May 7, 2007
IN A NUTSHELL: The sixth-ranked University of San Diego baseball team (38-14,16-2 WCC) will conclude regular season this week. First, USD will welcome No. 13 UC Irvine to Cunningham Stadium for a 3 p.m. non-conference game, then the Toreros will head to Northern California for a three-game series with the Santa Clara Broncos. Friday's game will begin at 6 p.m. and both Saturday's and Sunday's games will begin at 1 p.m.
THE POLLS: After a three-game sweep over San Francisco this past weekend, the Toreros have jumped up to No. 6 in the latest Baseball America top-25 poll, marking the highest the Toreros have ever been ranked. The Toreros are also ranked No. 7 in both the latest Collegiate Baseball top-30 poll and in the latest Rivals.com top-25 poll. UC Irvine is as high as No. 13 in the latest baseball America top-25 and Santa Clara is not ranked.
LAST TIME OUT: San Diego posted another undefeated week with a 4-0 recorded. On Monday, USD completed a sweep over Pepperdine with a convincing 7-3 win. In the game, Daniel Magness led the offensive charge for USD with his 2-for-5, one double and two RBI performance. Shane Buschini was the only other batter to record multiple hits on the day as he went 2-for-4 with one RBI. On Friday, USD was engaged in a pitching dual with San Francisco, and came out with a 2-1 win. Jordan Abruzzo hit a bases-loaded walk-off RBI single to lift USD to victory in the ninth inning. On Saturday, the Toreros were involved in one of the wildest game of the season. USF took a 9-9 lead in the fourth inning, then USD rallied to score nine runs of their own in the bottom of the ninth inning, which kick started 19 unanswered runs by the Toreros to claim a 19-9 win. Offensively for the Toreros, every batter USD sent to the plate recorded at least one hit and all represented one run scored. Buschini was the offensive hero for the Toreros as he went 4-for-6 with one double and three RBI. Kevin Hansen also had a solid day at the plate as he went 3-for-4 with one RBI. On Sunday, The Toreros concluded the week with an 8-2 win over USF. Matt Couch picked up his career-high eighth win of the season as he allowed one run on six hits, while striking out five in 7.0 innings of work. Offensively for the Toreros, Romanski led the way with his 3-for-5 and three RBI performance. Buschini also recorded three hits going 3-for-4 with two RBI.
SCOUTING THE ANTEATERS: UC Irvine enters the game with an overall record of 31-13-1 after dropping a 4-2 decision to UCLA in their lone game this past week. The Anteaters are currently ranked No. 13 in the latest Baseball America Top-25 poll, and No. 26 in the latest Collegiate Baseball top-30 poll. USD defeated UC Irvine earlier this season 2-0, behind Josh Romanski's two-hit eight inning gem. Irvine is led offensively by Ben Orloff, who has a tam-best .364 batting average, 63 hits, nine doubles and 21 RBI. On the mound, the Toreros will face Scott Gorgen, the ace of the UCI pitching staff. Gorgen is 8-2 with a 3.30 ERA.
SCOUTING THE BRONCOS: Santa Clara enters the week with an overall record of 24-25 and a 8-10 mark in the WCC after dropping two-of-three to Saint Mary's this past weekend. The Broncos are led offensively by Tommy Medica, who has a team-leading .398 batting average, has 53 hits, eight doubles, four triples and eight RBI. On the mound, the Broncos turn to Matt Wickswatt to anchor things down. Wickswatt owns a 6-5 overall record with a 3.35 ERA.
TOREROS ON THE AIR: Tuesday's game can all be heard live via the internet at www.usdtoreros.com by the voice of the Toreros Jack Murray. This is a subscription service that will give you access to live video events of USD athletic teams, coaching interviews and much more. The cost for this service will be $6.95 per month or a yearly subscription can be purchased for $49.95.
BUSCHINI NAMED WCC PLAYER OF THE WEEK: The University of San Diego's senior outfielder Shane Buschini was named the West Coast Conference Player of the Week after helping lead the Toreros to a 4-0 record this past week. Buschini had a monster week for the Toreros as he was a huge reason the Toreros completed a sweep over Pepperdine on Monday and recorded the program-best fifth consecutive WCC series sweep over the University of San Francisco this past weekend. Buschini went 12-for-18 (.667) with three doubles, six RBI and seven runs scored while boasting an on base percentage of .700. In Saturdays 19-9 win over USF, Buschini went 4-for-6, with one double and three RBI and in Sunday's game he went 3-for-4 with two RBI. On the season, Buschini is now the team's leading hitter with a .367 batting average, has 73 hits, 18 doubles, two triples, 12 home runs, and 52 RBI.
GOING STREAKING: San Diego is in the midst of a nine game winning streak and a 15-game winning streak in WCC games, thanks to its sweep over San Francisco this past weekend. The Toreros will look to extend these streaks this week as they host UC Irvine on Tuesday then head to Santa Clara for the final regular-season WCC series.
TOREROS CLINCH SHARE OF REGULAR-SEASON 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 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. 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. If USD wins one game, or if Gonzaga loses one game this weekend, then USD will also clinch the right to host the WCC Championship series.
NEW PROGRAM RECORDS: With the 4-0 record this past week, the Toreros move their overall record to 38-14. The 38 wins is a program-record for most regular-season wins, and is just one shy of all-time record of 39 set by the 2002 team. The 15 consecutive wins and five consecutive series sweeps over WCC opponents is also a new program record. The Toreros will have a chance to improve upon that this weekend with their final WCC series of the season.
GRIFFIN MOVES UP SINGLE-SEASON CHARTS: Freshman closer AJ Griffin moved into a tie for third in single-season saves with eight, in Monday's game against Pepperdine. Griffin is now just one save shy of tying Tom Caple (2001) for second, and five shy of the all-time single-season record of 13 held by Tony Perez in the 2003 season. On the season, Griffin is 6-1, with eight saves and an ERA of 2.93.
TOREROS SWEEP MONTHLY HONORS: The University of San Diego sweeps the Monthly honors from the West Coast Conference as junior second baseman Justin Snyder was named the WCC Player of the Month and sophomore left-hander Josh Romanski was tabbed as the WCC Pitcher of the Month. Snyder had a monster month for San Diego, as the Toreros ascended to a No. 9 national ranking behind the junior's team-high .459 batting average. The second baseman pounded out 28 hits in 15 games to lead USD, clubbing seven doubles and a home run to go along with 14 RBI on the month. In a three-game sweep of Saint Mary's in early April, the El Cajon, Calif. native batted a phenomenal .692 (9-for-13) with four doubles as the Toreros began a 12-game winning streak in WCC contests. Snyder went a perfect 4-for-4 with two doubles in the second game of the series with the Gaels, leading USD to a 2-0 victory on April 6. The infielder remained hot at the plate in a sweep of Portland the following weekend, batting .583 (7-for-12) with a pair of doubles and four RBI in the three-game set. Romanski earned his second straight WCC Pitcher of the Month honor after posting outstanding numbers during April and leading the Toreros to first place in the conference standings. The sophomore posted a perfect 4-0 mark, tossing three complete games and two shutouts, while posting a sparkling 0.26 ERA. The Corona, CA native struck out 26 batters in 35 innings of work, and surrendered just 15 hits and one earned run in his four starts. The southpaw struck out a career-high nine batters in a complete-game effort at Saint Mary's on April 6, allowing just two hits and retiring 14 straight hitters at one point during the victory. After tossing another complete-game in a win at LMU on April 21, Romanski registered a nine-inning effort with seven strikeouts as the Toreros knocked off then-No. 12 ranked Pepperdine on April 29, 5-0. Romanski was tabbed for both WCC Player and Pitcher of the week honors during the month.
TORERO SKIPPER Rich Hill: San Diego's Rich Hill has built the USD Toreros into one of the most successful Division I baseball programs on the West Coast. The 2007 spring season will be Hill's 20th year as a head coach at the collegiate level, and ninth at USD, having enjoyed 16 winning seasons in 19 years. Since taking over at USD in 1999, Hill has been remarkable in leading the Toreros to eight consecutive winning campaigns, rewriting the school record book en route to claiming back-to-back West Coast Conference Championship titles in 2002 and 2003. Under his leadership San Diego has averaged 33 wins per season, including winning a school record 39 games in 2002, a year in which Hill was honored by his peers as the West Coast Conference Coach of the Year. In 2006, Hill led USD to its highest national ranking in program history at No. 8, as well as USD's first-ever at-large berth into the NCAA Regionals.
LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION: All USD home games, as well as select road games, will be streamed live via video on the athletics department website. Fans can watch all the action live from the comfort of their home by logging onto usdtoreros.com. Once on the home page, click the LIVE button on the top right of the page. This is a subscription service that will give you access to live video events of USD athletic teams, coaching interviews and much more. The cost for this service will be $6.95 per month or a yearly subscription can be purchased for $49.95.
RECRUITING CLASS RANKED NO. 6: StudentSportsBaseball.com released their list of the Top 20 college baseball recruiting classes in the country and the University of San Diego checks in at No. 6. San Diego's recruiting class includes two AFLAC All-Americans - outfielder Sequoyah Stonecipher (Mission Bay HS) and right-handed pitcher Kyle Blair (Los Gatos HS). The recruiting class also includes one Team USA member in Victor Sanchez (Gahr HS), four players have earned All-CIF honors and all 10 student-athletes have earned all-league first- or second-team honors on their respective high school teams. This group will report to USD in the fall of 2007.
2007 GAMETRACKER AVAILABLE: All of San Diego's home games, as well as select road games, can be followed via Gametracker on the Toreros athletic web site at www.usdtoreros.com. Gametracker is a service of Online College Sports, the official web provider for San Diego athletics, and is a real time update of the action.