May 30, 2006
Pepperdine, San Diego, and San Francisco earned bids to the NCAA Baseball Championship, as announced by the NCAA selection committee on Monday. The three teams selected ties a conference record, as three conference squads also participated in NCAA regionals in 1988. It also marks the first time since 2003 that the WCC has received an at large bid to the NCAA Tournament.
Pepperdine will host a regional for the first time in program history as the Waves will welcome Missouri, UCLA, and UC Irvine to Eddy D. Field Stadium this weekend. Pepperdine earned a No. 1 seed in the tournament, and will play No. 4 seed Missouri to open the regional. The Waves captured the WCC's automatic bid to the postseason for the third straight season by taking two-of-three from USF in the WCC Championship Series over the weekend. Pepperdine is no stranger to the NCAA Tournament, as the Waves will be making their 23rd regional appearance. Pepperdine has won nine of its last 11 contests, and has posted a 21-9 mark at home this season.
San Francisco earned the first regional selection in program history after claiming a share of the WCC regular season title for the first time. USF looks to extend its historic season, as the squad earned its first-ever top-25 ranking on May 20, and appeared in its first WCC Championship Series last weekend. The Dons received a No. 3 seed in the Lincoln, NE regional and will play No. 2 seed Miami (Fla.) in first round action. Host Nebraska, the No. 6 national seed, and No. 4 seed Manhattan round out the field at the Lincoln regional. USF won nine straight games to close out the regular season, and are 12-3 in their last 15 games.
San Diego received an at large bid after posting a 32-23 record and notching several important non-conference wins during the 2006 season. The Toreros will be making the program's third NCAA Tournament appearance in the last five seasons, and first since 2003, after earning an at large bid for the first time in program history. USD will head to the Fullerton Regional as a No. 3 seed and will face No. 2 seed Fresno State in first round play. The Cal State Fullerton Titans, the No. 5 national seed, and No. 4 seed St. Louis will also meet in first round action. The Toreros won seven of their last 10 regular season games.
NCAA Tournament Schedule
Malibu, CA Regional (Hosted By Pepperdine)
No. 2 UCLA (32-23) vs. No. 3 UC Irvine (36-22) - 11:00 AM
No. 1 Pepperdine (40-19) vs. No. 4 Missouri (31-25) - 3:00 PM
Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2 - 11:00 AM
Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2 - 3:00 PM
Winner Game 3 vs. Loser Game 4 - 11:00 AM
Winner Game 5 vs. Winner Game 4 - 3:00 PM
Winner Game 6 vs. Loser Game 6 (if Necessary) - 11:00 AM
Lincoln, NE Regional (Hosted By No. 6 Nebraska)
No. 1 Nebraska (42-15) vs. No. 4 Manhattan (32-21) - 1:05 PM
No. 3 San Francisco (38-21) vs. No. 2 Miami (36-21) - 7:05 PM
Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2 - 1:05 PM
Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2 - 7:05 PM
Winner Game 3 vs. Loser Game 4 - 1:05 PM
Winner Game 5 vs. Winner Game 4 - 6:05 PM
Winner Game 6 vs. Loser Game 6 (if Necessary) - 1:05 PM
Fullerton, CA Regional (Hosted By No. 5 Cal State Fullerton)
No. 3 San Diego (32-23) vs. No. 2 Fresno State (43-16) - 4:00 PM
No. 1 Cal State Fullerton (43-13) vs. No. 4 St. Louis (32-27) - 8:00 PM
Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2 - 4:00 PM
Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2 - 8:00 PM
Winner Game 3 vs. Loser Game 4 - 5:00 PM
Winner Game 5 vs. Winner Game 4 - 9:00 PM
Winner Game 6 vs. Loser Game 6 (if Necessary) - 8:00 PM
** All Times Local **
West Coast Conference At The NCAA Tournament
- Three WCC baseball teams received bids to the 2006 NCAA Baseball Championships, tying a conference record that was set in 1988 when LMU, Pepperdine, and Santa Clara earned selection. The WCC has sent multiple teams to the postseason on five other occasions, with 2003 being the last time that the WCC earned an at large bid.
- WCC teams have posted a 27-31 (.466) record against non-conference opponents that earned selection to the 2006 NCAA Baseball Championship. Pepperdine (9-7), San Diego (7-7), and San Francisco (6-2), the conference's three representatives in this year's field, have combined to post a 22-16 (.579) mark against non-conference NCAA Tournament participants.
- 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.
- Six different WCC programs have combined to appear in 54 NCAA Tournaments since 1955, and have posted a 92-113 overall record. Pepperdine has made the most appearances among WCC programs with 23, and has recorded a 51-46 (.526) mark in NCAA Tournament play.
- WCC teams comprise three of the eight teams from California that earned bids to the 2006 NCAA Tournament. Joining the three conference squads in the tournament field are traditional Golden State powers Cal State Fullerton, Fresno State, UC Irvine, UCLA, and Stanford.
A Look At The Malibu, CA Regional
- Pepperdine (40-19) will host a regional for the first time in program history and will welcome No. 2 UCLA, No. 3 UC Irvine, and No. 4 Missouri to Eddy D. Field Stadium.
- The Waves have posted a 9-7 mark against teams in the NCAA Tournament field, including a 1-1 record against potential regional opponent UCLA. Pepperdine won its last meeting with the Bruins, claiming a 6-1 victory on March 7.
- Opponent Records/Conference finish: UCLA (32-23, 13-10)/3rd place Pac-10; UC Irvine (36-22, 11-10)/3rd place Big West; Missouri (31-25, 12-15)/7th place Big 12.
A Look At The Lincoln, NE Regional
- San Francisco (38-21) will travel to Lincoln, NE as a No. 3 seed and will face a field that includes No. 1 seed and No. 6 national seed Nebraska, No. 2 seed Miami (Fla.), and No. 4 seed Manhattan.
- The Dons have posted a 6-2 record against teams in the NCAA Tournament field, but have not faced any of their potential regional opponents this season.
- Opponent Records/Conference finish: Nebraska (42-15, 17-10)/4th place Big 12; Miami (36-21, 17-13)/4th place ACC Coastal Division; Manhattan (32-21, 17-9)/2nd place MAAC.
A Look At The Fullerton, CA Regional
- San Diego heads north to Fullerton where it will meet Fresno State in a first round tilt. Also included in the Fullerton regional field is the No. 5 national seed Titans and No. 4 seed St. Louis.
- San Diego has gone 7-7 against teams that earned bids to this season's NCAA Tournament. USD recorded a three-game sweep of No. 3 national seed Texas in February.
- Opponent Records/Conference finish: Cal State Fullerton (43-13, 18-13)/1st place Big West; Fresno State (43-16, 18-6)/1st place WAC; St. Louis (32-27, 15-12)/5th place Atlantic-10.
Around The WCC
WCC Championship Series Recaps
Game 1: San Francisco 7, Pepperdine 6
In its first ever WCC Championship Series game, USF came out on top, beating Pepperdine 7-6. In a game of furious rallies and outstanding plays from both teams, USF's sophomore first baseman Mitchell Bialosky scored the winning run in the bottom of the eighth, breaking open a 6-6 dead lock, after diving into first base and beating out an infield single. He advanced to second on sophomore shortstop Tavo Hall's ground out and scored after sophomore second baseman Joey Railey singled up the middle.
Game 2: Pepperdine 11, San Francisco 0
Making his first start in two weeks, senior left-hander Paul Coleman turned in arguably his best performance of the season as he allowed just two hits and struck out eight in 7.2 innings to help No. 20 Pepperdine to an 11-0 victory over No. 23 San Francisco Saturday afternoon at Benedetti Diamond, evening the WCC Championship Series at a game apiece. Coleman (7-5) was in command from the outset as he retired the first nine batters he faced and the first 19 of 20 he faced.
Game 3: Pepperdine 9, San Francisco 4
Freshman second baseman Denny Duron collected a career-high four hits to lead a 17-hit attack as No. 20 Pepperdine defeated No. 23 San Francisco, 9-4, in the decisive Game 3 of the WCC Championship Series Sunday afternoon. The Waves claimed the conference's automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament for the third straight year.
San Francisco's Cousins Named To College Baseball Foundation Honors Team
San Francisco's Scott Cousins was named to the College Baseball Foundation's 2006 Honors Team, joining 28 other players on CBF's list of the year's top regular season performers. Cousins, the WCC Player of the Year, was named to the CBF weekly honor roll three times during the 2006 season.
USF's Cousins And Pepperdine's Tracy Named Semi-finalists For Wallace Award
San Francisco's Scott Cousins and Pepperdine's Chad Tracy were named among the 30 semi-finalists for the Brooks Wallace Award, presented annually to college baseball's top player. Cousins has enjoyed a standout junior campaign on the mound and at the plate, posting a 4-2 record with a 3.40 ERA and batting .357 as the Dons' regular left fielder. Tracy, who is also a semi-finalist for the Johnny Bench Award, is batting .329 and leads the team with 43 RBI. The selection committee for the award will cut the list to three following NCAA Super Regionals and the award will be presented on July 3.
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. Three finalists for the award will be announced on June 1.
WCC Team Notes
Gonzaga Bulldogs (29-24 / 9-12 WCC)
- Gonzaga wrapped up the 2006 season with a 29-24 overall mark, and a 9-12 record in WCC play.
- Darin Holcomb drove in a team-high 57 runs during the season, moving him into a tie for seventh place on the Gonzaga single-season chart.
- Patrick Donovan took the mound and earned a victory in his last collegiate start against Lewis-Clark State on May 18. Donovan finished his career in a tie for ninth place on the Gonzaga career list for victories (20), and in 10th place on the career list for appearances (59).
- Scott Campbell batted a team-high .389 (82-for-211) during his junior campaign.
- The Zags earned a No. 29 national ranking in the Collegiate Baseball poll on February 13, marking the first time since 1981 that a Gonzaga squad has been ranked.
LMU Lions (24-32 / 11-10 WCC)
- LMU closed out the season on a strong note, sweeping a three-game series at Portland to finish the campaign with an 11-10 mark in WCC play and a 24-32 overall record.
- Brad Meyers struck out a career-high seven batters in 7.2 innings pitched in LMU's win over Portland on May 19, improving to 8-4 on the season. Meyers earned All-WCC second team honors following his sophomore campaign.
- Erik Johnson was named to the All-WCC first team after batting .351 with 45 RBI in his first and only season at LMU. The senior transfer from UC Irvine was one of only five players to be selected as unanimous first team All-WCC performers.
- Chris Pettit finished his career at LMU ranked in several program career top-10 lists, including runs scored (171-7th), doubles (64-3rd), and stolen bases (57-tied for 3rd).
Pepperdine Waves (40-19 / 15-6 WCC)
- Pepperdine earned its 17th WCC title by taking two-of-three from San Francisco in the WCC Championship Series over the weekend. It marked the third straight WCC title for the Waves, who have won each of the last three Championship Series on the road.
- The Waves will be making the program's 23rd postseason appearance, and will serve as regional hosts for the first time in program history.
- Senior left-hander Paul Coleman was dominant in Saturday's 11-0 win at USF, allowing just two hits and striking out eight batters in 7.2 innings of work. Coleman is currently tied for fifth place with former Wave standout Jacob Barrack (2001-04) on the Pepperdine career strikeout list with 262.
- Denny Duron, who has stepped in for an injured David Uribes at second base, collected a career-high four hits to propel the Waves to Sunday's series-clinching 9-4 win at USF.
Portland Pilots (15-37 / 3-18 WCC)
- Portland was swept by LMU to close out the 2006 campaign, finishing the season with a 15-37 overall record and a 3-18 mark against conference opponents.
- The Pilots lost two games to LMU by one run, marking the 10th and 11th one-run losses for UP this season. Eight of those one-run losses came during WCC play.
- Travis Vetters finished his career on The Bluff with a 6-for-12 performance during the three games with LMU. The six hits gave Vetters 229 career base hits and put him into a tie for third on the Portland career list.
- Matthew Peters clubbed his ninth home run of 2006 against LMU to finish tied for the team lead with Danny Meier. Peters moved into a tie for 10th on UP career list with 18 dingers.
Saint Mary's Gaels (26-25 / 9-12 WCC)
- The Gaels closed out the 2006 campaign with a 26-25 record, marking the first time since 1991 that a Saint Mary's squad has finished a record over .500.
- Sam Carter clubbed his 11th home run of the 2006 campaign in SMC's season finale against Pepperdine, moving him into a tie for third place on the Saint Mary's career list with 25 dingers. Carter's 51 RBI during his senior campaign fell just six short of the SMC single-season RBI mark.
- Orben Frederick collected seven hits during the final week of the season, bringing his team-high hits total to 75, and leaving him just 13 shy of the SMC single-season record.
- Dan Lewis received second team all-conference recognition after leading the team with a 2.91 ERA, posting a 5-3 record, and nailing down four saves out of the bullpen.
San Diego Toreros (32-23 / 13-8 WCC)
- San Diego earned an at large selection to the NCAA Tournament, and will be making the program's third appearance in the last five seasons. It marks the first at large selection in USD history, as the Toreros earned the conference's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament in both 2002 and 2003.
- Keoni Ruth finished the conference season with a .489 batting average in WCC games, the highest clip since LMU's Reggie Lambert batted .505 in league contests in 1985.
- Steve Singleton was named to the All-WCC first team after finishing the regular season with a team-high .362 batting average, and moving into sixth place on the USD single-season hits chart with 84.
- Josh Romanski became the second Torero in the last three seasons to earn WCC Freshman of the Year honors, following teammate Jordan Abruzzo (2004).
San Francisco Dons (38-21 / 15-6 WCC)
- San Francisco received its first-ever bid to the NCAA Tournament after falling to Pepperdine in the WCC Championship Series over the weekend.
- Patrick McGuigan, who is the first Don to ever earn WCC Pitcher of the Year honors, tossed 1.1 innings of scoreless relief to notch the win in Friday's series-opening 7-6 win over the Waves. It marked the 22nd career victory for the senior, who moved into a tie for first place on the USF career victories list.
- Scott Cousins was named the WCC Player of the Year for 2006, becoming just the second USF player, and first since Taggert Bozied in 1999, to receive the league's top honor.
- Stefan Gartrell, a unanimous first team All-WCC selection, currently leads the conference with 62 RBI. The last USF player to lead the league in RBI was Bozied, who drove in a USF-record 82 runs in 1999.
Santa Clara Broncos (28-26 / 9-12 WCC)
- Santa Clara wrapped up the season with a 28-26 mark, and a 9-12 record in conference play.
- Daniel Nava enjoyed a breakout junior campaign for the Broncos, leading the WCC with a .395 batting average and collecting a team-high 79 hits. Nava's .395 clip is tied for the eighth highest single-season batting average in program history.
- Eric Newton finished the season with 14 home runs, giving him 26 career round-trippers during his time on the Mission Campus, good for eighth on the Broncos career chart.
- A pair of redshirt freshman hurlers made a name for themselves at Santa Clara during the 2006 season. Matt Wickswat, a transfer from Gonzaga, posted a 9-2 record in 14 starts and led the team with 66 strikeouts during his first season at SCU. Mark Willinsky emerged as one of the top closers in the WCC, nailing down nine saves and making 28 appearances in 2006.