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WCC weekly baseball notes, May 12, 2011

May 12, 2011

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AROUND THE WCC

Gonzaga Reclaims Top Spot in WCC Standings
Gonzaga is percentage points ahead of San Francisco atop the West Coast Conference standings with three weeks to go in WCC play. The Bulldogs visit Portland for a three-game set and San Francisco hosts Pepperdine for three this weekend. Both series have a scheduled 3 p.m. first pitch on Friday.

WCCsports.com Grants Fans Exclusive Dugout Access
West Coast Conference baseball fans can get exclusive access to the dugouts of three WCC teams in a special video feature, "Mic'd Up." Now available for on-demand viewing, this video shows fans what goes on in the dugout before and during a game. To watch "Mic'd Up" on-demand, visit WCC All-Access anytime. WCC All-Access can be reached from the home page on WCCsports.com.

San Diego's Zack Kometani Named Rawlings WCC Player of the Week
San Diego catcher Zack Kometani hit .615 (8-for-13) in helping the Toreros earn a series win against San Francisco last weekend. Kometani drove in five runs over the weekend and collected a total of eight hits, while also scoring three runs and stealing a base. He went 2-for-4 in the series-opener with a run scored. He followed that up with a 3-for-4 performance on Saturday in which he drove in a run and scored a run, before wrapping up the series with a 3-for-5 day on Sunday where he drove in four runs, including a two-run triple in the fourth inning against the Dons that gave the Toreros the lead. Kometani then drove in another two runs in the bottom of the eighth that helped put USD up for good.
Also Nominated: Matt Koch, LMU; Turner Gill, POR; Stephen Yarrow, USF; Patrick Terry, SCU

Portland's Kyle Kraus Named Rawlings WCC Pitcher of the Week
Portland junior Kyle Kraus posted his second straight quality start by going 8.1 innings and picking up the win during Portland's 8-3 victory at Saint Mary's on Friday. He allowed just three runs on nine hits, didn't walk a batter and fanned eight. This was his second straight win, giving him 18 victories during his career, which is tied for the sixth most in UP program history.
Also Nominated: Jason Wheeler, LMU; Martin Agosta, SMC, J.R. Graham, SCU

Gonzaga's Martin Named To Stopper Of The Year Watch List
Gonzaga closer Cody Martin was named to the midseason watch list for the seventh annual National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Stopper of the Year Award, given to the top relief pitcher in NCAA Division I baseball. Martin ranks among the national leaders and is tops in the West Coast Conference in earned run average so far this season.

Two WCC Players Candidates for Lowe's Senior CLASS Award
Portland reliever Chris Dennis and San Francisco outfielder Connor Bernatz are two of thirty NCAA baseball student-athletes selected as candidates for the 2011 Lowe's Senior CLASS Award. To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence - community, classroom, character and competition. An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School®, the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities.

Coaches Tab San Diego To Repeat in Preseason Poll
The University of San Diego is a unanimous selection to repeat as the West Coast Conference champions, garnering all seven possible first place votes and 49 points in a preseason poll of the eight WCC head coaches. Last season was memorable for USD. Led by 2010 WCC Player of the Year James Meador and Pitcher of the Year Kyle Blair, the Toreros posted a 19-2 WCC record en route to an NCAA berth and a 37-win season. Despite having ten players drafted, Coach Rich Hill and his staff have reloaded once again. The coaches selected Pepperdine to finish second in the WCC with 39 points. The complete poll follows.

2011 WEST COAST CONFERENCE PRESEASON POLL
Team (First Place Votes), Points
San Diego (7),49
Pepperdine, 39
San Francisco, 33
Portland (1), 32
Loyola Marymount, 23
Gonzaga, 20
Santa Clara, 16
Saint Mary's, 12

2011 PRESEASON ALL-WEST COAST CONFERENCE TEAM
Player, School, Yr.,Pos.
Troy Channing, Saint Mary's,Jr., IF
Ryan Hawthorne, LMU,Jr.,OF
Riley Henricks,Portland,Sr., IF
Brian Humphries, Pepperdine,Jr.,OF
Jonathan Johnston,LMU,Sr.,INF
Matt Lowenstein,LMU,So.,OF/INF
Kevin Muno,San Diego,Sr.,OF
Joe Sever, Pepperdine,So.,IF
Curtis Wagner,Santa Clara,Sr., 1B/DH
Stephen Yarrow,San Francisco,Sr., IF

Pitcher,School,Yr.
Mark Anderson, Saint Mary's,Jr.
Ryan Carpenter, Gonzaga,Jr.
Chris Dennis, Portland,Sr.
Kyle Kraus, Portland,Jr.
Martin Viramontes,LMU,Jr.

A New Look
The West Coast Conference has teamed with CBSSports.com College Network, its web site host and multimedia partner, to re-launch WCCsports.com. Among the new features on the site are front-and-center video content, larger images and graphics, campus updates, fan polls, and integration with other West Coast Conference social media platforms - such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. Visitors to WCCsports.com can also find additional features such as a WCC insider blog, and interactive results.

What'd He Say?
For the latest scores and news, follow the West Coast Conference on Twitter @WCCSports.

Did you know that WCC Commissioner Jamie Zaninovich is on Twitter, too? See what The Commish has on his mind. Follow him @WCC_Commish.

 
WCC TEAM NOTES

SCHOOL TEAM NOTES

Overall Record: 26-14-1
WCC Record: 9-3
  • Gonzaga took a break for final exams, then returned to the diamond for a brief two-game series at future WCC member BYU on Monday and Tuesday. The two teams split.
  • Senior catcher Cameron Edman belted three home runs and drove in six in the Bulldogs' 12-5 victory at BYU on Monday. His nine home runs lead the West Coast Conference.
  • Gonzaga swept the WCC monthly honors in April, with Edman earning Player of the Month recognition and junior Ryan Carpenter garnered Pitcher of the Month accolades. Edman hit .414 with 5 HR and 17 RBIs, while Carpenter was 4-0 with a 1.62 earned run average in five starts.
  • Back atop the WCC standings, the Bulldogs travel to Portland for a three-game series that begins Friday afternoon.

Overall Record: 24-20
WCC Record: 5-7
  • Loyola Marymount got back in the win column with a three-game series sweep over Cal State Bakersfield. LMU won 5-2 on the road Saturday night, and earned home wins on Sunday (11-1) and Monday (8-2).
  • Junior LHP Jason Wheeler threw a complete game in Saturday's win at Bakersfield, striking out seven. It was the third complete game of the season for Wheeler, who improved his record to 6-2.
  • Senior outfielder Joe Vierra hit .405 in the month of April, belting a pair of homers, scoring seven runs, and driving in a team-best nine.
  • The Lions resume West Coast Conference play this weekend, when they travel to Moraga for a three-game series at Saint Mary's. First pitch of Friday's game is scheduled for 3 p.m.

Overall Record: 20-24
WCC Record: 5-7
  • Pepperdine played six games in the last week, dropping two-of-three to Santa Clara. The Waves played three ranked teams, blanking No. 9 Cal State Fullerton, 7-0, on Tuesday.
  • Pepperdine sophomore Alex Najera pitched 6.1 scoreless innings against Fullerton, striking out five, to earn his first career victory.
  • Junior catcher Nate Johnson was 2-for-4 with a homer and a pair of runs scored in Pepperdine's 5-4 victory over Santa Clara. The blast was Johnson's first long ball of the season.
  • The Waves visit San Francisco for three games, beginning Friday afternoon at 3 p.m. at Benedetti Diamond. The weekend marks the final road series of the season for Pepperdine, which has home series remaining against Gonzaga and Saint Mary's.

Overall Record: 17-25
WCC Record: 6-6
  • Portland won two-of-three in a WCC showdown at Saint Mary's over the weekend. UP was rained out against Washington State on Monday, and the Pilots fell at No. 2 Oregon State on Tuesday.
  • Junior RHP Kyle Kraus was named the Rawlings West Coast Conference Pitcher of the Week on Monday. He pitched 8.1 innings in Friday's triumph at Saint Mary's, striking out eight without issuing a walk.
  • Freshman outfielder Turner Gill was 6-for-12 at the plate in UP's series win at Saint Mary's, ripping two doubles and scoring a pair of runs. Gill's 14 doubles rank among the WCC leaders.
  • The Pilots host first-place Gonzaga in a three-game series beginning Friday. First pitch is scheduled for 3 p.m. from Etzel Field.

Overall Record:20-24
WCC Record: 6-9
  • Saint Mary's lost two of three games to Portland at Guisto Field, and split a pair of games against Cal Poly.
  • Sophomore RHP Martin Agosta threw his second shutout, tossing eight scoreless innings in the Gaels' 1-0 victory over Portland in game two of Saturday's doubleheader. Agosta fanned six without issuing a walk, lowering his ERA in WCC games to just 1.40 over five starts.
  • Junior RHP Mark Anderson ranks second in the West Coast Conference, with 85.1 innings pitched. His 66 strikeouts are third in the WCC.
  • The Gaels host Loyola Marymount this weekend in their final home series at Guisto Field in Moraga. Friday's game is scheduled for a 3 p.m. first pitch, with 1 p.m. starts on the docket for both Saturday and Sunday.

Overall Record: 19-27
WCC Record: 8-7
  • San Diego took two of three from first place San Francisco at Cunningham Stadium last weekend. The Toreros also won non-WCC games over UC Riverside and San Diego Christian earlier this week.
  • Junior catcher Zack Kometani was named the Rawlings WCC Player of the Week on Monday. Kometani was 8-for-13 (.615 average), scoring three runs and driving in five as USD took a pair from the Dons.
  • Junior third baseman Bryan Haar was 3-for-4 with a pair of runs scored and two driven in as the Toreros ripped SD Christian in USD's 2011 home finale on Wednesday.
  • The Toreros have the weekend off, and will return to the diamond on Friday, May 20, at Santa Clara.

Overall Record: 25-22
WCC Record: 11-4
  • San Francisco had its six game WCC winning streak snapped when the Dons dropped two out of three games at San Diego last weekend.
  • Senior third baseman Stephen Yarrow was 4-for-8 at the plate in the USD series, drawing seven walks and scoring three runs. Yarrow's 31 walks this season are the most of any West Coast Conference player.
  • Junior outfielder Pete Lavin leads the WCC with 97 total bases. He is second in the conference with 16 stolen bases.
  • The Dons look to re-claim the top spot in the WCC standings when they host Pepperdine in a three-game series starting Friday afternoon (3 p.m.) at Benedetti Diamond.

Overall Record: 17-28
WCC Record: 4-11
  • Santa Clara went on the road and took two of three at Pepperdine over the weekend, including a 3-2 ten-inning victory in Friday's series opener. The Broncos lost 5-0 to UC Davis on Wednesday.
  • Junior RHP J.R. Graham continues to impress out of the Broncos bullpen. On Wednesday, he pitched his sixth straight 1-2-3 inning against UC Davis, after tossing five perfect innings at Pepperdine.
  • Senior catcher Patrick Terry was 5-for-15 with four RBIs in four games last week for the Broncos.
  • The Broncos do not compete this weekend. Santa Clara returns to action on Tuesday, when the Broncos visit Cal Poly. First pitch is set for 6 p.m.