April 13, 2007

San Diego: One More Inning?

Matusz had little trouble disposing of the Pilots in the eighth inning, but is still one strikeout short of the team record. With the Toreros up 13-1, they certainly don't need to bring him out for the ninth. If they bring him out for the complete game, it'll only be for one reason.

San Diego: Matusz One Away

Brian Matusz picked up his 12th and 13th strikouts in the seventh inning, leaving him one short of the all-time USD team record. His pitch count is reasonable right now, so I wouldn't be surprised to see the record fall today.

San Diego: Matusz is Legit

His rocky start hasn't fazed hiim. Through six innings, Brian Matusz has logged 11 strikeouts, three short of the USD record of 14. He's allowed four hits and no earned runs as the Toreros hold an 11-1 lead. This is the seventh time in 12 games Matusz has reached double figures in strikeouts; he's had nine strikeouts in three games.

In contrast, Portland pitcher Justin Ehlers walked Kevin Muno on four pitches to start the bottom of the sixth and has the Pilots in trouble yet again.

San Diego: Toreros Keep Rolling

Now this game's to the point that I'm just glad that I'm able to spend an absolutely gorgeous San Diego spring day in an open air pressbox where I have a great view of the USD coeds in the stands. The game itself is officially a snoozer.

Logan Gelbrich opened the fourth inning for San Diego with a solo home run and Justin Snyder added another run when he knocked in Daniel Magness with an RBI single to increase the USD lead to 10-1.

Meanwhile, in about the same time it took me to write the previous two paragraphs, Matusz plowed through the Portland lineup with two strikeouts and a fly out to advance to the bottom of the fifth.

San Diego: Toreros Pad Lead

Portland pitcher Ed Wakefield found himself in a jam in the third inning but escaped without too much damage. With the bases loaded and one out, he battled Shane Buschini through several long foul balls before he flied out to deep center field. The sacrifice advanced all the runners, giving USD an 8-1 lead and Josh Romanski struck out swinging to end the inning.

San Diego: Matusz's Good Stuff

I'm starting to see what Matusz is all about. The nation's leader in strikeouts logged his third strikeout in two innings and left the second Pilot batter of the day staring at strike three without swinging. C.J. Cullen didn't even wait for the umpire's call before heading for the dugout. Matusz gave up another hit, but got out of the inning fairly easily with a pair of groundouts.

Meanwhile, things calmed down for Portland as it brought in Ed Wakefield in the second for the battered and bruised Sean Sargent. Wakefield got out of the inning with no more damage as USD maintains its 7-1 lead in the third.

San Diego: This Could Get Ugly

Ok -- I don't think Matusz is going to have too much trouble recovering from Portland's early 1-0 lead. He's got plenty of support as the Toreros absolutely rocked Portland pitcher Sean Sargent for seven runs in the bottom of the first. Everything that could possibly go wrong did.

Justin Snyder led off the inning with a single before Sean Nicol flied out to right field. From then on, it was a field day for USD. Jordan Abruzzo followed with a ground-ruled double that bounced over the center-field wall and would have surely scored Snyder from first. Not to worry -- the next three USD batters logged hits with two of them good for two bases.

Sargent followed up shortly by hitting Kevin Hansen with a pitch. Hansen then advanced to second and Logan Gelbrich to third on a wild pitch and Kevin Muno loaded the bases after being walked. Things then looked to be coming to a merciful end for Portland when Justin Snyder, in his second at-bat of the inning, hit a long fly ball to right fielder Danny Meier with two outs. But of course, Meier dropped the ball, allowing all three base runners to score before Nicol finally put the inning to an end when he flied out to left field.

San Diego: Pilots Open Early Lead

Matusz didn't get off to his best start against Portland as the Pilots logged a couple of hits and opened up a 1-0 lead in the first inning. The run doesn't count against Matusz after Kevin Hansen's throwing error kept the inning alive with two outs to set up an RBI double from Chase Powell.

San Diego: Matusz on the Mound

With the postseason picture starting to take shape, I'm checking in from San Diego today to catch a glimpse of USD and its stud pitcher Brian Matusz as the Toreros make a run for a No. 1 Seed in the College World Series. Matusz, who checks in with a 2.96 ERA and 106 strikeouts in 73 innings pitched, looks to improve his record to 7-2 in a WCC matchup against Portland.

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