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WCC Baseball Weekly Notes - 5/7

May 7, 2007

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WCC/Rawlings Player of the Week
Shane Buschini, San Diego

Shane Buschini continued to swing a hot bat, enjoying a phenomenal weekend as the Toreros posted a perfect 4-0 mark against WCC foes. The senior batted .667 (12-for-18) with three doubles, six RBI, and seven runs scored, while posting a .700 on base percentage. In Saturday's 19-9 win over USF, Buschini went 4-for-6 with three RBI before going 3-for-4 with two RBI in Sunday's 8-2 win over the Dons. The San Ramon, CA native enters the week batting a team-high .367 (73-for-199) so far this year.

WCC/Rawlings Pitcher of the Week
Barry Enright, Pepperdine

Pepperdine's Barry Enright was outstanding on the mound in a 7-2 win over then-No. 18 ranked Cal State Fullerton last Wednesday. The junior kept the Titans scoreless through eight innings, striking out four batters and surrendering just two hits to improve to 11-2 on the season. It marked the 34th career win for Enright, who moved into sole possession of second place on the Pepperdine career wins list and fifth place in WCC annals with the victory.

Upcoming Games

May 8
Pacific at San Francisco^ - 1:30 PM
UCLA at Pepperdine - 2:00 PM
UC Irvine at San Diego - 3:00 PM
Pacific at San Francisco - 3:00 PM
Santa Clara at Nevada - 5:00 PM
LMU at Cal State Fullerton - 6:00 PM
Portland at Washington - 6:30 PM

May 9
Portland at Washington - 3:00 PM

May 11
Gonzaga at Pepperdine* - 3:00 PM
Portland at LMU* - 3:00 PM
Saint Mary's at San Francisco* - 3:00 PM
San Diego at Santa Clara* - 7:00 PM

May 12
Gonzaga at Pepperdine* - 1:00 PM
Portland at LMU* - 1:00 PM
Saint Mary's at San Francisco* - 1:00 PM
San Diego at Santa Clara* - 1:00 PM

May 13
Gonzaga at Pepperdine* - 1:00 PM
Portland at LMU* - 1:00 PM
Saint Mary's at San Francisco* - 1:00 PM
San Diego at Santa Clara* - 1:00 PM

* Denotes Conference Game; ^ Conclusion of March 4 game

Around The WCC

Toreros Wrap Up A Share Of The WCC Title
San Diego clinched at least a share of the WCC regular season title and a spot in the WCC Championship Series following a three-game sweep of San Francisco at Cunningham Stadium over the weekend. It marks the first time in program history that the Toreros have claimed a share of the league's regular season crown, and USD will compete in the WCC Championship Series for the first time since 2003. San Diego claimed WCC division crowns in both 2002 and 2003, and went on to earn the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament by knocking off Pepperdine in the Championship Series in back-to-back seasons. USD can clinch the WCC regular season title outright with a single victory over Santa Clara this weekend, or with a single loss by either Gonzaga or Pepperdine.

Gonzaga And Pepperdine To Battle It Out For Championship Series Berth
Gonzaga and Pepperdine will meet at Eddy D. Field Stadium this weekend in a series that could determine who will meet San Diego in the WCC Championship Series. The Zags sit three games back in the conference standings with three games left on their conference slate, while the Waves are 4.5 games back of the Toreros with six league games remaining on their schedule. Both squads have a shot at tying San Diego for the WCC regular season title should they win out, coupled with USD losing three straight at Santa Clara this weekend. Pepperdine has appeared in all eight WCC Championship Series events since its inception in 1999, while Gonzaga last appeared in a WCC Championship Series following the 2001 season.

Pepperdine's Enright And San Diego's Matusz Named To Exclusive Lists
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 on April 27, and were also tabbed as semifinalists for the prestigious Golden Spikes Award. 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. The Golden Spikes Award is presented by USA Baseball, and both players are the first from their respective programs to be named as semifinalists. 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.

LMU's Eric Farris Named As Golden Spikes Semifinalist
Loyola Marymount's Eric Farris was also tabbed as a semifinalist for the Golden Spikes Award, joining fellow WCC standouts Barry Enright and Brian Matusz on the list released by USA Baseball last week. The Lions' junior leads LMU with a .338 batting average, 72 hits, 43 runs scored, and 30 stolen bases. Farris is the first Lion since 1984 to post 30 stolen bases in a season. With less than three complete seasons under his belt, Farris already ranks 5th all-time at LMU in career stolen bases (57). Farris was one of 50 players to be named as a semifinalist for the award, which will be presented to collegiate baseball's most outstanding player in June.

WCC Team Notes

Gonzaga Bulldogs (30-21 / 13-5 WCC)
- Gonzaga kept pace at the top of the WCC standings by sweeping LMU at home over the weekend. The Zags reached 30 wins in a season for the first time since 1990 with the sweep.

- Mark Castellitto hit a two-run pinch-hit walk off dinger to lift the Zags to Friday's 7-6 win over the Lions. It marked the first career home run for the freshman.

- Aaron McGuinness enjoyed an outstanding weekend at the plate, batting .500 (7-for-14) against LMU pitching with three runs scored and five RBI. The senior collected multiple hits in all three games, and raised his batting average to a career-high .288 (57-for-198).

- The Zags close out their conference slate with a crucial road trip to Pepperdine this weekend. GU sits three games back in the league standings with three games remaining in WCC play, and will be looking for a spot in the WCC Championship Series for the first time since 2001.

Loyola Marymount Lions (20-30-1 / 7-11 WCC)
- The Lions suffered a three-game sweep at Gonzaga over the weekend, falling to 20-30-1 overall and 7-11 in conference play.

- Angelo Songco clubbed a pair of doubles over the weekend, giving the freshman a conference-high 21 two-baggers on the season. Songco can move into a tie for eighth on the LMU single-season list with just one more double.

- Eric Farris, who was named as a semifinalist for the prestigious Golden Spikes Award last week, stole five bases on the weekend including three swipes in Friday's 7-6 loss to the Zags. Farris moved into a tie for sixth place on the LMU single-season list with 30 steals, and also moved into a tie for fifth place on the Lion career chart with 57 swipes.

- The Lions travel to No. 25 ranked Cal State Fullerton (5/8) before closing out their WCC schedule at home against Portland this weekend.

Pepperdine Waves (31-16 / 10-5 WCC)
- The Waves rebounded from a three-game sweep at San Diego to hand then-No. 18 ranked Cal State Fullerton a 7-2 defeat at Eddy D. Field Stadium last Wednesday.

- Barry Enright tossed eight innings of two-hit ball to earn his 11th victory of the season in the win over the Titans. It marked the 34th career win for the junior, who moved into sole possession of second place on the Pepperdine career victories list and fifth place in WCC annals.

- Luke Salas went 3-for-5 with two runs scored in Wednesday's win, giving the senior 245 career hits and moving him into a tie for seventh place on the Pepperdine career hits list.

- Pepperdine heads into an important week at home, as the Waves host No. 10 ranked UCLA (5/8) before hosting Gonzaga in a crucial WCC series. The Waves sit 4.5 games back in the standings with six games remaining, while the Zags are three games back of the Toreros.

Portland Pilots (19-23 / 6-9 WCC)
- Portland was idle last week after taking two-of-three from Saint Mary's the previous weekend to improve to 19-23 overall and 6-9 in WCC play.

- Given Kutz has fanned 77 batters so far this season, moving him into 10th place on the Portland single-season strikeout list. The junior, who entered the season with 86 career strikeouts in two seasons on The Bluff, enters the week ranked third in the conference in strikeouts.

- Justin Pierce has hit a team-high five home runs so far this season. The senior has clubbed 17 round-trippers during his time as a Pilot, and needs just one more home run to move into a tie for 10th place on the Portland career list.

- Portland continues its eight-game road stretch with mid-week games at Washington (5/8 & 5/9) before heading to LMU for a three-game set this weekend.

Saint Mary's Gaels (21-26-1 / 3-15 WCC)
- Saint Mary's enjoyed a solid week, knocking off Patten on Tuesday before taking two-of-three from Bay Area rival Santa Clara at The Guisto over the weekend.

- Michael Cipolla batted .462 (6-for-13) on the week for the Gaels, slugging his first career home run in Friday's loss to Santa Clara and hitting a walk off single in the 10th inning of Saturday's 3-2 win over the Broncos. The freshman enters the week batting .324 (24-for-74) on the season.

- Eric Cattoni scored four runs over the weekend to bring his season total to 52, which is tied for third on the Saint Mary's single-season chart.

- The Gaels wrap up the 2007 season with a short trip to face San Francisco for three games this weekend.

San Diego Toreros (38-14 / 16-2 WCC)
- San Diego finished off a sweep of Pepperdine last Monday, then swept San Francisco at home over the weekend to clinch at least a share of the WCC regular season title and a spot in the WCC Championship Series for the first time since 2003.

- Justin Snyder collected four hits over the weekend to bring his league-high hits total to 78 on the season. The junior needs just four more base hits to move into a tie for eighth on the San Diego single-season chart.

- Rich Hill increased his career wins total in WCC contests to 217 with the weekend sweep. Hill needs just three more wins in league play to move into second place on the WCC list.

- The Toreros, winners of 15 straight games against WCC opponents, host No. 16 UC Irvine (5/8) before traveling to Santa Clara for three games this weekend.

San Francisco Dons (24-26 / 6-12 WCC)
- San Francisco pounded California at Benedetti Diamond on Tuesday, 13-4, before traveling to San Diego over the weekend and suffering a three-game sweep against the red-hot Toreros.

- Jonnie Knoble stole his team-leading 20th base of the season in Tuesday's win over the Golden Bears, giving the senior 58 career swipes and putting him in sole possession of third place on the USF career list.

- Joey Railey slugged his first career grand slam in the win over Cal, capping a 2-for-5 performance at the plate for the junior. Railey is one of eight Dons currently batting over .300 (.316), and leads the team in runs scored (37) and hits (62).

- San Francisco hosts Pacific (5/8) before closing out the season with a three-game set against Saint Mary's at home this weekend.

Santa Clara Broncos (24-25 / 8-10 WCC)
- Santa Clara went 2-2 on the week, knocking off Stanford on Tuesday, 16-8, before dropping two-of-three to Saint Mary's on the road over the weekend.

- Jeff Lombard tossed a scoreless ninth inning to nail down his 10th save of the season in Friday's 5-3 win over the Gaels, putting the junior into a four-way tie for second place on the SCU single-season saves list.

- Matt Wickswat was outstanding in his start on Saturday, tossing 8.1 innings and tying a career-high with 10 strikeouts in a 10-inning loss to Saint Mary's. It marked the fourth time this season that Wickswat has struck out 10 batters in a game.

- The Broncos travel to face Nevada (5/8) before returning home to take on San Diego for a three-game series at Schott Stadium this weekend.