{{ article.title }}

WCC Announces All-Conference Baseball Honors

May 21, 2008

Complete All-WCC Baseball Release Get Acrobat Reader

San Bruno, CA - Four different West Coast Conference programs shared in the All-Conference individual honors, with Pepperdine's Eric Thames and San Diego's Brian Matusz highlighting this year's honorees. Thames and Matusz were unanimous selections as WCC Player and Pitcher of the Year, respectively, while Santa Clara's Thain Simon was tabbed for Freshman of the Year honors, and San Francisco's Joey Railey took home the first-ever WCC Defensive Player of the Year award. San Diego skipper Rich Hill was named WCC Coach of the Year for the second straight season after leading the Toreros to the league's regular season crown.

Thames enjoyed one of the best offensive campaigns in WCC history, leading the conference in batting (.529), home runs (8), runs scored (25), on base percentage (.612), and slugging percentage (.956) during league play. The San Jose, CA native becomes the 13th Wave to take home the conference's top honor, and the first since Chad Tracy was named WCC Player of the Year following the 2005 season. Thames' 13 home runs on the year ties him for 10th place on the Pepperdine single-season list, while his eight triples ties him for second place in the Wave record book.

Matusz becomes the first Torero to be named Pitcher of the Year since Ricky Barrett received the accolade in 2002. The junior continued his assault on the record book, striking out a conference-high 122 batters on the year and moving into fourth place on the WCC's all-time strikeout list with 378. The Cave Creek, AZ native was nothing short of dominant during conference play, posting a 6-1 mark in seven starts and notching a miniscule 1.89 ERA during league action. Matusz fanned 67 batters in WCC play, while logging 52.1 innings to rank second in the conference.

Simon is the first Bronco since 2000 to be named as the WCC's top freshman. The El Dorado Hills, CA native made nine mound appearances in WCC play, posting a 2-2 record and recording a pair of saves, while brandishing a 2.85 ERA. Simon tied for second in the conference with nine victories on the year, and ranked fifth in the league with 71 strikeouts in 62.2 innings pitched. His 2.59 ERA ranked fourth in the WCC.

Hill was tabbed for Coach of the Year honors for the second straight season, and the third time in his career. Hill guided the Toreros to a 39-15 record, and the program's second straight WCC regular season title. USD put together a 16-game winning streak during the campaign, including 12 straight victories against league opponents.

Railey was named as the WCC's first-ever Defensive Player of the Year after playing a near perfect second base for the Dons. The senior committed just one error in 249 chances during the season, posting a .996 fielding percentage.

Player of the Year: Eric Thames, Pepperdine
Pitcher of the Year: Brian Matusz, San Diego
Freshman of the Year: Thain Simon, Santa Clara
Coach of the Year: Rich Hill, San Diego
Defensive Player of the Year: Joey Railey, San Francisco

All-WCC Team
Brady Fuerst# - Santa Clara - 2B - JR
Nate Garcia# - Santa Clara - RHP - SO
Nick Gaudi - Pepperdine - RHP - SR
Logan Gelbrich#* - San Diego - C/OF - SR
AJ Griffin#* - San Diego - RHP - SO
Drew Heid - Gonzaga - OF - SO
Riley Henricks - Portland - SS - FR
Ryan Heroy# - Pepperdine - 1B - JR
Kyle Jensen# - Saint Mary's - OF - SO
Jon Karcich# - Santa Clara - SS - SO
Evan LeBlanc# - Santa Clara - OF - JR
Matt Lujan - San Francisco - LHP - FR
Brian Matusz#* - San Diego - LHP - JR
James Meador# - San Diego - OF - SO
Tommy Medica#* - Santa Clara - C - SO
Bryce Mendonca# - Pepperdine - 3B - JR
Kyle Morgan - San Francisco - OF - SR
Nathan Newman# - Pepperdine - RHP - JR
Joey Railey# - San Francisco - 2B - SR
Josh Romanski#* - San Diego - LHP - JR
Thain Simon - Santa Clara - RHP - FR
Angelo Songco#* - LMU - OF - SO
Joel Staples - Saint Mary's - SS - JR
Eric Thames# - Pepperdine - OF - JR
Ryan Wheeler# - LMU - 1B - SO

*Previous Times an All-WCC First Team Pick; #Unanimous Selection

All-Freshman Team
Scott Alexander - Pepperdine - LHP
Connor Bernatz - San Francisco - OF
Kyle Blair - San Diego - RHP
Matt Bywater - Pepperdine - LHP
Justin Fazio - Saint Mary's - UTL
Riley Henricks - Portland - SS
Matt Lujan - San Francisco - LHP
Cody Martin - Gonzaga - RHP
Thain Simon - Santa Clara - RHP
Sammy Solis - San Diego - LHP

Honorable Mention
GON- Matt Fields, Cody Martin, Evan Wells
LMU- A.J. LaMonda
PEP- Matt Bywater, Chase d'Arnaud
POR- Danny Meier; SMC- Brian Hawkins
USD- Kevin Hansen, Kevin Muno, Jose Valerio
USF- Matt Baugh, Mitchell Bialosky
SCU- Ryan Conan, Nathan Faulkner, Matt Long, Mark Willinsky