May 31, 2006
TOREROS OPEN PLAY IN FULLERTON REGIONAL:
TOREROS OPEN PLAY IN FULLERTON REGIONAL:The No. 3 seed University of San Diego baseball team (32-23) will open play in the 2006 NCAA postseason against the No. 2 seed Bulldogs of Fresno State University on Friday at Goodwin Field with the first pitch scheduled for 4:05 p.m. The Toreros remaining games will all depend on the outcome of their first game the outcome of the Cal State Fullerton and Saint Louis game scheduled for a 8:05 p.m. start on Friday.
HILL REACHES COACHING MILESTONE: San Diego head coach Rich Hill achieved a coaching milestone in the 11-7 win against Gonzaga University (5/13) becoming only the third skipper in the history of the West Coast Conference to eclipse the 200 conference win mark. Hill has now posted 201 career WCC wins during his tenure's at both the University of San Francisco and San Diego. Hill is also approaching another milestone, win No. 600. He is currently two wins shy of that at 598, during his tenure's at Cal Lutheran, San Francisco and San Diego.
LIGHTS, CAMERAS, ACTION: This weekend's games will not only be on the radio, but Torero fans can watch the game son the television. ESPNU will be out to film all of the games in the Fullerton Regional including the Toreros opening game against Fresno State. This will be USD's second appearance on television in the 2006 season with the other coming in USD's 6-1 win at Pepperdine.
SCOUTING THE BULLDOGS:Fresno State University enters the NCAA postseason as the recently crowned Western Athletic Conference Champions after defeating the University of Hawaii Hilo in the conference championship game this past weekend. FSU is one of the hottest teams in the country as they have strung together 15 consecutive wins and have not lost since April 15. The Bulldogs enter the week with a 43-16 overall record. FSU is 10-3 all-time against USD with the last meeting coming in the 1991 season. Fresno State is led offensively by Brian Lapin who is hitting a team-best .357 with 56 hits, 10 doubles, one triple and two home runs. On the mound, FSU is led by Andy Underwood who has a team-leading 3.11 ERA with a 11-3 record and a team-leading 108 strikeouts. Fresno State is under the direction of fourth-year head coach Mike Batesole who has posted 132-103 record during his tenure in Fresno.
SCOUTING THE TITANS: Cal State Fullerton enters the week with a 43-13 overall record after claiming a weekend sweep over Long Beach State to claim their third consecutive Big West Conference crown. The four-time national champion Titans are 46-5-2 all-time against USD with the Titans claiming the last meeting 5-4 in a non-conference game at Goodwin Field in the 2005 season. CSF is led offensively by Blake Davis who has a team-leading .365 batting average with 80 hits, 12 doubles, four triples, four home runs and 30 RBI. On the mound, the Titans are led by Wes Roemer who is bolstering a 2.01 ERA with a record of 11-1 and a team-leading 113 strikeouts. CSF is under the direction of 10th-year head coach George Horton who has posted a 445-184-2 record and one national championship since taking over for the legendary Augie Garrido in 1997.
SCOUTING THE BILLIKENS: Saint Louis University enters the week with a 32-27 overall record after winning the Atlantic 10 Conference championship by defeating Saint Bonaventure in the championship game of the A-10 Tournament this past weekend. Should USD and Saint Louis play each other in the Fullerton Regional it will be the first meeting between the two programs in baseball. Saint Louis is led offensively by Greg Rodgers who is hitting .344 with a team-leading 75 hits, has 13 doubles, one triple, a team-best five home runs and leads the team in RBI with 54. On the mound for SLU, Ryan Bird leads the way with his 2.59 ERA and a record of 8-5 and team-leading 85 strikeouts. The Billikens are under the direction of 18th-year head coach Bob Hughes who has posted a 345-596-1 career record while at the helm of the Saint Louis program.
TOREROS AWAY FROM HOME: The Toreros are entering the NCAA Fullerton regional as experts of road games as they have played 30 of their 55 games this season on the road. USD is also no stranger to entering hostile territory as they have played games at Rice, at Houston, at Georgia, at Washington and at USC. USD is 13-17 overall on the road. The Toreros are also a perfect 2-0 on a neutral field picking up wins against Vanderbilt and Kansas at the USD Public Storage Tournament in February.
ROMANSKI NAMED WCC FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR:San Diego freshman Josh Romanski was named the 2006 WCC Freshman of the Year along with a second-team All-WCC selection. Romanski, a 6-0 freshman from Corona, Calif., was a two-way player for the Toreros serving as USD's primary closer during the conference portion of the season, while also seeing time in the Toreros' outfield and at the designated hitter spot. Romanski posted a conference batting average of .308 and a conference ERA of 3.66 while posting a 3-0 record and registering one save. Overall, Romanski hit .269 with 39 hits, five doubles, one triple, two home runs and 16 RBI. On the mound, Romanski posted a 4.00 ERA with a record of 4-4 and led the team in saves with five.
SEVEN TOREROS EARN ALL-WCC ACOLADES: USD capped off the regular-season by having seven individuals earn All-West Coast Conference accolades with Keoni Ruth and Steve Singleton taking home first-team honors. Jordan Abruzzo and Josh Romanski were named to the WCC second-team and Matt Couch, Brian Matusz and Justin Snyder were all named honorable mention. Matusz and Romanski also landed on the All-WCC Freshman Team.
SAN DIEGO IN THE POST SEASON: The Toreros will be making their third appearance in the NCAA Regionals in the past six seasons and second appearance at the Fullerton Regional. USD is 2-4 all-time while playing in the postseason and 1-2 at the Fullerton Regional.
TORERO SKIPPER Rich Hill: San Diego's Rich Hill has built the USD Toreros into one of the most successful Division I baseball programs on the West Coast. The 2006 spring season will be Hill's 19th year as a head coach at the collegiate level, and eighth at USD, having enjoyed 15 winning seasons in 18 years. Since taking over at USD in 1999, Hill has been remarkable in leading the Toreros to seven consecutive winning campaigns, rewriting the school record book en route to claiming back-to-back West Coast Conference Championship titles in 2002 and 2003. Under his leadership San Diego has averaged 33 wins per season, including winning a school record 39 games in 2002, a year in which Hill was honored by his peers as the West Coast Conference Coach of the Year. Hill became one of the youngest coaches in collegiate history to reach 500 career victories in 2003, taking USD into postseason play for a second consecutive season.
NOTES ON ALL-WCC PLAYERS
Keoni Ruth, JR, 2B:Ruth, a junior second baseman from Aiea, Hawaii, had his most productive collegiate career and posted his best overall and conference numbers. During conference play, Ruth led the team in hitting as he blistered opposing pitchers with a .489 batting average and overall Ruth was second on the team in hitting with his .358 batting average. Ruth was also second on the team in hits with 81, had 12 doubles, one triple, two home runs, 34 RBI and led the team in stolen bases with 18.
Steve Singleton, JR, SS: Singleton, a junior shortstop from Oakland, Calif., also had his most productive career in a Torero uniform as he finished the conference season with a .337 batting average, good for third on the team. Overall, Singleton led the team in hitting with his .362 batting average, team-leading 84 hits, was second on the team in doubles with 15, led the team in triples with two, tied for the team-lead in home runs with five and recorded 38 RBI.
Jordan Abruzzo, JR, C: Abruzzo, a junior catcher from El Cajon, Claif., finished the season with a conference batting average of .329 and overall he hit .300. Abruzzo, for the second consecutive season, led the team in doubles with 17, RBI with 46 and tied for the team-lead in home runs with five.
Matt Couch, SO, RHP: During conference play Couch was the Toreros' Sunday starter and was tied for the team-lead in ERA at 3.33 while posting a 3-3 record in conference play. Overall, Couch posted a 3.35 ERA with a record of 7-3 and was second on the team in innings pitched with 102.0.
Brian Matusz, FR, LHP: Matusz, a 2005 fourth-round draft pick of the Los Angeles Angles of Anaheim, was the Toreros' Friday starter and during conference play he tied for the team-lead in ERA at 3.33 and had a 2-2 record against WCC foe. Overall, Matusz had the team's third best ERA of 3.63 and posted a record of 4-3 while having the second most strikeouts among all USD pitchers with 88.
Justin Snyder, SO, OF: Snyder, a sophomore outfielder from El Cajon, Calif., hit .316 during conference play and overall posted a batting average of .311. Snyder recorded 64 hits, 14 doubles, one triple, two home runs and 29 RBI as the Toreros lead-off hitter for the season.
2006 GAMETRACKER AVAILABLE:All of San Diego's NCAA Regional games can be followed via Gametracker on the Toreros athletic web site at www.usdtoreros.com. Gametracker is a service of Online College Sports, the official web provider for San Diego athletics, and is a real time update of the action.
TOREROS ON THE AIR: Thie weekends game in the Fullerton Regional can all be heard live via the internet at www.usdtoreros.com by the voice of the Toreros Jack Murray. Along with Murray doing all the play-by-play, Hall of Fame coach John Cunningham will be adding color commentary.
THREE WCC TEAMS EARN NCAA BID:San Diego, Pepperdine and San Francisco earned bids to the NCAA Baseball Championship. 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. San Diego received an at large bid after posting a 32-23 record and recording several important non-conference wins during the 2006 season. The Toreros 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. 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. San Francisco made history by earning the first regional selection in program history after claiming a share of the WCC regular season title for the first time. The Dons received a No. 3 seed in the Lincoln, NE regional and will play No. 2 seed Miami (Fla.) in first round action. The host Huskers and No. 4 seed Manhattan round out the field at the Lincoln regional.
WCC FORMAT CHANGE FOR 2006: The West Coast Conference will change its league baseball format and schedule beginning in 2006. A one-division format will once again be implemented and the eight institutions will compete in a 21-game conference season. This new format is a departure from a two-division format, West and Coast, with a 30-game conference schedule that has been used in the WCC since the beginning of the 1999 season. Under the one-division, 21-game format, each school will play the other seven opponents one time over the course of an eight-week conference season. Each team will play seven three-game series, with one week serving as the bye week. The top two finishing teams will play in the WCC Championship Series with the regular-season champ serving as series' host.