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WCC Baseball Weekly Notes

June 3, 2010

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WCC TEAMS COMPLETE 2010 CONFERENCE SEASON
West Coast Conference baseball teams completed the final weekend of the regular season. Conference champion University of San Diego earned the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament and will take on Hawaii in the first matchup of the NCAA Tempe Regionals. The Toreros ended their season with a 19-2 conference record, the best final record in conference play since the WCC switched to a single division 21-game format in 2006. Portland secured second place after putting together a three-game sweep over Gonzaga, while Pepperdine moved into third after defeating fourth place San Francisco in Malibu. Santa Clara, Saint Mary's, and Gonzaga all tallied an 8-13 conference record, while LMU ended its conference season at 5-16.

WCC TEAM NOTES
SCHOOL TEAM NOTES

Overall Record: 20-36
WCC Record: 8-13
  • The Zags dropped all three games in their final conference series againstPortland, ending their season with an overall record of 20-36 and 8-13 inthe West Coast Conference.

  • Seniors Mark Castellitto and Drew Heid earned spots on the All-WCC team, while ClaytonEslick and Steven Halcomb were selected to the All-Freshmen team.

  • Heid was a unanimous All-WCC selection by all of the WCC coaches, earning his secondcareer All-WCC honor after posting team highs in batting average (.390), hits (92), doubles (18),triples (4), stolen bases (8), slugging (.602), on-base percentage (.467), runs scored (54) anda .376 batting average in WCC play. Heid also set the Gonzaga University record for hits in asingle season with 92 as his fifth inning double in the series closer against Portland pushedhim past Larry Patterson's 1977 top mark of 91.

  • Overall Record: 23-33
    WCC Record: 5-16
  • After a Sunday marathon game that last a season-high three hours and57 minutes and saw a combined 35 runs on 42 hits, Loyola Marymountdropped its last conference series to Santa Clara by a score of 22-13. LMUended its season with a 5-16 conference record and 23-33 overall.

  • In the series closer against Santa Clara, LMU set a season-high with eight doubles, includingthree apiece from senior Brad Bauer and sophomore Ryan Hawthorne. Hawthorne receivedAll-WCC first team honors, while teammate Chris Eusebio took home honorable mention.

  • Freshman left-handed hitter Matt Lowenstein was named WCC Freshman of the Year, becomingthe ninth Lion to be selected WCC Freshman of the Year, and the first since Angelo Songcoearned the award in 2007. Lowenstein was given All-WCC honorable mention honors and a spoton the All-Freshman team, after hitting safely in each of the last 16 games of the year, batting.344 with 32 runs scored, 15 doubles, four triples, a homer, and 30 RBI in his inaugural season.

  • Overall Record: 24-30
    WCC Record: 12-9
  • The Waves' three-game sweep of the Dons gave them a final overallrecord of 24-30 and sole possession of third place in the WCC at 12-9,matching last season's mark.

  • Senior LHP Robert Dickmann delivered a 1-0 complete game shutout against San Franciscoin his final collegiate start Sunday afternoon, earning him Rawlings WCC Pitcher of the Weekhonors. This was the sixth time a Wave was named Rawlings WCC Pitcher of the Week.

  • Junior Matt Bywater, redshirt sophomore Cole Cook, sophomore Brian Humphries, and seniorColin Rooney were tabbed to the 2010 All-WCC team, while honorable mention citations weregiven to senior Robert Dickmann, junior Floyd Given, sophomore Nate Johnson, and freshmenJoe Sever and Zachary Vincej. Middle infielders Sever and Vincej were also unanimous selectionsto the 2010 WCC All-Freshman Team.
  • Overall Record: 34-18
    WCC Record: 14-7
  • The Pilots finished off a three-game sweep of Gonzaga with a 7-3 victoryon Sunday, earning its fourth WCC series sweep of the year and best evershowing in the WCC, finishing in second place with a 14-7 league mark.The Pilots end the regular season with the second most wins in program history at 34-18.

  • Senior catcher Rocky Gale highlighted Portland's all-conference team by being named the2010 WCC Defender of the Year. Teammates Chris Dennis, Riley Henricks, and Kyle Krausearned All-WCC first team honors, while Nick Armenta was selected to the All-Freshman Teamand earned Honorable Mention honors with CJ Cullen.

  • Dennis, Portland's record-breaking closer, is one of five finalists for the sixth annual NCBWAStopper of the Year Award. The junior right-hander registered 14 saves during his first seasonat UP, setting new career and single-season marks for the Pilots.
  • Overall Record: 19-32-1
    WCC Record: 8-13
  • Saint Mary's wrapped up the 2010 season with a 19-32-1 overall recordand an 8-13 record in WCC play.

  • The Gaels closed out the season with a three-game series at No. 15 San Diego. SMC tookgame two of the series, 8-1, behind outstanding pitching efforts from Kyle Barraclough andTaylor Reid. Barraclough pitched five full innings, allowing one run on four hits with sevenstrikeouts, to get the win and improve to 6-6. Reid came in to throw the final four innings, holdingthe Toreros scoreless. He faced 14 batters, allowing two hits with three strikeouts to earnhis first save of the season.

  • Sophomore 1B Troy Channing turned in another solid season and was selected to the All-WCC First Team for the second consecutive season. Junior OF Justin Fazio and sophomoreRHP Kyle Barraclough were selected honorable mention, while Patrick Wisdom was named tothe 10-man WCC All-Freshman Team.
  • Overall Record: 36-20
    WCC Record: 19-2
  • San Diego closed out the regular season by taking 2-of-3 from SaintMary's for its ninth straight weekend series win. USD has won 22 of its last28 games. With the 19-2 record in WCC play, the Toreros set the conferencerecord for most WCC wins since the WCC went back to a single-division 21-game format in 2006.

  • Senior outfielder James Meador took home his second consecutive WCC Player of the Yearhonor, joining Santa Clara's Duane Larson (1970-71) as the only players in WCC history toearn multiple player of the year honors.

  • Junior RHP Kyle Blair was named the WCC Pitcher of the Year after leading the conferenceins wins (6), ERA (1.89), and strikeouts (71) in WCC play. Blair is the third Torero to earn theWCC's top pitching honor, following Brian Matusz (2008) and Ricky Barrett (2002).

  • USD is the No. 2 seed in the Tempe Regional and will face No. 3 seed Hawai'i on Friday.
  • Overall Record: 28-28
    WCC Record: 10-11
  • San Francisco ends the 2010 season with a 28-28 overall record andfinishes in fourth place in the conference standings after posting a 10-11mark in league play.

  • Eight members of the USF Baseball team captured 2010 All-West Coast Conference honors.Sophomore infielder Nik Balog, junior outfielder Connor Bernatz and junior infielder StephenYarrow earned first team selections, while junior outfielder Pete Lavin, senior catcher RyanLipkin, senior righthander Doug Murray and senior shortstop Derek Poppert were honorablemention selections. Utility player Jason Mahood was named to the All-Freshman squad. Yarrowled the league with 16 home runs nad ranks fourth on USF's all-time list with 31.

  • Lipkin was named as one of the 16 semifinalists for the 2010 Coleman Company - JohnnyBench Award. Lipkin is the first Don to be named a semifinalist for the award since Steve Boothmade the list in 2002.
  • Overall Record: 23-31
    WCC Record: 8-13
  • Santa Clara closed out the 2010 season by taking 2-of-3 from LoyolaMarymount.

  • Seniors Tommy Medica and Geoff Klein were selected to the All-WCC First Team. It wasthe third time Medica has been picked as an All-WCC First Team player and the second timeand second straight year for Klein. Both have won WCC batting titles, Medica as a freshmanin 2007 and Klein as a junior in 2009.

  • Bronco newcomers, junior transfer Evan Peters and freshmen Matt Ozanne and Ryan Riegerwere named as honorable mentions. Ozanne and Rieger drew additional praise, recognizedon the league's 2010 WCC All-Freshman Team.

  • Junior first baseman Curtis Wagner was named to the 2010 ESPN The Magazine AcademicAll-America Baseball Second Team, as selected by the CoSIDA.
  • AROUND THE WCC

    WCC Rawlings Pitcher of the Week

    Robert Dickmann, PEP - LHP - SR
    Pepperdine's Robert Dickmann waited until his final collegiate start to deliver the first complete game shutout of his career in Pepperdine's 1-0 Sunday win over San Francisco. Dickmann tied a career high with nine strikeouts as he scattered four hits and three walks on 124 pitches. He also retired 14 of the final 16 batters he faced, which included striking out the side in the sixth. Dickmann, who missed all of 2009 with an injury, finished 2010 by posting career highs with eight wins, 99.1 innings pitched, three complete games and 75 strikeouts.

    Also Nominated: Kyle Kraus (Portland), Kyle Blair (San Diego), Nate Garcia (Santa Clara)

    WCC Rawlings Co-Players of the Week

    James Meador, USD - OF - SR
    San Diego's senior outfielder James Meador went 9-for-16 with three doubles, two home runs and seven RBI in helping USD close out the regular season with the best overall WCC record in a one-division format at 19-2. With seven RBI, Meador moved into third on the USD single-season RBI list with 62. The three doubles he recorded moved his career total up to 56, good for fifth on the all-time charts at USD.

    Tommy Medica, SCU - INF - JR
    Preseason All-American and former USA National Team player, redshirt junior Tommy Medica finished his season with Santa Clara by going 7-of-14 (.500 BA) with eight RBI, hitting two doubles and a homer in SCU's series victory over LMU on the road. Medica went 4-for-6 with five RBI in SCU's lopsided win over the Lions Sunday. He drove in two runs and stole a base in Friday's series-opening win. He finished the season on an 11-game hitting streak.

    Also Nominated: Ryan Hawthorne (Loyola Marymount), Ryan Heroy (Pepperdine), Matt Mardesich (Portland)

    2010 Baseball All-Conference Team
    With a 19-2 WCC record, the University of San Diego posted the best conference mark since the WCC went to a single division 21-game format. On Thursday, the Toreros were rewarded for their dominant play, landing eight players on the WCC's 25-man all-conference team, including the Player of the Year in senior outfielder James Meador and the Pitcher of the Year in junior RHP Kyle Blair. San Diego Head Coach Rich Hill was named the WCC Coach of the Year after guiding the Toreros to their third WCC title in the last four seasons. Rounding out this year's individual honors is Portland senior catcher Rocky Gale taking home the league's Defensive Player of the Year award and LMU's Matt Lowenstein earning Freshman of the Year honors.

    Meador, who took home the WCC Player of the Year honor last season, becomes just the second player in conference history to earn the Player of the Year honor multiple times and the first since Santa Clara's Duane Larson also earned back-to-back awards in 1970-71. Meador paced the Toreros' high-powered offense, batting a league-best .488 during conference play, while ranking second in WCC games in hits (40) and RBI (25). The Ramona, CA native enters the NCAA Tournament ranked fifth on USD's all-time doubles list with 56, while his 62 RBI on the season rank him third on the Toreros' single-season RBI chart.

    Blair has been magnificent on the mound for the Toreros, posting a league-best 6-1 record in conference play with an impressive 1.98 ERA, which was also tops in the WCC. Blair struck out a conference-best 71 batters in just 54.2 innings, while his strikeout-to-walk ratio (71-11) was also the best in the league. The Monte Sereno, CA native is just the third USD player in conference history to earn the league's top pitching honor, following Brian Matusz, who took home the award in 2008, and Ricky Barrett, who earned the honor in 2002.

    Lowenstein becomes the ninth LMU player to be selected WCC Freshman of the Year and the first since Angelo Songco earned the award in 2007. Lowenstein turned in a fantastic first season for the Lions, batting .325 during league play. In conference play, his 13 RBI tied him for third most among freshmen, while he lead all WCC rookies in total bases (39), while tying for second in hits (26) and runs (15).

    Gale becomes the first catcher to win the WCC's Defensive Player of the Year honor in the awards three-year existence. The previous two awards went to middle infielders. Gale was absolutely lethal throwing out would-be base stealers, tossing out 19-of-26 (.730) attempted base stealers.

    Hill won his fourth WCC Coach of the Year honor and his third in the last four years. Hill, in his 12th season at USD, has led the Toreros to their fourth trip to the NCAA Regionals in the last five seasons.

    For the complete 2010 Baseball All-Conference list, click here .

    WCC No. 4 In Strength of Schedule
    West Coast Conference teams have played some of the toughest schedules in the nation. The WCC as a league ranks No. 4 in the nation in strength of schedule, trailing only the Pac-10, the Big West and the SEC, according to the latest Boydsworld.com rankings. In fact, all eight league schools - USD (4), Pepperdine (17), San Francisco (23), Saint Mary's (40), Loyola Marymount (49), Gonzaga (55), Santa Clara (59), Portland (64) - have played schedules ranked in the top 65 toughest in the nation.

    CONFERENCE STRENGTH OF SCHEDULE RANKINGS
    1. Pac-10
    2. Big West
    3. SEC
    4. WEST COAST
    5. Big 12

    WCC April Co-Pitchers of the Month: Chris Dennis, POR & Kyle Blair, USD

    Chris Dennis, Portland, RHP
    Junior RHP Chris Dennis picked up six saves, went 2-0, struck out 14 in 13.0 innings, posted an ERA of 2.08 and held opposing hitters to a .208 average as the Pilots went 13-3 overall during the month and 11-1 in the West Coast Conference. Dennis also became Portland's all-time career saves leader and set a new mark for most saves in a single season. He had one stretch (April 20-25) where he saved four straight Portland wins as the Pilots won at Washington, ending an eight-game losing streak to the Huskies, and swept a three-game series at Pepperdine, where UP was previously 1-31 all-time. During the same week, he tied, then broke both the UP single-season and career saves records.

    Dennis was named the WCC's Co-Pitcher of the Week (April 25) and College Baseball Insider's Regional Pitcher of the Week following his four saves in four games performance. He picked up his 10th save of the season during 8-6 win at Pepperdine on April 23 to set the new single-season mark, which had stood since 1987. Two games later, he registered his 12th save of the season and of his career during the 5-2 win at Pepperdine on April 24, becoming the all-time saves leader at Portland. Dennis ended the month tied for the second most saves in the country with 12, helped Portland register the fifth 30-win season in program history, and end the month riding an 10-game winning streak.

    Kyle Blair, San Diego, RHP
    Junior right-hander Kyle Blair has been lights out on the mound for the Toreros in April, as he posted a 4-1 record, 4-0 in the WCC, with an ERA of 1.99, while leading the team in strikeouts with 37. Blair had one of his most impressive performances of the month in a win against Gonzaga. After a rocky start to his outing, surrendering three unearned runs in the first two innings, Blair settled down and held the Gonzaga bats at bay. After surrendering a lead-off double in the top of the third inning, Blair settled down and proceeded to retire his next 15 batters, eight via the strikeout, over the next four innings before Mark Castellitto broke that streak with a single in the top of the eighth inning. Blair (5-3) picked up the win on the mound as he allowed four runs, one earned, while scattering six hits over 7.2 innings of work. Blair also looked impressive in the win over San Francisco this past weekend, as he turned in yet another dominating performance allowing two runs on five hits, while striking out eight in 8.0 innings of work.

    WCC April Co-Players of the Month: C.J. Cullen, POR & James Meador, USD

    C.J. Cullen, Portland, 1B
    C.J. Cullen hit .429 (27-for-63) with a 17 RBI's, 18 runs scored, a homer, a triple and two doubles as the Pilots went 13-3 overall and 11-1 in the WCC. He also tallied a team-high .473 on-base percentage during the month. Cullen was UP's most clutch hitter as he hit .529 with runners in scoring position, batted .444 with two outs and eight of his 17 RBI's came with two outs. He also had two four-hit games, three three-hit games, and one game with four RBI's.

    Cullen only committed one error in 155 chances for an impressive fielding percentage of .994 and was named the WCC's Co-Player of the Week (April 26) after the Pilots ended and eight-game losing streak to Washington and swept a three-game series at Pepperdine, where Portland was previously 1-31 all-time. Cullen recorded a .625 (10-for-16) against the Huskies and Waves and had a home run, a triple, six RBI's and four runs, was 4-for-5 with a double and four runs during 13-12 win over LMU at home on April 18, was 3-for-4 at UW, knocked in a run and scored twice, while falling a double shy of hitting for the cycle, and went 4-for-4 with two RBI's and a run during 8-4 win at Pepperdine on April 24.

    James Meador, San Diego, OF
    Senior outfielder James Meador has helped lead USD to a program-record 12-0 start in conference games, (10-0 in April), after leading the Toreros offense going 22-for-55 (.400) with seven doubles, two home runs and 19 RBI. Meador had his most productive week between April 19-25, as he went 10-for-17 (.769) with a double, two home runs and 10 RBI, en route to a WCC Player of the Week award. Meador had his most productive game in a win over Gonzaga on April 24, as he went 4-for-5 with four RBI and one home run. For the month, USD posted an impressive 10-4 overall record and climbed back into the top-25, while leading the WCC standings fro the get-go

    WCC Teams Garner Preseason Rankings
    San Diego and Pepperdine were each listed among the nation's elite in numerous rankings heading into the 2010 campaign. The Toreros have been ranked in several publications, with the highest ranking coming in the Baseball America preseason poll, that had San Diego at No. 19. Collegiate Baseball ranked the Waves at No. 34 heading into the season, while Gonzaga received votes in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches poll.

    San Diego
    Baseball America - No. 19
    USA TODAY/ESPN - No. 23
    Collegiate Baseball - No. 24
    NCBWA - No. 24

    Pepperdine
    Collegiate Baseball - No. 34USA TODAY/ESPN - Receiving Votes
    NCBWA - Receiving Votes

    Gonzaga
    USA TODAY/ESPN - Receiving Votes

    WCC's Preseason All-Americans
    Several WCC standouts were tabbed for 2010 preseason All-American honors. After winning the Triple Crown last year, Saint Mary's Troy Channing was tabbed a Louisville Slugger preseason second team All-American and was ranked No. 6 on the Rivals.com power rankings for third basemen. Santa Clara's Geoff Klein and Tommy Medica were both named honorable mention preseason All-America catchers by Ping! Baseball.

    Two Players Named To Stopper Of The Year Watch List
    Gonzaga junior right hander Cody Martin and Portland junior right hander Zach Varce were both named to this year's Stopper of the Year Watch List.

    This marks Martin's second time being nominated to the list as he also made the midseason watch list as well. Last year, Martin posted a 3.07 ERA while going 5-4 with six saves and 68 strikeouts in 58.2 innings. In his freshman season, he set the school record for saves in a season with nine.

    Last season, Varce led the league with a 2.69 ERA and tied for the league lead with nine saves, which also tied the school record. Posting a 3-5 record, he held opposing batters to an average of .249 and had 62 strikeouts in 60.1 innings.

    The Boys of Summer
    This past summer, many WCC baseball players took part in summer leagues all across the country with many receiving All-Star recognition and individual rewards. Below is a list of all the WCC players receiving recognition.

    Alaska Baseball League
    Jonathan Johnson, LMU - Gold Glove
    Drew Heid, GON - MVP
    Ryan Carpenter, GON - All-Star

    Cal Ripken League
    Jonathan Abrahamson, USF - All-Star, Co-Pitcher of the Year
    Ryan Mulligan, SMC - All-Star

    Cape Cod
    Kyle Blair, USD - All-Star

    Hawaii Collegiate
    Mark Anderson, SMC - All-Star
    Tyler Brubaker, PEP - All-Star
    Ricky Villarreal, PEP - All-Star
    Joe Vierra, LMU - All-Star
    Case Miyahara, LMU - All-Star

    New York Collegiate
    Miles Silverstein, PEP - All-Star
    Brad Jesernig, PEP - All-Star

    Northwoods League
    Zach Varce, POR - All-Star
    Riley Henricks, POR - All-Star
    Troy Channing, SMC - Rising Star (Rivals.com)
    Aaron Gates, PEP - All-Star
    Chris Engell, USD - Silver Slugger Award

    Prospect League
    Nate Johnson, PEP - All-Star

    USF's Nino Giarratano named to USA Baseball Coaching Staff
    This will mark the second stint with Team USA for Giarratano, following his work as an assistant coach on Rob Walton's Collegiate National Team staff in 2008. That year, the team won the Gold Medal with a 12 inning victory over Japan and finished the season undefeated at 24-0. He joins Bill Kinneberg (Utah), Dave Serrano (Cal State Fullerton), and Ed Blankmeyer (St. John's). Giarratano is entering his 12th season with the Dons after guiding them to a share of third place last year.

    San Diego Picked To Finish First In 2010 WCC Preseason Poll
    San Diego was picked as the favorite to win this year's WCC regular season title in the 2010 preseason baseball poll, as voted on by the head coaches in the conference. The Toreros received six first place votes for a total of 48 points and are ranked 24th in Collegiate Baseball's preseason poll. Pepperdine was picked second with 38 points and is also receiving national recognition, ranked 34th in Collegiate Baseball's preseason poll. San Francisco totaled 33 points for third, while 2009 WCC Champion Gonzaga got one first place vote for 29 points to finish fourth, just edging out 2009 WCC runner-up Loyola Marymount, who received 28 points for fifth. Rounding out this year's preseason poll are Santa Clara, who received the last first place vote with 20 points, Saint Mary's with 17 points, and Portland with 11 points. The Toreros also placed the most number of players on the preseason all-conference team with five players being selected, including 2009 WCC Player of the Year, James Meador.

    WCC Baseball Preseason Poll
    1. San Diego - 48 (6)
    Pepperdine - 38
    3. San Francisco - 33
    4. Gonzaga - 29 (1)
    5. LMU - 28
    6. Santa Clara - 20(1)
    7. Saint Mary's - 17
    8. Portland -11
    (first place votes)