Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Exclusive USD Baseball Report: Toreros vs. San Francisco Dons This Weekend!


The University of San Diego Toreros baseball team returns home after a big week that saw the Toreros go 4-0 including sweeping West Coast Conference foe Santa Clara. The Toreros are playing some of their best baseball at a critical time as the end of the regular season looms less than a month away. 

This week the Toreros face another big conference series as they host the San Francisco Dons for a trio of games Friday through Sunday. The Toreros and Dons are currently tied in the WCC standings with equal 9-6 conference records. With two other teams also sitting at 9-6 in conference play, this weekend’s results could help vault the Toreros into prime position to qualify for the WCC Championship Tournament in May.
Opposing strengths will collide at Fowler Park as the high-octane offense of the Toreros meets the quality pitching of the Dons. The Dons are third in the WCC in earned run average and second in runs allowed. The pitching staff is led by Alex Balog and his 3.18 ERA. The Dons also boast a dangerous bullpen led by Haden Hinkle. Hinkle has a sparkling 1.37 ERA and his seven wins are tied for first in the conference. Closer Adam Cimber is among the conference leaders in saves with five. 

PJ Conlon
The Toreros are no slouches themselves on the mound however. Reigning WCC Pitcher of the Week PJ Conlon is now 6-0 on the year after throwing over eight scoreless innings this past week and picking up two wins. After spending most of the year as a reliever, Conlon shined in a start Sunday beating Santa Clara and has likely earned a start this weekend versus the Dons. Perhaps the Toreros have found their third starter to complement top starters Michael Wagner and Dylan Covey who were also solid versus the Broncos.

The Dons will be challenged all weekend by one of the best offenses in the conference and perhaps the entire country in the Toreros. The offense continues to lead the conference in most major offensive categories including batting average, hits, runs scored, and runs batted in. Perhaps the most exciting statistic however is how the Toreros are dominating with the long ball. The Toreros have a whopping 37 home runs in 39 games, by far the best in the WCC and enough to put the Toreros among the top power hitting teams in the country.

From that category comes the story of third baseman Kris Bryant, whose legend continues to grow at USD. Bryant alone accounts for 20 of the Toreros home runs after hitting five in four games last week and being named the National Player of the Week.
Kris Bryant
Only one WCC team has more home runs AS A TEAM than Bryant by himself. Bryant also set some school records with his amazing performance last week. Kris broke the USD single season home run record set in 1988 before he was even born with his home run Saturday vs. Santa Clara. Bryant’s home run Sunday has him tied for the USD career record of 43 also set in 1988. This is a great week to get out to a game as Bryant will likely break the career record at some point during the upcoming homestand. It’s made all the more impressive by the fact that Bryant will break the record in just his third year as a Torero. The old record was set over a full four year career. Bryant is a talent that cannot be missed as he continues to make his case for the Golden Spikes award and a top selection in the 2013 MLB Draft. 

You will want to say you were there when one of the best players in USD and NCAA history rounds the bases after breaking a school record! Tickets are just $10 for adults and $5 for children. Parking is completely free. Friday’s game is Five Dollar Friday where all tickets are just $5. First pitch times are set for Friday at 6pm, Saturday at 6pm, and Sunday at 1pm. For tickets and more information visit or call the ticket office at 619-260-7550.

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