June 8, 2006
Tucson, AZ - Seven WCC baseball players were named to Collegiate Baseball newspaper's 2006 Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American team that was announced on Thursday. Pepperdine, San Diego, and Santa Clara each had two players earn Freshman All-American accolades, while Gonzaga had one player named to the squad.
Pepperdine's Brett Hunter and Chase d'Arnaud were named to the Freshman All-American team after leading the Waves to the program's fourth straight postseason appearance in 2006. Their selection marks the fourth consecutive year that at least one Waves player has been tabbed Freshman All-American. d'Arnaud, who claimed the starting third base job early in the season and was a first team All-WCC selection, appeared in 59 games and batted .282 with two home runs and 22 RBI. Hunter assumed the closer's role at the outset of the season and posted a 5-3 record, 2.83 ERA and 11 saves while appearing in a team-high 29 games, all but two as a reliever.
San Diego left-handed pitcher Brian Matusz was tabbed a starting pitcher and fellow Torero Josh Romanski was named as a multiple position player on the 2006 Freshman All-American team. Matusz, an All-WCC honorable mention and All-WCC Freshman team selection, finished his impressive freshman campaign in a Torero uniform by fanning 93 batters, walking 39 and posting a 4.25 ERA with a record of 4-3. Romanski, the 2006 WCC Freshman of the Year and an All-WCC second team honoree, posted a 5-4 record, 4.50 ERA and fanned 54 batters. On offense, he hit .287 with four homers, six doubles and 20 RBI.
Santa Clara is the third WCC program represented by two players, as left-handed pitcher Matt Wickswat and outfielder Matt Long both earned a spot on the Freshman All-American team. Wickswat was a second team All-WCC selection after posting an 8-2 record with a 3.24 ERA. He also struck out 57 batters with 22 walks. Long joined Wickswat on the All-WCC second team after batting .346 with 8 doubles, 3 triples and 21 RBI in his first season on the Mission Campus.
Gonzaga's Ryan Wiegand was named to the Freshman All-America team after the designated hitter ranked third on the team with a .330 average and hit one home run with 45 RBI during the 2006 season. He started 52 of 53 games and was a second team All-WCC honoree. Wiegand becomes the sixth Gonzaga player to earn freshmen All-American honors and the first since the 2002 season.
All seven players were named to the WCC All-Freshman team in May.
The Collegiate Baseball Freshman Pitcher of the Year was Alex Wilson of Winthrop University while third baseman Pedro Alvarez of Vanderbilt University was tabbed the Freshman Player of the Year.
WCC Freshman All-American Selections
Chase d'Arnaud - 3B - Pepperdine
Brett Hunter - RP - Pepperdine
Brian Matusz - LHP - San Diego
Matt Long - OF - Santa Clara
Josh Romanski - UT - San Diego
Matt Wickswat - LHP - Santa Clara
Ryan Wiegand - DH - Gonzaga