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WCC Baseball Weekly Notes - 5/27

May 27, 2008

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Pepperdine and San Diego earned bids to the NCAA Baseball Championship, as announced by the selection committee on Monday. The two selections mark the third straight season, and eighth time overall, that the WCC has received multiple bids to the postseason. It also marks the first time in conference history that multiple WCC teams have earned bids in three consecutive seasons.

San Diego clinched its second straight WCC Championship Series title with a doubleheader sweep of Pepperdine on Saturday. The Toreros, who received a No. 2 seed in the Long Beach Regional, will face No. 3 seed California in first round action on Friday. Rounding out the Long Beach Regional are the No. 1 seeded 49ers and No. 4 seed Fresno State. San Diego will be making its third straight appearance in the NCAA Tournament, and the fifth trip in program history, as the Toreros also captured regional berths following the 2002 and 2003 seasons. San Diego notched its second straight 40-win campaign after setting a program record with 43 victories a year ago, and also captured its second straight WCC regular season title.

Pepperdine earned its sixth straight bid to the NCAA Tournament, and its third at-large selection since 2003. The Waves posted a 36-19 overall record during the regular season, and finished second in the WCC with a 14-6 mark in conference play. Pepperdine received a No. 2 seed at the Stanford Regional, and will face off with No. 3 seed Arkansas in first round play. The Stanford Cardinal will host the regional, and will begin action against No. 4 seed UC Davis. It marks the 25th NCAA Tournament appearance in program history for the Waves, and the eighth in the last 10 years. Pepperdine has advanced to the regional championship game in three of the last four seasons, making three straight trips from 2004-06.

2008 NCAA Tournament Schedule

Long Beach, CA Regional (Hosted By Long Beach State)

May 30
(2) San Diego (41-15) vs. (3) California (33-19-1) - 2:00 PM
(1) Long Beach St. (37-19) vs. (4) Fresno St. (37-27) - 6:00 PM

May 31
Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2 - 2:00 PM
Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2- 6:00 PM

June 1
Winner Game 3 vs. Loser Game 4 - 1:00 PM
Winner Game 5 vs. Winner Game 4- 5:00 PM

June 2
Winner Game 6 vs. Loser Game 6 (if Necessary) - 6:00 PM

Stanford, CA Regional (Hosted By Stanford)

May 30
(2) Pepperdine (36-19) vs. (3) Arkansas (34-22) - 1:00 PM
(1) Stanford (33-21-2) vs. (4) UC Davis (34-22) - 5:00 PM

May 31
Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2 - 1:00 PM
Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2 - 5:00 PM

June 1
Winner Game 3 vs. Loser Game 4 - 1:00 PM
Winner Game 5 vs. Winner Game 4- 5:00 PM

June 2
Winner Game 6 vs. Loser Game 6 (if Necessary) - 1:00 PM

** All Times Pacific **

West Coast Conference At The NCAA Tournament

- San Diego and Pepperdine will represent the West Coast Conference in the NCAA Tournament for the second straight year after both programs received bids last season. The Toreros will make the program's third straight NCAA Regional appearance, while the Waves are making their sixth straight trip to the postseason. It also marks the first time the multiple WCC teams have earned selection in three consecutive seasons.

- Pepperdine received an at-large selection, marking just the 10th at-large bid to an NCAA Regional in WCC baseball history. San Diego received the league's automatic bid after sweeping the WCC Championship Series last weekend.

- WCC teams have posted a 35-56-1 (.386) record against non-conference opponents that earned selection to the 2008 NCAA Baseball Championship. Pepperdine (7-4) and San Diego (8-4), the conference's two representatives in this year's field, have combined to post a 15-8 (.652) mark against non-conference NCAA Tournament participants.

- Seven different WCC programs have combined to appear in 59 NCAA Tournaments since 1955, and have posted a 96-123 (.438) overall record. Pepperdine has made the most appearances among WCC programs with 25, and has recorded a 53-50 (.515) mark in NCAA Tournament play. San Diego will be making its third straight appearance in the postseason, and its fifth since 2002. The Toreros have gone 3-8 (.373) in their previous four regional appearances.

- WCC programs have appeared in the College World Series four times, with Pepperdine winning the NCAA Championship on the program's last visit to Omaha in 1992. The Waves also finished third at the 1979 event, while playing as a member of the Southern California Baseball Association. LMU made its first appearance at the College World Series following the 1986 season, and Santa Clara finished in second place at the CWS in 1962, prior to the beginning of WCC conference play in 1968.

- Pepperdine and San Diego are just two of the 10 teams from California that earned bids to the 2008 NCAA Tournament. Joining them in the tournament field are Cal State Fullerton, Fresno State, Long Beach State, UC Irvine, UCLA, California, Stanford, and UC Davis.

A Look At The Long Beach, CA Regional
- San Diego (41-15) will make the short trip to Long Beach to take on a field that includes No. 1 Long Beach State, No. 3 California, and No. 4 Fresno State.

- The Toreros have posted a 12-5 mark against teams in the 2008 NCAA Tournament field, including four games against California, Long Beach State, and Fresno State. USD posted a pair of wins over the 49ers during the regular season, while handing Fresno State a 5-2 defeat and falling to the Golden Bears, 5-0, on March 2.

- San Diego and Fresno State will appear at the same NCAA Regional for the third straight year.

- Opponent Records/Conference finish: Long Beach State (37-19, 16-8)/1st (T) Big West; California (33-19-2, 12-12)/4th (T) Pac-10; Fresno State (37-27, 21-11)/1st WAC.

A Look At The Stanford, CA Regional
- Pepperdine (36-19) will travel to the Bay Area to face a field that includes No. 1 Stanford, No. 3 Arkansas, and No. 4 UC Davis.

- Pepperdine has gone 8-8 against teams that earned bids to this season's NCAA Tournament. Friday's contest with Arkansas will be the first time this year that a WCC team has faced a squad from the SEC.

- The Waves will be traveling outside of the Southern California area for an NCAA Regional for the first time since the 1995 season

- Opponent Records/Conference finish: Stanford (33-21-2, 14-10)/2nd Pac-10; Arkansas (34-22, 14-15)/9th SEC; UC Davis (34-22, 13-11)/6th Big West.

Around The WCC

WCC Championship Series Recaps

Game 1: San Diego 10, Pepperdine 1
Junior All-American Brian Matusz dominated on the mound and the Torero bats exploded, as the seventh-ranked University of San Diego baseball team cruised to a 10-1 win over No. 13 Pepperdine University in the first game of a doubleheader in the West Coast Conference Championship Series. Matusz (11-2) won his career-high 11th game of the season, allowing one unearned run on five hits, while striking out nine batters. With the nine strikeouts, Matusz moves his season total to 131 and his career total to 386, just seven behind the all-time record at USD. Nathan Newman (7-4) was saddled with the loss for the Waves, as he allowed six runs, five earned, on seven hits in 6.1 innings of work. Offensively for the Toreros, James Meador led the way as he went 2-for-4 with one home run and two RBI. Kevin Muno was also solid at the plate for USD as he went 3-for-5 with one double, one triple and one RBI.

Game 2: San Diego 12, Pepperdine 4
A hit parade helped propel the seventh-ranked University of San Diego baseball team to a 12-4 win over No. 13 Pepperdine University in the second game of a double-header in the West Coast Conference Championship Series at Cunningham Stadium. With the win, the Toreros improved to 41-15 overall and claimed their second consecutive WCC Championship Series title to earn the league's automatic berth into the NCAA Regional field. Kyle Blair (7-4) picked up the win on the mound for the Toreros as he allowed no runs on three hits, while striking out four in 3.2 innings of work. Scott Alexander (7-4) was saddled with the loss for the Waves as he allowed two runs on two hits, in 3.1 innings of work. Offensively for the Toreros, Kevin Muno led the way as he went 5-for-6 with three RBI, Jose Valerio went 3-for-5 with one home run and three RBI and Victor Sanchez, James Meador, Sean Nicol and Logan Gelbrich all recorded multiple hits.

USD's Muno and Matusz Receive Championship Series Honors
San Diego's Kevin Muno and Brian Matusz were named the Most Outstanding Player and Most Outstanding Pitcher, respectively, for last week's WCC Championship Series. After Friday's opener was postponed due to rain, Matusz got the Toreros off to a great start in Saturday's doubleheader, striking out nine batters in eight innings of work to earn the victory. Matusz surrendered just five hits and a single unearned run on the afternoon to improve to 11-2 on the year. Muno helped lead a Torero offense that out-scored Pepperdine 22-5 through two games. Muno batted a phenomenal .727 (8-for-11), while scoring three runs and collecting four RBI. The outfielder also hit a pair of doubles and legged out a triple, as San Diego clinched its second straight WCC Championship Series title.

Santa Clara's Medica Named To Team USA Trials Roster
Santa Clara's Tommy Medica was named to the roster for the Team USA trials, as announced by USA Baseball. Medica is one of 14 players named in the second round of invites that will join the initial list of 12 players invited earlier this month. In all, 32 players will be invited to the National Team Trials, with 22 of those players being selected for the Team USA roster that will be announced on June 24. Medica, who will join San Diego right-hander AJ Griffin at the trials, is a veteran of the 2007 Team USA Collegiate National Team. The sophomore batted .342 (76-for-222) this season with six home runs and 44 RBI.

WCC Team Notes

Gonzaga Bulldogs (30-23 / 10-10 WCC)
- The Zags closed out the regular season with a 30-23 overall mark, and a 10-10 record in conference play.

- Gonzaga reached the 30-win plateau for the second consecutive season, marking the first time in 26 years that GU squads have posted two straight 30-win campaigns.

- Ryan Wiegand drove in a conference-best 63 runs during the regular season, which ranks seventh on the Gonzaga single-season list. The junior also moved into a tie for sixth place on the GU career RBI chart with 152.

- As a team, Gonzaga hit .313 at the plate during the season. Since 1974, the Bulldogs have only finished seven seasons hitting over .300, including a school record .329 clip in 1974.

- Freshman Cody Martin set the GU single-season record with nine saves in 2008.

Loyola Marymount Lions (23-32/ 7-14 WCC)
- The Lions closed out the season with a 23-32 overall mark, and a 7-14 record in conference play.

- Angelo Songco clubbed a pair of home runs LMU's season finale victory over Gonzaga. The sophomore finished the campaign with a team-best 15 round trippers on the year, which tied for the conference lead.

- Ryan Wheeler enjoyed an outstanding junior campaign, pacing the team with 20 doubles and ranking second on the team in batting (.345), home runs (6), hits (70), RBI (45), and total bases (110).

- A.J. LaMonda joined Songco and Wheeler among the conference's All-WCC honorees. LaMonda was tabbed for All-WCC honorable mention recognition, while Songco and Wheeler were both named to the All-WCC first team.

Pepperdine Waves (36-19 / 14-6 WCC)
- The Waves fell to San Diego in the WCC Championship Series, dropping both ends of Saturday's doubleheader to the Toreros.

- Nick Gaudi emerged as one of the top closers in the WCC, nailing down 13 saves this year to move into third place on the Pepperdine single-season list.

- Eric Thames was named WCC Player of the Year, as the senior led the conference in runs (58), triples (8), total bases (140), on base percentage (.513), and slugging percentage (.769) before suffering an injury on the final weekend of the regular season.

- Five Waves earned All-WCC first team honors, as Ryan Heroy, Bryce Mendonca, and Nathan Newman joined Gaudi and Thames among the conference honorees.

- Pepperdine travels to the Stanford Regional, meeting No. 3 seed Arkansas on Friday.

Portland Pilots (21-33 / 3-18 WCC)
- Portland finished the season with a 21-33 overall mark, and a 3-18 record in conference play.

- Danny Meier slugged his 15th home run in the season finale, finishing the campaign tied for the conference lead. The senior closed out his career on The Bluff ranked fifth on Portland's all-time home runs list with 26.

- Riley Henricks enjoyed a breakout freshman campaign, finishing second on the team with a .301 (69-for-229) batting average and a team-high 16 doubles on the year. Henricks was named to the All-WCC first team and the WCC All-Freshman Team last week.

- Senior Ari Ronick made his 47th career start to move into second place on the Portland all-time list, just one shy of the UP record for starts set by Jason Mickel (1992-95).

Saint Mary's Gaels (26-26-1 / 8-13 WCC)
- Saint Mary's wrapped up the 2008 season with a 26-26-1 overall record, marking the second time in three seasons that an SMC squad has posted a .500 or better record.

- Kyle Jensen set a Saint Mary's single-season record, hitting at a .421 (82-for-195) clip to snap the 20-year old mark of .420 set by former Gael James Mouton in 1988. Jensen became the first Gael to lead the WCC in batting since current Major Leaguer Mark Teahen did so in 2002, and his batting average ranks seventh on the WCC single-season chart.

- Joel Staples finished the season ranked second in the conference with five triples. The junior ended the season tied for second on the Saint Mary's career list for three-baggers with 12.

- The Gaels batted .321 as a team during the 2008 season, falling just short of the program record of .328 set by the 1990 Saint Mary's squad.

San Diego Toreros (41-15 / 16-5 WCC)
- San Diego clinched the WCC's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament for the second straight season after sweeping a doubleheader from Pepperdine on Saturday.

- Brian Matusz capped an outstanding regular season with a nine-strikeout performance in Saturday's 10-1 win over the Waves. The junior, who was named WCC Pitcher of the Year last week, enters the NCAA Tournament with 387 career strikeouts, just one short of third place on the WCC's career list.

- AJ Griffin was one of the first 12 players who accepted an invitation to the 2008 National Team Trials to be held June 11-23. Griffin set the USD program record with 13 saves this season.

- The Toreros make the short trip to the Long Beach Regional as the No. 2 seed, and will take on No. 3 seed California on Friday.

San Francisco Dons (31-26 / 12-9 WCC)
- San Francisco finished the 2008 season with a 31-26 overall record, and a 12-9 mark in WCC play. It marks the third time in four seasons that the Dons have posted 30 or more wins in a year.

- Joey Railey pounded out a team-high 78 hits during his senior campaign, which is tied for ninth place on the USF single-season list. Railey also moved into a tie for third place on the Dons' all-time hits chart, matching former standout Armand Gaerlan (2001-04) with 239 career base hits. The senior was also named the conference's first-ever Defensive Player of the Year.

- Mitchell Bialosky enjoyed an outstanding senior campaign, batting .326 (76-for-233) and clubbing a team-high eight home runs. Bialosky also went 5-6 in 23 mound appearances, and nailed down five saves for the Dons.

- Connor Bernatz led all WCC freshman with a .347 (66-for-190) batting average this year.

Santa Clara Broncos (33-22 / 13-8 WCC)
- Santa Clara narrowly missed out on post-season selection after posting a 33-22 overall record, and a third place mark of 13-8 in WCC play this season.

- Santa Clara's 33 wins this season are the most for the Broncos under Head Coach Mark O'Brien, and marks the program's first 30-win season since 2003.

- The Broncos slugged a conference-high 60 home runs during the regular season, falling just two short of the SCU team record of 62 set during the 1984 campaign. Jon Karcich clubbed a team-best 12 round-trippers, while Matt Long hit a career-high 11 long balls on the year.

- Freshman Thain Simon led the Broncos in wins (9), ERA (2.59), and strikeouts (71) en route to WCC Freshman of the Year honors. Simon, who was also named to the All-WCC first team, is the first Bronco since 2000 to be named as the league's top newcomer.