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WCC Baseball Weekly Notes - 5/15

May 15, 2006

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Pepperdine And San Francisco To Meet In WCC Championship Series

Pepperdine and San Francisco will meet over Memorial Day weekend to determine the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament in the eighth annual WCC Championship Series. The two squads earned sweeps in league play over the weekend to finish tied atop the standings, with each earning a share of the WCC regular season crown. The Dons, who earned the first conference title in program history and will be making the program's first appearance in the WCC Championship Series, will host the Waves as a result of USF winning two-of-three during their regular season meeting in April. Pepperdine will be making its eighth straight appearance in the WCC Championship Series, and will be looking for its third straight conference title.

WCC/Rawlings Player of the Week
Scott Cousins, San Francisco

Scott Cousins enjoyed an outstanding week, as the junior led San Francisco to a 4-0 mark and a share of the WCC regular season title. Cousins batted .529 (9-for-17) with four doubles, a home run, and six RBI on the week, and collected seven hits with five RBI as the Dons swept LMU in conference play over the weekend. The Reno, NV native took the mound in Friday's contest against the Lions, tossing nine innings and striking out a season-high eight batters.

WCC/Rawlings Pitcher of the Week
James Johnson, Pepperdine

James Johnson continued his solid pitching on Sunday, as the senior pitched the Waves to a 12-2 win over Saint Mary's to seal up a share of the WCC regular season crown. The Reno, NV native tossed his first career complete game against the Gaels, scattering just five hits and surrendering two runs, while striking out three batters. Johnson walked three batters, but held Saint Mary's to a .156 team batting average as he earned his sixth consecutive win.

Upcoming Schedule

May 16
Washington State at Gonzaga - 3:00 PM
Cal State Northridge at LMU - 3:00 PM
USC at Pepperdine - 3:00 PM
Washington at Portland - 3:00 PM
Hawaii at San Francisco - 3:00 PM
San Diego at UC Riverside - 6:00 PM
Santa Clara at Stanford - 6:00 PM

May 17
Pepperdine at UC Santa Barbara - 2:00 PM

May 18
Lewis-Clark State at Gonzaga - 3:00 PM

May 19
LMU at Portland* - 3:00 PM

May 20
LMU at Portland* - 1:00 PM

May 21
LMU at Portland* - 1:00 PM

* Denotes Conference Game

2006 WCC Championship Series

May 26
Pepperdine at San Francisco - 1:00 PM

May 27
Pepperdine at San Francisco - 12:00 PM

May 28
Pepperdine at San Francisco^ - 1:00 PM

^ If Necessary; Friday and Saturday's games televised live on FSN Bay Area, Northwest, and West2; Sunday's game tape delayed on FSN Bay Area and Northwest

Around The WCC

Three WCC Players Named Academic All-Region VIII
Gonzaga seniors Jackson Brennan and Patrick Donovan, and Portland senior Matthew Peters were each named to the ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District VIII team last week. The team is voted on by members of the College Sports Information Directors Association (CoSIDA) and recognizes student-athletes who have excelled both on the field and in the classroom. To be eligible a student-athlete must have at least a 3.2 GPA and be a starter or major contributor to their team.

Pepperdine's Chad Tracy Named Semi-finalist For Johnny Bench Award
Pepperdine's Chad Tracy was named one of 10 semi-finalists for the 2006 Coleman Company-Johnny Bench Award, the Greater Wichita Area Sports Commission announced last Thursday. The award is presented annually at the Greater Wichita Sports Banquet to the nation's top collegiate catcher. A national voting committee comprised of sportswriter, sportscasters, Division I coaches and scouts will be sent comprehensive biographies on each candidate at the end of May to determine the three finalists, who will be announced on June 1.

WCC Ranks Among Nation's Leaders In RPI
The WCC ranks ninth among Division I conferences according to the most recent "Pseudo-RPI" ratings release by BoydsWorld.com. The WCC ranks just ahead of the Western Athletic Conference with a .526 rating, and is listed just behind the Sun Belt and Southern conferences.

San Diego's Rich Hill Wins No. 200
San Diego's Rich Hill became the third skipper in league history to reach the 200-win milestone with the Toreros' 11-7 victory over Gonzaga on Saturday. Only former USD skipper John Cunningham (243) and former Santa Clara coach John Oldham (219) have won more WCC league contests than Hill. A 13-year veteran of the circuit, Hill currently has 404 overall wins during his tenures at both USF and San Diego, and became just the fifth coach in league history to reach the 400-win plateau with USD's win over San Diego State on May 2.

Pepperdine-USC Baseball Game Available Live At ESPN360.com
Tuesday's regular-season home finale between Pepperdine and USC can be viewed live on the Internet at www.ESPN360.com, ESPN's customized broadband service that provides users with live games, access to highlights, inside analysis from ESPN commentators and extended SportsCenter interviews. The Waves and Trojans will meet at Eddy D. Field Stadium beginning at 3 p.m. ESPN360's exclusive coverage of the USC at Pepperdine game will not be available anywhere else - television or online. The two squads met earlier this season, with the Waves registering a 2-1 win over the Trojans in Los Angeles on March 29.

WCC Team Notes

Gonzaga Bulldogs (28-23 / 9-12 WCC)
- Gonzaga closed out its conference schedule by dropping two-of-three at San Diego over the weekend.

- Dustin Colclough clubbed a three-run home run to spark a six-run top of the ninth inning in Gonzaga's 7-5 win over San Diego on Friday.

- Darin Holcomb drove in two runs in Sunday's 14-4 loss, bringing his season RBI total to a team-high 56 and putting him into ninth place on the Gonzaga single-season RBI chart.

- Brandon Harmon tossed a scoreless ninth inning, striking out one to nail down his third save of the season in Friday's win over the Toreros.

- GU closes out the regular season at home against Washington State (5/16) and Lewis-Clark State (5/18).

LMU Lions (21-31 / 8-10 WCC)
- The Lions resumed league play after a week off and suffered a three-game sweep at San Francisco over the weekend.

- Sean Dovel clubbed his league-leading 20th double of the season in Friday's 5-4 loss to the Dons, and needs just one more two-bagger to move into a tie for 10th place on the LMU single-season list.

- Chris Pettit moved into the team lead with his fifth home run of the season in Friday's loss, giving him 14 career round-trippers.

- Erik Johnson went 3-for-4 in Saturday's 5-1 loss, and collected five hits on the weekend to bring his batting average up to a team-high .367 on the season.

- LMU hosts Cal State Northridge (5/16) before heading to Portland for a three-game set.

Pepperdine Waves (36-18 / 15-6 WCC)
- Pepperdine clinched a share of the WCC regular season title after sweeping Saint Mary's on the road over the weekend. The Waves clinched a spot in the WCC Championship Series, and will appear in the event for the eighth straight season.

- Adrian Ortiz stretched his career-high hitting streak to 12 games with hits in each game against the Gaels. Ortiz, who went 5-for-15 with three runs scored over the weekend, is batting .448 (26-for-58) during the streak.

- Brett Hunter recorded the final two outs in Saturday's 12-9 win, earning his ninth save of the season and moving him into a tie for sixth on the Pepperdine single-season saves list.

- Chase d'Arnaud is in the midst of a nine-game hitting streak.

- The Waves host USC (5/16) and close out the season at UC Santa Barbara (5/17).

Portland Pilots (15-33 / 3-15 WCC)
- Portland had a busy week, splitting a brief two-game set at Washington and dropping two-of-three at Santa Clara in WCC play over the weekend.

- Danny Meier clubbed home runs in both of the Pilots' games at Washington, including a three-run shot that gave Portland the lead in Tuesday's 7-6 win over the Huskies.

- Joe Jones enjoyed a solid week out of the bullpen for the Pilots, appearing in three games and tossing 11 innings. Jones earned the win in UP's win at Washington after throwing four scoreless innings, and nailed down the save with three innings pitched in Sunday's win over SCU.

- Matthew Peters has 44 RBI and can crack the UP single-season list with three more.

- The Pilots host Washington (5/16) before closing out WCC play against LMU this week.

Saint Mary's Gaels (26-25 / 9-12 WCC)
- Saint Mary's swept a double header from Patten College on Tuesday before being swept in WCC play by Pepperdine over the weekend. The Gaels close out the 2006 campaign with a 26-25 record, marking the first time that an SMC squad has finished over .500 since 1991.

- Sam Carter clubbed his 11th home run of the season in Sunday's loss to the Waves, moving him into a tie for third place on the Saint Mary's career list with 25 dingers.

- Orben Frederick collected seven hits on the week, bringing his team-high hits total to 75, and leaving him just 13 shy of the SMC single-season record.

- Joel Staples legged out his WCC-leading fifth triple in Saturday's loss to Pepperdine.

- Preston Young finished his career ranked second on the SMC career home runs list (27).

San Diego Toreros (32-22 / 13-8 WCC)
- San Diego took two-of-three from Gonzaga over the weekend to finish the WCC campaign at 13-8, just two games behind the conference leaders.

- Rich Hill notched his 200th career WCC win as a head coach in Saturday's 11-7 victory over Gonzaga. Hill, who collected 70 wins as skipper at USF from 1994-98, is just the third coach in conference history to reach the 200-win mark.

- Keoni Ruth enjoyed an outstanding week at the plate, as the junior batting .613 (8-for-13) with a home run, four RBI, and five runs scored in four games. Ruth went a combined 6-for-7 at the plate in USD's wins over Gonzaga on Saturday and Sunday.

- Ryan Lilly pounded out a career-high five hits in Sunday's win over the Zags.

- The Toreros close out the 2006 campaign at UC Riverside (5/16).

San Francisco Dons (36-19 / 15-6 WCC)
- San Francisco claimed a share of its first-ever WCC regular season title after sweeping LMU at home over the weekend. The Dons will make the program's first appearance in the WCC Championship Series, hosting Pepperdine in the best-of-three match up.

- Patrick McGuigan earned a pair of wins against LMU, tossing two innings of scoreless relief on Friday and throwing 5.2 innings in Sunday's start. McGuigan moved into second place on the USF career wins list with 21, just one victory behind Dana Hendershott (1968-71).

- Joey Railey collected four hits over the weekend to bring his team-leading hit total to 74 on the season. Railey is currently tied for 12th on the USF single-season hits chart.

- The Dons, who have posted a 16-3 record within the confines of Benedetti Diamond this season, close out the campaign at home against No. 29 ranked Hawaii (5/15).

Santa Clara Broncos (28-25 / 9-12 WCC)
- Santa Clara dropped back-to-back contests against Stanford and California before rebounding to take two-of-three from Portland at home over the weekend.

- Matt Wickswat improved to 9-2 on the season after tossing 6.1 innings and striking out nine Pilot batters in Friday's 18-6 win.

- Eric Newton and Donald Brandt slugged back-to-back home runs in Friday's win. It marked the 14th dinger of the season for Newton, who paces the circuit in round-trippers.

- Kris Watts hit a walk-off two-run home run in the bottom of the 14th inning to lift the Broncos to Saturday's 7-6 win over Portland. It was Watts' ninth home run of the season.

- SCU heads to Stanford (5/16) to wrap up the 2006 season.