saint Mary's in Moraga, while San Francisco will travel to crossbay rival Santa Clara. Gonzaga and LMU will have this weekend off.


WCC TEAM NOTES
SCHOOL TEAM NOTES

Overall Record: 14-31
WCC Record: 2-9
  • Gonzaga was swept at home by Santa Clara (18-24, 4-10) last weekend (4/30-5/2) by the scores of 15-3 (Friday), 7-3 (Saturday) and 6-1 (Sunday).

  • Gonzaga head coach Mark Machtolf is just six wins away from No. 200 after the Zags' Apr. 27 victory at Washington (24-19). Machtolf, the 2009 WCC Coach of the Year, has recorded all 194 of his career victories in a Gonzaga uniform.

  • The Bulldogs have added home non-conference games to the schedule against Washington State (22-17) on May 18 and May 25. With the addition of those two games, Gonzaga will play its final eight games at home.

  • The Bulldogs are off until Thursday, May 13 for final exams. Gonzaga takes its final road trip of the 2010 season when it will resume a suspended game at San Francisco (22-23, 5-6) on May 13 and play a three-game series at Saint Mary's (15-22, 6-6) on May 14-16. The game between the Dons and the Bulldogs, which was suspended by rain on April 10, will be resumed in the top of the 13th inning with the score tied 2-2.

  • Overall Record: 19-22
    WCC Record: 3-9
  • LMU won its first conference series of the 2010 campaign by taking two of three from Saint Mary's (15-22, 6-6) at George Page Stadium. The Lions fell 14-9 on Friday, but rebounded to win 2-1 in 10 innings on Saturday and 10-0 on Sunday. Sophomore Matt Viramontes earned WCC Pitcher of the Week honors after throwing 8.2 no-hit innings and a complete game two-hit shutout on Sunday.

  • Junior Jonathan Johnson was named WCC Co-Player of the Week after hitting .600 (9-for-15) in four games last week (Apr. 26-May 2). He also had six runs scored, a double, two triples, three walks and four RBI.

  • The Lions have added two non-conference games to the schedule - at UC Riverside (23-15) on May 12 (postponed from April 21) and at home against Cal State Bakersfield (19-23) on May 26 (postponed from April 20).

  • The Lions are off this week for final exams, and will return to action at home against Cal Poly (13-27) on May 11 before visiting UC Riverside on May 12 and hosting archrival Pepperdine (13-23, 3-5) on May 14-16.

  • Overall Record: 13-23
    WCC Record: 3-5
  • Pepperdine had the weekend off for final examinations and returned from the eight-day break with a 5-1 home loss to #12 UCLA (31-10) on Tuesday (5/3).

  • Junior left-hander Matt Bywater is second in the West Coast Conference in ERA at 2.48 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. He also ranks first in shutouts (three), tied for first in complete games (three), fourth in batting average against (.245), and tied for eighth in strikeouts (62).

  • Pepperdine is in the midst of a stretch of 12 games in 15 days and six games in six days. The Waves host Long Beach State (20-20) on Wednesday (5/5), play a make up conference game at Santa Clara (18-24, 4-10) on Thursday (5/6) and visit Saint Mary's (15-22, 6-6) on Friday-Sunday (May 7-9).
  • Overall Record: 31-9
    WCC Record: 11-1
  • Portland took a break from conference play to win four non-conference games in five days. The Pilots beat Seattle 16-9 on Friday and then defeated BYU (19-23) 5-1 and Seattle (7-30) 6-0 on Saturday in Bellevue, Washington. Portland then pulled off a 3-1 road upset over #15 Oregon on Tuesday (5/4).

  • The Pilots continue to be one of the stories of the national collegiate baseball season as they have now won 11 straight and 21 of the last 25 to earn a No. 22 national ranking from Collegiate Baseball. The 11-game win streak is Portland's longest since 1980 and three shy of the school record setting streak of 14 set in 1958.

  • Portland junior reliever Chris Dennis, who is the all-time saves leader in program history with 13, was named the WCC Co-Pitcher of the Week and the West Pitcher of the Week by College Baseball Insider on Apr. 26 for recording a save in a win over Washington (24-19) and three victories at Pepperdine (13-23, 3-5). Dennis is 4-0 with 13 saves and a 1.30 ERA in 34.2 innings and 22 appearances this season.

  • In a battle of teams that have a combined conference record of 23-1, the Pilots will host #22 San Diego (27-16, 12-0) in a showdown for the conference lead this weekend (5/7-9) in Portland.
  • Overall Record:15-22-1
    WCC Record: 6-6
  • The Gaels dropped two of three last weekend at Loyola Marymount (19-22, 3-9), and holds a one-half game advantage over San Francisco (22-23, 5-6) for third place in the WCC. The Gaels defeated the Lions 14-9 on Friday but fell 2-1 in 10 innings on Saturday and 10-0 on Sunday. Center fielder Donald Collins had a home run, three hits and four RBI in Friday's win.

  • Sophomore Troy Channing, who was named to the Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American Team a year ago, is picking up where he left off in 2010. He currently leads the team in batting average (.319), home runs (11) and RBI (41), and ranks second in the conference in home runs and tied for fourth in RBI.

  • The Gaels return to Moraga to open up a seven-game homestand against Pepperdine (13-23, 3-5) on Friday-Sunday (May 7-9). Saint Mary's then hosts UC Davis (19-20) on May 11 and Gonzaga (14-31, 2-9) on May 14-16 before concluding the 2010 season with seven straight away from Louis Guisto Field.
  • Overall Record: 27-16
    WCC Record: 12-0
  • San Diego, which is ranked 22nd in the nation this week by Baseball America, has won 13 of its last 15 and four in a row. San Diego swept its first road conference series of the season last weekend (4/30-5/2) at San Francisco (22-23, 5-6) by the scores of 4-2 (Friday), 10-4 in 12 innings (Saturday) and 4-3 (Sunday). The Toreros then collected a 9-7 home non-conference win over UC Riverside (23-15) on Tuesday (5/4).

  • The Toreros have won 12 straight to open WCC play, which ranks second in conference history to Loyola Marymount's 15-0 start in 1988. The Toreros, who started conference play 6-0 in 2009, have outscored WCC opponents 114-40 thus far in conference play this season.

  • The first-place Toreros lead second place Portland (31-9, 11-1) by one game with nine remaining, and the two teams will battle for the conference lead this Friday-Sunday (5/7-9) in Portland. San Diego is shooting for its third WCC regular season title in four years, and during that span, the Toreros are an impressive 57-18 (.760) in conference play. Following the Portland series, San Diego will visit Oregon State (21-17) on Monday (5/10) and #15 Oregon (30-15) on Tuesday (5/11).
  • Overall Record: 22-23
    WCC Record: 5-6
  • The Dons were swept at home by first place and 22nd-ranked San Diego (27-16, 12-0) last weekend (4/30-5/2), and are currently alone in fourth place in the WCC. The Dons lost to the Toreros 4-2 on Friday, 10-4 in 12 innings on Saturday and 4-3 on Sunday.

  • Junior Matt Hiserman made his delayed season debut as a reliever in game two of an April 10 doubleheader with Gonzaga, after suffering a serious head injury from a batted ball in practice on February 13. Hiserman spent four days in the Intensive Care Unit after the injury and was warned against any activity that could cause further swelling of the brain. But Hiserman has made nothing short of a miraculous recovery. Hiserman has pitched six games out of the bullpen and is 1-2 with a 6.27 ERA in 18.2 innings.

  • The Dons, who are in a stretch of 11 consecutive games in the Bay Area, visit Santa Clara (18-24, 4-10) this weekend (5/7-9). San Francisco will then resume a suspended game with Gonzaga (14-31, 2-9) on May 13 at Benedetti Diamond with the score tied 2-2 in the top of the 13th inning.
  • Overall Record: 18-24
    WCC Record: 4-10
  • The Broncos captured their first WCC series win of the season with a three-game road sweep over Gonzaga (14-31, 2-9) last weekend (4/30-5/2). The Broncos defeated the Zags 15-3 on Friday, 7-3 on Saturday and 6-1 on Sunday. Santa Clara then dropped an 8-3 decision at Stanford (23-17) on Monday.

  • Former WCC batting champion and 2010 Preseason All-American Tommy Medica was named the West Coast Conference Player of the Week on Monday (5/3) for his efforts in an upset win over then-#21 Stanford on Apr. 26 and a three-game sweep at Gonzaga on Apr. 30-May 2. For the week, Medica hit .391 (9-for-23) for the week with three home runs, seven runs scored and nine RBI. Medica currently ranks second in the conference in hits (67) and RBI (47), third in batting average (.379) and tied for third in home runs (10).

  • The Broncos conclude their 2010 home schedule with five home games in five days this week, beginning with a non-conference matchup with UC Davis on Wednesday. The Broncos will then host Pepperdine on Thursday (makeup of game that was rained out on Apr. 11 and 12) and San Francisco on Friday-Sunday. The Broncos will play their final eight games of the season away from Stephen Schott Baseball Stadium.
  • AROUND THE WCC

    WCC Rawlings Pitcher of the Week

    Martin Viramontes, LMU - SO - RHP
    Viramontes carried a no-hitter through two out in the ninth inning en route to tossing a two-hit shutout against Saint Mary's on Sunday. The Lions provided plenty of offense in the game, scoring 10 runs on 10 hits en route to the 10-0 victory. The two-hitter was the first for the Lions since Daniel Macias tossed a two-hitter against Gonzaga on April 30, 2006. The complete game was the second of the year for LMU, as freshman Aaron Griffin tossed nine against Cal State Fullerton on March 23 en route to a WCC Pitcher of the Week selection. Viramontes' complete-game shutout was the first dealt by a Lion since Lee Roberts shutout Santa Clara in a complete-game effort on March 27, 2009. The native of Fresno, Calif. went all nine innings, allowing just the two hits and two walks while striking out a season-best nine batters. He threw 132 pitches en route to the complete-game two-hit shutout. The right-hander retired 15 straight from the fourth inning through the first Gael hit, collected by Ryan Mulligan, on a 3-2 pitch with two-out in the ninth.

    Also Nominated: A.J. Griffin (San Diego), Kyle Kraus (Portland), Chris Mendoza (Santa Clara)

    WCC Rawlings Co-Players of the Week

    Jonathan Johnson, LMU - JR - INF
    Johnson batted .600 (9-for-15) with six runs scored, a double, two triples, three walks and four RBI last week. He also collected a sacrifice fly and a stolen base while slugging .933 and reaching at a .650 clip. In the three-game series against Saint Mary's alone, Johnson batted .677 (8-for-12) with a double, two triples, six runs scored, two walks and four RBI. He slugged 1.083 and reached at a .667 clip. In Friday's game against Saint Mary's, Johnson nearly hit for the cycle, as the first of his two triples in that game hit off the top of the wall in straight-away centerfield. He finished the game 4-for-4 with four runs scored, three RBI, a walk, a sacrifice fly, a double and two triples. The native of Lakewood, Calif. then collected a pair of hits on Saturday and Sunday, including a 2-for-4 day with two runs scored and a RBI in the finale.

    Tommy Medica, SCU - JR - C/INF
    Former West Coast Conference batting champ and 2010 preseason All-American Tommy Medica hit three homers and collected nine RBI to lead Santa Clara to a win over No. 18 Stanford and a three-game sweep against league rival Gonzaga last week. In the road sweep over the Zags, Medica homered twice and doubled. Spanning five games for the week, Medica was 9-for-23 (.391 BA), scored seven runs and totaled 19 bases. Medica leads the league in RBI (47), ranks second in hits (66), stolen bases (12) and total bases (113). He also ranks fourth in runs (42) and fifth in homers (10). Medica won the 2007 WCC batting title by hitting .373 as a freshman. He has twice been named an All-WCC First Team player (2007 & 2008). He was named a Baseball America Freshman All-American in 2007 and played for the USA National Team in the 2007 Pan-American Games. He was named the WCC 'Player of the Month' in March of 2010 after hitting .403 (31-for-77) and reaching safely in all 17 games during the month.

    Also Nominated: Matt Mardesich (Portland), James Meador (San Diego)

    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)