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Three WCC Players Earn Rivals.com All-American Honors

June 11, 2008

SAN BRUNO, Calif. - Three WCC baseball players were honored with Rivals.com All-American honors. Pepperdine's Eric Thames, the WCC Player of the Year, and San Diego's Brian Matusz, the WCC Pitcher of the Year, were named first team All-American's, while Saint Mary's Kyle Jensen was tabbed for second team accolades.

The WCC, coming off of a league-high No. 7 conference RPI, was one of just four conferences to have at least three players named to the Rivals.com All-American teams. The ACC and the SEC led the way with seven players each, while the Pac-10 had six players and the WCC three. The four conferences accounted for 23 of the 32 players (72 percent) honored.

Brian Matusz, USD

Junior/Pitcher Matusz is coming off a season where he in which he led the NCAA in strikeouts (141) and tied for 5th in the country in wins (12) and he posted a 1.71 ERA, which is fourth all-time at USD in single-season ERA. The junior lefty was named 2008 West Coast Conference Pitcher of the Year, named a Louisville Slugger first-team All-American and finished the season as the all-time career leader at San Diego in strikeouts (396). The junior southpaw also tied the program single-game record for strikeouts with 17 in a win against Harvard on March 22, 2008. He was drafted in the fourth round by the Angels in 2005, but he elected to attend school instead. Matusz became the first San Diego player to be named as a finalist for the Golden Spikes Award -- given to the best amateur baseball player -- and he helped the team achieve its highest ranking (No. 4) last season. Matusz was a member of the 2007 USA Baseball National Team and is also named a finalist for the Roger Clemens award.
Eric Thames, PEP

Junior/Outfielder The Rivals.com honor marks the second All-American selection for Thames (San Jose, Calif./West Valley JC/Bellarmine Prep), who was named a second-team All-American by Collegiate Baseball in May. Thames, the WCC Player of the Year, enjoyed one of the best seasons in Waves' history, batting .407 with 13 homers and 59 RBI. Thames led Pepperdine in nine categories, including batting average, home runs, hits, runs scored, RBI, triples, walks, slugging percentage and on-base percentage. Thames is Pepperdine's second All-American in as many years, as Barry Enright was named a third-team All-American in 2007 by Collegiate Baseball and Baseball America. Thames was selected in the seventh round of the MLB First-Year Player Draft by the Toronto Blue Jays last week.
Kyle Jensen, SMC

Sophomore/Outfielder Saint Mary's sophomore left fielder Kyle Jensen turned in an outstanding campaign as he was named to the Rivals.com College Baseball Second Team All-American squad. Jensen, who broke the Saint Mary's single season record for batting average, was named to the First Team All-WCC earlier this month. Jensen led the WCC in hitting with a .421 batting average, while clubbing 13 homeruns, 17 doubles, slugging .718 and posting a .498 on-base percentage.