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Pair of teams to represent WCC in NCAA Tournament

May 27, 2013

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SAN BRUNO, Calif. --After winning the first-ever WCC baseball tournament title, the San Diego Toreros are headed to the NCAA Regionals for the second straight season. WCC runner-up San Francisco will head north to compete in the Eugene Regional. This marks the second straight season and third time since 2008 the WCC has had multiple postseason teams.

The Toreros are the No. 3 seed in the Los Angeles regional and will square off against Cal Poly on Friday at 2:00 p.m. PT. The two other remaining teams in the bracket are the No. 1 seed UCLA Bruins and the No. 4 seeded San Diego State Aztecs.

The four-team, double-elimination regional will be played at Jackie Robinson Stadium from Friday, May 31 through Monday, June 3 (if necessary).

San Diego enters the tournament with an overall record of 35-23 after a thrilling 2-0 win over the University of San Francisco on Saturday evening in the WCC Championship game at Banner Island Ballpark. Kris Bryant, who is hitting .340 with 73 hits, 13 doubles, three triples, paces San Diego's offense and has a nation's best 31 home runs. He has also driven in 62 runs on the season. The 31 home runs is a modern era NCAA single-season record. Since the NCAA switched to the BBCORE bats, no one has hit more than 30 home runs. USD's line-up also features two other batters hitting over .300 in AJ Robinson (.326) and Connor Joe (.321). On the mound, USD's pitching rotation is anchored down by freshman lefty PJ Conlon, who is 9-0 with a 1.65 ERA.

The Mustangs enter the tournament with an overall record of 39-17 after taking two-of-three from future WCC member Pacific this past weekend. Denver Chavez, who is hitting .362 with 84 hits, 14 doubles, three triples, one home run and 21 RBI, paces the Cal Poly offense. On the mound, the Mustangs pitching rotation is anchored down by Joey Wagman, who is 12-3 with an ERA of 3.11, and an impressive 100 strikeouts. USD is 28-29 all-time against the Mustangs, and last faced them on Mar. 2, 2012, a 5-4 USD win at Tony Gwynn Stadium.

UCLA enters the tournament with an overall record of 39-17 after dropping two-of-three to Stanford this past weekend. The Bruins lead he all-time series at 19-7, but the Toreros did with the last meeting between the two, 5-3, back on May 6, 2008 at Jackie Robinson Stadium behind Kevin Hansen's first career home run. Kevin Kramer, who is hitting .290 with 61 hits, 11 doubles, two triples, three home runs and 38 RBI, paces the Bruins offense. On the mound, the Bruins ace of the staff comes in the form of Adam Plutko, who is 7-3 with a 2.60 ERA in 97.0 innings of work.

The Aztecs enter the tournament with an overall record of 31-29 after upsetting New Mexico in the Mountain West Tournament Championship game this past Sunday. SDSU leads the all-time series at 67-51-2, including winning all three match ups this season at Fowler Park. However, USD has won four of the last seven meetings. Tim Zier, who is hitting .346 with 85 hits, 13 doubles, two triples, one home run and 41 RBI, leads the San Diego State Aztecs offensively. On the mound, Michael Cederoth, who is 3-8 with a 4.15 ERA on the year, anchors SDSU's rotation down.

The San Francisco Diamond Dons were rewarded for their strong season on Monday when it was announced USF was named as an at-large selection for the 2013 NCAA Baseball Championship tournament. The Dons are making their first NCAA appearance since 2011.

USF, which finished 34-22 overall in the regular season, is seeded third in the Eugene (Ore.) Regional and will face second-seeded Rice (41-17) on Friday beginning at 2:00 p.m. PT. The game will be carried live on ESPN3 with audio streaming available on USFDons.com/live.

Host Oregon, the tournament's eighth overall seed, will face South Dakota State (35-22) in the other Eugene match-up on Friday.

Each of the 16 regionals are double elimination, with the winners advancing to the Super Regional round the following weekend.

"We're really excited to have an opportunity to play in the tournament," said USF head coach Nino Giarratano. "It's the third appearance in school history and I'm proud of the kids and the coaching staff for what they've been able to do this season. Hopefully we can play to our capabilities next weekend."

--from WCC staff reports, usdtoreros.com, usfdons.com