Dec. 17, 2008
The National College Baseball Writers Association announced its preseason All-America team today, and the WCC was represented with two players on the list. San Diego junior closer A.J. Griffin was named to first team, while Pepperdine's senior reliever Nich Gaudi was named to the second team.
Griffin, a 6-5 junior from El Cajon, Calif. and a 2008 first-team All-WCC selection, a 2008 Louisville Slugger All-American and a Team USA member, posted an overall record of 1-1 with a 1.96 ERA and set the school record for single-season saves with 14 a year ago while helping lead the Toreros to their second consecutive West Coast Conference championship and its third straight trip to the NCAA Regionals. With the 14 saves, Griffin became the all-time leader in career saves at USD with 25.
Griffin and the Toreros will take the field to open their 2009 campaign on February 20 with a 6 p.m. game against Southern at the MLB Urban Youth Academy Tournament in Compton, Calif.
Gaudi (Lancaster, Calif./Paraclete HS), one of nine relievers selected nationally to fill out the three NCBWA preseason teams, was largely recognized for his 2008 efforts as he converted 15 saves - the third highest season total in Waves' history.
The veteran fireman and All-West Coast Conference first team honoree also posted a 5-1 record and a 2.68 earned-run average.
Gaudi's honor is the first preseason accolade collected this winter by Pepperdine, which is expected to contend with San Diego for the WCC title and go deep into the 2009 NCAA postseason.