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WCC Weekly Baseball Notes

May 12, 2010

Complete Release in PDF Format

Updated Stats (as of 05/12/2010) Get Acrobat Reader

Two weeks remain in West Coast Conference play, and San Diego leads the conference with an undefeated 15-0 record, matching the best start in the WCC history for any school, as LMU held the same record in 1988. Portland fell to second place after being swept by the Toreros last weekend, while San Francisco and Pepperdine are tied for third after securing their respective conference series. Saint Mary's dropped from third to fifth, while Santa Clara remained in sixth. Loyola Marymount and Gonzaga round out the WCC standings, and both teams did not compete in WCC action this past weekend.


Overall Record: 14-31
WCC Record: 2-9
  • Gonzaga had the week off due to final exams and graduation. The Bulldogs will head to the Bay Area to complete its suspended game at the University of San Francisco on May 13 before traveling to Moraga, Calif. for a three-game series with Saint Mary's College on May 14-16.

  • Prior to their week off, the Bulldogs were swept at home by Santa Clara (18-24, 4-10) by the scores of 15-3 (Friday), 7-3 (Saturday) and 6-1 (Sunday).H The Bulldogs have added home non-conference games to the schedule against Washington State (22-17) on May 18 and May 25.

  • Gonzaga will travel to San Francisco (24-24, 7-7) on Thursday, May 12 for the conclusion of the 2-2 tie game that was postponed in the top of the 13th inning due to darkness on April 10, before heading to Moraga for its three-game conference series this weekend.

  • Overall Record: 19-23
    WCC Record: 3-9
  • Loyola Marymount took the week for final exams but returned to action at home against Cal Poly (15-29). The Lions and Mustangs combined for 29 runs on 29 hits on Tuesday, as LMU, which committed three errors in the game, dropped an 18-11 affair at Page Stadium.

  • Cal Poly blasted four home runs in the game, while sophomore Matt Koch had a pair for LMU. Ten of LMU's 11 runs in the loss came with two out in an inning.H Before the week off, LMU won its first conference series of the 2010 campaign by taking two of three from Saint Mary's (15-22, 6-6). The Lions fell 14-9 on Friday, but rebounded to win 2-1 in 10 innings on Saturday and 10-0 on Sunday.

  • The Lions will return to action tomorrow when they play just short of a doubleheader against UC Riverside starting at 4 p.m.

  • Overall Record: 18-24
    WCC Record: 6-6
  • Pepperdine had a busy week, playing six games over the last seven days. The Waves went 5-1 with their only loss coming in a conference matchup against Santa Clara (21-26, 6-12) on Thursday by a score of 16-7. The Waves defeated Long Beach State (20-21) by a score of 4-0 and then swept Saint Mary's last weekend by scores of 7-1 (Friday), 12-0 (Saturday), and 5-4 (Sunday). The Waves then defeated UC Santa Barbara in its most recent matchup by a score of 5-4.

  • Sophomore Brian Humphries was named the WCC Co-Player of the Week and is currently riding a season-high seven-game hitting streak, as he recorded six doubles and seven RBI over the last week.

  • The Waves return to the field on Wednesday for a 3 p.m. home game versus No. 10 Cal State Fullerton. Junior Keven Inman will take the hill for the first time since pitching last week's complete-game shutout against Long Beach State.
  • Overall Record: 31-13
    WCC Record: 11-4
  • In a showdown for the conference lead last weekend, Portland was swept by undefeated San Diego (31-17, 15-0) by scores of 2-0 (Friday), 5-1 (Saturday) and 9-2 (Sunday). The Pilots then lost 6-5 to Washington State (26-17) in non-conference play, making it four straight losses to bring their overall record to 31-13 with eight games remaining.

  • Senior Rocky Gale and junior Craig Smith each recorded solo home runs for the host Pilots. Gale is currently 13th in the conference for individual batting (.336), while Smith is fifth in the league in stolen bases (10-12).

  • The Pilots will travel to the Bay Area for a three-game series against San Francisco (24-24, 7-7 WCC) this weekend.
  • Overall Record: 15-26-1
    WCC Record: 6-9
  • Saint Mary's dropped four games over the last week, dropping the three-game series to Pepperdine (18-24, 6-6) by the scores of 7-1 (Friday), 12-0 (Saturday), and 5-4 (Sunday). Saint Mary's then dropped an 8-5 loss to UC Davis (20-24) in non-conference play.

  • Sophomore Troy Channing continued his run over the weekend, tallying his 12th home run of the year against Pepperdine on Sunday. Against UC Davis, Channing went 0-for-1 with two runs scored, as he was hit twice and walked twice in five plate appearances.

  • Against UC Davis, the Aggies made all their hits count, as they scored eight runs on eight hits. SMC scored five runs on eight hits, but left the bases loading in the bottom of the ninth.

  • Saint Mary's returns to action this weekend, with a three-game WCC series against the Gonzaga Bulldogs. The series begins on Friday, May 14 on Louis Guisto Field.
  • Overall Record: 31-17
    WCC Record: 15-0
  • San Diego, which is ranked 17th in the nation this week by Baseball America, has won eight of its last nine games. San Diego swept Portland (31-12, 11-4) by the scores of 2-0 (Friday), 5-1 (Saturday) and 9-2 (Sunday) and defeated non-conference opponent Oregon State (24-18) by a score of 4-1, but was unable to extend its win streak to nine straight, falling 13-4 to 22nd-ranked University of Oregon (Tuesday).

  • The Toreros have won 15 straight to open WCC play, matching the best start for any school in WCC history and Loyola Marymount's historic 15-0 start in 1988.

  • San Diego senior James Meador leads the conference in individual batting in WCC games only (.492) and junior Kyle Blair tops the charts in individual pitching in WCC games only (1.36 ERA).

  • The Toreros will take on Pepperdine in a three-game series on May 21-23.
  • Overall Record: 24-24
    WCC Record: 7-7
  • San Francisco took two out of three games last weekend against Santa Clara (21-26, 6-12). The Dons defeated the Broncos (21-26, 6-12) by scores of 13-5 on Friday and 11-5 on Saturday, but dropped the closer by a score of 12-6 (Sunday).

  • The Dons ended the series by bringing the season hit total to 126, just one away from the Dons' all-time high of 127, set in 2000. Junior center fielder Pete Lavin, who is tied for seventh in the WCC for hits this season (48) with teammate Derek Poppert, extended his hitting streak to 20 games on Sunday.

  • San Francisco returns to action on Thursday, May 13 hosting Gonzaga in the conclusion of the 2-2 tie game that was postponed due to darkness on April 10. The contest, which will resume in the top of the 13th, will start at 2:00 PM at Benedetti Diamond.
  • Overall Record: 21-26
    WCC Record: 6-12
  • The Broncos dropped their conference series against San Francisco (24-24, 7-7), losing the first two games by scores of 13-5 and 11-5 and winning their final home game 12-6. Seniors Geoff Klein and Tommy Medica celebrated Senior Day on Sunday by hitting homeruns at Stephen Schott Stadium.

  • Santa Clara junior first baseman Curtis Wagner, the WCC batting leader (.404 BA), was named to the ESPN The Magazine/CoSIDA Academic All-District VIII baseball team. Wagner has earned a 3.8 cumulative GPA studying in the Leavey School of Business, majoring in Economics.

  • With rain in the forecast, the Santa Clara-Stanford baseball game last Monday was been postponed. No makeup game for the fourth game in series has been set.

  • Santa Clara will have the weekend off and are not scheduled to play again until Wednesday, May 19 at UC Davis.

    WCC Rawlings Pitcher of the Week

    Kyle Blair, USD - JR - RHP
    Junior right-hander Kyle Blair took a no-hitter against Portland in 8.2 innings this past Friday in a win before surrendering a double to break up the no-no bid. Blair (7-3) had the best performance of his career as he kept the Pilot batters off kilter the entire game. Blair only allowed three bases to runners, via a walk through, the first eight innings, and at one point he struck out the side in back-to-back innings, fourth and fifth, en route to his season-high 15 strikeouts. He was just one strikeout away from tying himself and Brian Matusz for the USD single-game record of 16. Blair was also named Collegiate Baseball National Pitcher of the Week for his efforts.

    Also Nominated: Cole Cook (Pepperdine), Doug Murray (San Francisco)

    WCC Rawlings Co-Players of the Week

    Brian Humphries, PEP - OF - SR
    Sophomore outfielder Brian Humphries batted .393 (11-for-28) last week with a team-best eight runs, five doubles, five RBI and a home run Tuesday vs. UCLA, which was the first Pepperdine leadoff home run in more than six years. At Saint Mary's on Sunday, Humphries broke a 3-3 tie in the 11th with a game-winning, two-run double down the left-field line and tied a career high with four hits. Humphries is currently riding a season-best six-game hitting streak. He also stole two bases this past week and made 11 put outs in the outfield with one assist, which helped catch a Gaels' runner at home in the second inning of Friday's 7-1 victory.

    Nick McCoy, USD - C - SR
    Redshirt senior Nick McCoy played a huge role in helping lead USD not only to a 4-0 week, but to a perfect 15-0 start in WCC play, tying the record for best start in WCC history with 1988 LMU. McCoy did all the catching duties in all four games and went 6-for-14 with one home run and six RBI. In arguably the biggest series of the season, McCoy helped lead USD to a 16-3 combined victory in the sweep over the Pilots. In Sunday's win, McCoy went 3-for-4 with a home run and two RBI.

    Also Nominated: Robert Abel (San Francisco)

    WCC April Co-Pitchers of the Month: Chris Dennis, POR & Kyle Blair, USD

    Chris Dennis, Portland, RHP
    Junior RHP Chris Dennis picked up six saves, went 2-0, struck out 14 in 13.0 innings, posted an ERA of 2.08 and held opposing hitters to a .208 average as the Pilots went 13-3 overall during the month and 11-1 in the West Coast Conference. Dennis also became Portland's all-time career saves leader and set a new mark for most saves in a single season. He had one stretch (April 20-25) where he saved four straight Portland wins as the Pilots won at Washington, ending an eight-game losing streak to the Huskies, and swept a three-game series at Pepperdine, where UP was previously 1-31 all-time. During the same week, he tied, then broke both the UP single-season and career saves records.

    Dennis was named the WCC's Co-Pitcher of the Week (April 25) and College Baseball Insider's Regional Pitcher of the Week following his four saves in four games performance. He picked up his 10th save of the season during 8-6 win at Pepperdine on April 23 to set the new single-season mark, which had stood since 1987. Two games later, he registered his 12th save of the season and of his career during the 5-2 win at Pepperdine on April 24, becoming the all-time saves leader at Portland. Dennis ended the month tied for the second most saves in the country with 12, helped Portland register the fifth 30-win season in program history, and end the month riding an 10-game winning streak.

    Kyle Blair, San Diego, RHP
    Junior right-hander Kyle Blair has been lights out on the mound for the Toreros in April, as he posted a 4-1 record, 4-0 in the WCC, with an ERA of 1.99, while leading the team in strikeouts with 37. Blair had one of his most impressive performances of the month in a win against Gonzaga. After a rocky start to his outing, surrendering three unearned runs in the first two innings, Blair settled down and held the Gonzaga bats at bay. After surrendering a lead-off double in the top of the third inning, Blair settled down and proceeded to retire his next 15 batters, eight via the strikeout, over the next four innings before Mark Castellitto broke that streak with a single in the top of the eighth inning. Blair (5-3) picked up the win on the mound as he allowed four runs, one earned, while scattering six hits over 7.2 innings of work. Blair also looked impressive in the win over San Francisco this past weekend, as he turned in yet another dominating performance allowing two runs on five hits, while striking out eight in 8.0 innings of work.

    WCC April Co-Players of the Month: C.J. Cullen, POR & James Meador, USD

    C.J. Cullen, Portland, 1B
    C.J. Cullen hit .429 (27-for-63) with a 17 RBI's, 18 runs scored, a homer, a triple and two doubles as the Pilots went 13-3 overall and 11-1 in the WCC. He also tallied a team-high .473 on-base percentage during the month. Cullen was UP's most clutch hitter as he hit .529 with runners in scoring position, batted .444 with two outs and eight of his 17 RBI's came with two outs. He also had two four-hit games, three three-hit games, and one game with four RBI's.

    Cullen only committed one error in 155 chances for an impressive fielding percentage of .994 and was named the WCC's Co-Player of the Week (April 26) after the Pilots ended and eight-game losing streak to Washington and swept a three-game series at Pepperdine, where Portland was previously 1-31 all-time. Cullen recorded a .625 (10-for-16) against the Huskies and Waves and had a home run, a triple, six RBI's and four runs, was 4-for-5 with a double and four runs during 13-12 win over LMU at home on April 18, was 3-for-4 at UW, knocked in a run and scored twice, while falling a double shy of hitting for the cycle, and went 4-for-4 with two RBI's and a run during 8-4 win at Pepperdine on April 24.

    James Meador, San Diego, OF
    Senior outfielder James Meador has helped lead USD to a program-record 12-0 start in conference games, (10-0 in April), after leading the Toreros offense going 22-for-55 (.400) with seven doubles, two home runs and 19 RBI. Meador had his most productive week between April 19-25, as he went 10-for-17 (.769) with a double, two home runs and 10 RBI, en route to a WCC Player of the Week award. Meador had his most productive game in a win over Gonzaga on April 24, as he went 4-for-5 with four RBI and one home run. For the month, USD posted an impressive 10-4 overall record and climbed back into the top-25, while leading the WCC standings fro the get-go

    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

    Collegiate Baseball - No. 34USA TODAY/ESPN - Receiving Votes
    NCBWA - Receiving Votes

    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)