May 30, 2007
Pepperdine and San Diego earned bids to the NCAA Baseball Championship, as announced by the selection committee on Monday. The two teams selected marks the second straight season, and seventh time overall, that the WCC has received multiple bids to the postseason. It also marks the first time since 1988 and 1989 that the WCC has produced multiple bids in back-to-back seasons.
San Diego clinched its third WCC Championship Series title with a 13-1 win over Gonzaga on Sunday, and will host an NCAA Regional for the first time in program history this weekend. The Toreros, who received a No. 8 national seed, will face Fresno State in first round action on Friday. Rounding out the San Diego Regional will be No. 2 seed Cal State Fullerton and No. 3 seed Minnesota. San Diego will be making its fourth appearance in the NCAA Tournament after receiving an at-large bid to the Fullerton Regional last year. All four of USD's postseason bids have come within that last six years, as the Toreros also captured regional berths in 2002 and 2003. San Diego set a program-record with 43 wins during the 2007 campaign, and will be hosting at Tony Gwynn Stadium on the San Diego State campus.
Pepperdine earned its fifth straight bid to the NCAA Tournament, and its first at-large selection since 2003. The Waves posted a 35-20 overall record during the regular season, and finished third in the WCC with a 14-7 mark in conference play. Pepperdine received a No. 3 seed at the Long Beach Regional, and will face off with No. 2 seed UCLA in first round play. Long Beach State will host the regional, and will begin action against No. 4 seed Illinois-Chicago. It will mark the 24th NCAA Tournament appearance in program history for the Waves, and the seventh in the last nine years. Pepperdine has advanced to the regional championship game in each of the last three seasons.
2007 NCAA Tournament Schedule
San Diego, CA Regional (Hosted By No. 8 San Diego)
(2) CS Fullerton (33-23) vs. (3) Minnesota (40-16) - 4:00 PM
(1) San Diego (43-16) vs. (4) Fresno St. (36-27) - 8:00 PM
Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2 - 4:00 PML
Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2 - 8:00 PM
Winner Game 3 vs. Loser Game 4 - 4:00 PM
Winner Game 5 vs. Winner Game 4 - 8:00 PM
Winner Game 6 vs. Loser Game 6 (if Necessary) - 8:00 PM
Long Beach, CA Regional (Hosted By Long Beach State)
(3) Pepperdine (35-20) vs. (2) UCLA (30-26) - 3:00 PM
(1) Long Beach St. (37-18) vs. (4) UIC (34-19) - 7:00 PM
Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2 - 3:00 PM
Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2 - 7:00 PM
Winner Game 3 vs. Loser Game 4 - 2:00 PM
Winner Game 5 vs. Winner Game 4 - 6:00 PM
Winner Game 6 vs. Loser Game 6 (if Necessary) - 6:00 PM
**All Times Pacific**
West Coast Conference At The NCAA Tournament
- San Diego will host an NCAA Regional for the first time in program history, and will host at Tony Gwynn Stadium on the San Diego State campus. It marks the second straight season that a WCC program has hosted a regional, as Pepperdine hosted for the first time at Eddy D. Field Stadium last season.
- The WCC received multiple postseason berths for the second straight season. Pepperdine received an at-large selection, marking just the ninth at-large bid to an NCAA Regional in WCC baseball history.
- WCC teams have posted a 34-48-1 (.416) record against non-conference opponents that earned selection to the 2007 NCAA Baseball Championship. Pepperdine (12-10) and San Diego (9-6), the conference's two representatives in this year's field, have combined to post a 21-16 (.568) mark against non-conference NCAA Tournament participants.
- Seven different WCC programs have combined to appear in 57 NCAA Tournaments since 1955, and have posted a 96-119 (.447) overall record. Pepperdine has made the most appearances among WCC programs with 24, and has recorded a 53-48 (.525) mark in NCAA Tournament play. San Diego will be making its second straight appearance in the postseason, and its fourth overall. The Toreros have gone 3-6 (.333) in their previous three 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 eight teams from California that earned bids to the 2007 NCAA Tournament. Joining them in the tournament field are Cal State Fullerton, Fresno State, Long Beach State, UC Irvine, UCLA, and UC Riverside.
A Look At The San Diego, CA Regional
- San Diego (43-16) will host a regional for the first time in program history and will welcome No. 2 Cal State Fullerton, No. 3 Minnesota, and No. 4 Fresno State to Tony Gwynn Stadium this weekend.
- The Toreros have posted a 12-6 mark against teams in the 2007 NCAA Tournament field, including four games against Cal State Fullerton and Fresno State. USD topped the Titans, 5-1, on March 14 at Cunningham Stadium, and dropped two-of-three to the Bulldogs during a weekend series in early March.
- San Diego faced Fresno State twice at the Fullerton Regional last season.
- Opponent Records/Conference finish: Cal State Fullerton (33-23, 10-11)/5th place Big West; Minnesota (40-16, 18-9)/2nd place Big Ten; Fresno State (36-27, 17-7)/1st place WAC.
A Look At The Long Beach, CA Regional
- Pepperdine (35-20) will make the short trip to Long Beach to face a field that includes No. 1 Long Beach State, No. 2 UCLA, and No. 4 Illinois-Chicago.
- Pepperdine has gone 12-13 against teams that earned bids to this season's NCAA Tournament, including four games against regional opponents Long Beach State and UCLA during the regular season.
- The Waves last appeared at the Long Beach Regional in 2005, advancing to the regional championship game before falling to USC.
- Opponent Records/Conference finish: Long Beach State (37-18, 15-6)/2nd place Big West; UCLA (30-26, 14-10)/3rd place Pac-10; Illinois-Chicago (34-19, 21-6)/1st place Horizon League.
Around The WCC
WCC Championship Series Recaps
Game 1: Gonzaga 6, San Diego 4
Gonzaga battled through an early deficit to post a 6-4 victory over No. 5 San Diego on Friday in the first game of the West Coast Conference Championship Series at Cunningham Stadium in San Diego. WCC Pitcher of the Year Clayton Mortensen earned his ninth win of the season throwing a complete-game, allowing four runs on seven hits while striking out six. Darin Holcomb led the Zags on the day going 4-for-5 with three doubles, a run scored and one run batted in.
Game 2: San Diego 13, Gonzaga 5
Sophomore left-hander Josh Romanski tossed a gem and the Toreros pounded out 21 hits to lift No. 5 San Diego to a 13-5 win over Gonzaga, evening the West Coast Conference Championship Series at a game apiece on Saturday. Romanski (9-2) picked up the win in stylish fashion, as the Team USA honoree enjoyed a stellar outing. The sophomore allowed five runs, two earned, on six hits, while striking out eight in seven innings of work. Romanski was also effective with his bat, as the two-way star picked up one hit and one RBI.
Game 3: San Diego 13, Gonzaga 1
Behind another explosive offensive performance as well as a dominating pitching performance from the WCC Championship Series Most Outstanding Pitcher, Matt Couch, the No. 5 ranked San Diego baseball team cruised to a 13-1 win over Gonzaga at Cunningham Stadium on Sunday. With the win, the Toreros improve to 43-16 overall and remain undefeated when playing in the WCC Championship Series, having picked up WCC Tournament wins following the 2002 and 2003 seasons. Junior Justin Snyder was named as the WCC Championship Series Most Outstanding Player following a 6-for-13 performance at the plate through three games.
Five WCC Standouts Earn All-American Honors
Five WCC standouts were tabbed for Louisville Slugger All-American honors as announced by Collegiate Baseball on Wednesday. San Diego led all conference squads with three players selected, while Gonzaga and Pepperdine each placed one player on the All-American third team. Sophomores Brian Matusz and Josh Romanski were named to the second team, while fellow Torero and WCC Player of the Year Shane Buschini was named to the third team. Pepperdine right-hander Barry Enright joined Gonzaga hurler and WCC Pitcher of the Year Clayton Mortensen among the third team honorees. The San Diego trio are the first All-Americans to come from the USD campus since Ricky Barrett in 2002, while Mortensen is the first Bulldog to be honored since Nate Gold in 2002.
Brian Matusz, USD - LHP - Second Team - 10-3, 2.73 ERA, 156 K's
Josh Romanski, USD - UTL - Second Team - .336, 41 R, 30 RBI/9-1, 3.16 ERA, 85 K's
Barry Enright, PEP - RHP - Third Team - 12-4, 1.73 ERA, 85 K's
C. Mortensen, GON - RHP - Third Team - 9-2, 3.92 ERA, 122 K's
Shane Buschini, USD - OF - Third Team - .356, 13 HR, 57 RBI
San Diego's Jordan Abruzzo Re-Writes The Record Book
San Diego's Jordan Abruzzo has enjoyed a phenomenal senior campaign at USD, jumping into the career record books in several different offensive categories. The catcher became the Toreros' all-time hits leader in April, and enters the NCAA Tournament ranked fourth on the conference list with 303 hits. He also became just the fourth player in league history to eclipse the 200-RBI mark this season, and recently moved ahead of LMU legend Billy Bean into third place in WCC annals with 208 RBI. He also ranks fourth on the USD career list with 173 runs, and fourth on the program chart with 35 career home runs.
Saint Mary's Eric Cattoni Named Academic All-American
Saint Mary's senior outfielder Eric Cattoni was named to the ESPN The Magazine Academic All-American second team as selected by CoSIDA. The Lethbridge, Alberta native earns the honor after being named to the District VIII squad, and is the lone representative from the West Coast Conference. The fleet-footed outfielder led the WCC with 54 runs scored, and ranked second in the WCC in stolen bases with 28. He was also named a finalist for the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award, maintaining a 4.0 grade point average while taking pre-med courses.
WCC Team Notes
Gonzaga Bulldogs (33-25 / 15-6 WCC)
- Gonzaga took the opener of the WCC Championship Series at San Diego, 6-4, but fell on Saturday and Sunday to finish the season with a 33-25 overall record.
- The Zags narrowly missed out on selection to the NCAA Tournament after posting 30 wins for the first time since 1990, and notching the program's highest-ever regular season finish since joining the WCC for baseball in 1996.
- WCC Pitcher of the Year Clayton Mortensen was masterful in a complete game effort in Friday's win, striking out six batters to record his ninth victory of the season. The senior finished his senior campaign ranked fourth on the Gonzaga single-season strikeouts list with 121.
- Darin Holcomb went 4-for-5 with three doubles in Friday's series opener, and finished the year with 86 hits, the sixth-highest single-season total in Gonzaga program history.
Loyola Marymount Lions (22-33-1 / 9-12 WCC)
- The Lions wrapped up the 2007 season with a 21-2 loss to then-No. 11 ranked Long Beach State on May 15, finishing the year with a 22-23-1 overall mark, and a 9-12 record in WCC play.
- Eric Farris stole 33 bases on the year, the highest single-season mark by a Lion since the 1970's. Farris increased his career steals total to 60, and moved into a tie for fourth place on the LMU career steals chart with former Lion Bob Sheldon (1969-72).
- WCC Freshman of the Year Angelo Songco clubbed a league-high 22 doubles during the 2007 campaign, which is tied for eighth on the LMU single-season chart.
- Daniel Macias made his 81st career appearance in a Lion uniform on May 13, moving him into sole possession of 10th place on the LMU career appearances list. The senior tossed a gem in his final start, earning a complete-game victory over Portland.
Pepperdine Waves (35-20 / 14-7 WCC)
- The Waves earned a bid to the NCAA Tournament for the fifth straight season, and snagged and at-large bid for the first time since 2003, after posting a 35-20 overall record during the regular season.
- Barry Enright improved to 12-4 after striking out eight batters in nine innings of work in his last start of the regular season against Portland. It marked the 35th career win for Enright, who moved into a tie with former LMU hurler Tim Layana for fourth place on the WCC career list.
- Danny Worth has clubbed a team-high 19 doubles on the season, and needs just one more two-bagger to move into a tie for first place on the Pepperdine career chart with 60. He currently ranks ninth on the WCC's all-time doubles list.
- Pepperdine begins the Long Beach Regional against a familiar foe, as the No. 3 seed Waves will face off against No. 2 seed UCLA on Friday at 3:00 PM at Blair Field.
Portland Pilots (21-30 / 7-14 WCC)
- Portland closed out the season with a 21-30 overall record and a 7-14 mark in conference play. The Pilots' overall win total marked the program's highest since posting 24 victories in 2002.
- David Gruener tossed his second straight complete game, and his fifth of the season, striking out eight batters and going the distance in a 3-0 loss to Pepperdine on May 18.
- Given Kutz also tossed a complete game on the last weekend of the regular season, working the full nine innings in a 3-2 defeat on May 19. Kutz struck out six Waves to bring his season strikeouts total to 93, which ranks third on the Portland single-season list.
- James Allan garnered first team All-WCC honors after batting .339 (19-for-56) in conference play to lead the Pilots.
Saint Mary's Gaels (21-29-1 / 3-18 WCC)
- Saint Mary's closed out the 2007 season with a 21-29-1 overall record, and a 3-18 mark in conference play.
- Eric Cattoni finished off his career at SMC by going 2-for-5 with two runs scored and two stolen bases in a loss to USF on May 13. The senior helped re-write the Saint Mary's record book, scoring 53 runs in 2007 to move into second on the SMC single-season list, and finishing his career ranked seventh on the program's all-time chart with 45 stolen bases.
- Anthony Aliotti capped off an outstanding freshman campaign with his first career home run in the season finale. Aliotti ranked second on the team in batting, hitting at a .320 (55-for-172) clip, and went 6-4 in 12 mound appearances on the year.
- Randy Wells batted .354 (63-for-178) to become the first freshman since Bryan Byrne in 2003 to lead the Gaels in hitting.
San Diego Toreros (43-16 / 18-3 WCC)
- San Diego claimed the WCC Championship Series title, taking two-of-three from Gonzaga to earn the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. The Toreros received a No. 8 national seed, and will host a regional this weekend at Tony Gwynn Stadium.
- Justin Snyder was tabbed for WCC Championship Series Most Outstanding Player honors after going 6-for-13 with five runs scored and three RBI against Gonzaga. Matt Couch received Most Outstanding Pitcher recognition with a six-inning effort in Sunday's series clinching win.
- Brian Matusz has moved into a tie with former LMU hurler Billy Traber for third place on the WCC single-season strikeouts list with 156.
- The Toreros, who have set a program record with 43 wins this season, will open NCAA Regional play against No. 4 seed Fresno State on Friday evening.
San Francisco Dons (27-28 / 9-12 WCC)
- San Francisco wrapped up the 2007 season on a high note, sweeping Bay Area rival Saint Mary's at Benedetti Diamond to improve to 27-28 and 9-12 in conference play.
- Aaron Poreda garnered first team All-WCC honors for the second straight season. The junior moved into a tie for third place on the USF all-time wins chart with 17, and finished the 2007 season ranked fifth on the Dons' career ERA chart (2.61).
- Jon Norfolk, an All-WCC first team selection, slugged a two-run, walk-off home run to lift the Dons to an 11-10 victory over Saint Mary's in the season finale. It was the fourth career dinger for the senior.
- Tavo Hall became the first student-athlete in over two decades to be named class valedictorian at USF. Hall started 31 games at shortstop this season before suffering an arm injury.
Santa Clara Broncos (27-29 / 9-12 WCC)
- Santa Clara finished the season with a 27-29 overall record, and a 9-12 mark in WCC action.
- Tommy Medica slugged his first career home run in the season finale against Sacramento State, capping a 2-for-2 performance to close out an outstanding freshman season. Medica batted a conference-high .373 (60-for-161) on the season, and .400 (34-for-85) in WCC play.
- Medica was one of four Broncos to earn WCC All-Freshman Team honors, as the catcher was joined by pitchers Nate Garcia, Steve Kalush, and Alex Rivers on the squad. Seven Santa Clara newcomers have been named All-Freshman over the last two seasons, more than any other conference program.
- Gabe Alcantar, Ryan Conan, and Matt Wickswat were named honorable mention All-WCC.