Torero Athletics: Strong WCC Outings for Baseball, Softball; Roundup

The USD baseball program went 4-0 last week, including a WCC sweep of Pacific, and Riley Adams was named WCC Player of the Week with 10 RBI in four games for the 19th-ranked Toreros.The USD baseball program went 4-0 last week, including a WCC sweep of Pacific, and Riley Adams was named WCC Player of the Week with 10 RBI in four games for the 19th-ranked Toreros.

The USD baseball program put together a strong, 4-0 record this past week, topping an area rival, sweeping a West Coast Conference home series, improving its position in one national poll and maintaining its presence in another, and seeing Torero Riley Adams earn Rawlings WCC Player of the Week honors.

Coach Rich Hill's team, now 19th in Collegiate Baseball's Top 30 poll and maintaining the No. 25 slot in the poll, will play a 6 p.m. nonconference game tonight against No. 8 Cal State Fullerton at the Lake Elsinore Diamond.

Quite a week for the Toreros, who've run their record to 25-9 overall, 12-3 in WCC and enter tonight's neutral site game against the Titans with a five-game win streak.

The team opened with 14-1 triumph at UC Riverside on April 11. Starter CJ Burdick was handed a four-run first inning and both he and the offense shined. Hunter Mercado-Hood was 2-for-5 with three runs scored and three RBI, Jay Schuyler hit a home run, drove in three and scored two runs, and Aidan Stinnett, Jeff Houghtby and Paul Kunst each had a multi-hit game.

Against Pacific, USD opened with a 9-5 win on April 13. Adams and Mercado-Hood each hit a home run and both had two RBI. A 1-0 victory on April 14 saw starter Chris Murphy pitch seven strong innings, scatter five hits and strike out seven batters. Troy Conners came on in relief in the eighth inning and picked up his ninth save of the season. Kevin Collard had four hits. On Saturday, Adams hit a grand slam and a two-run homer for six RBI, Mercado-Hood, Kunst and Brhet Bewley each had a hand, offensively, in the 10-4 series-finale win.

Following tonight's game, the Toreros host BYU in a weekend WCC series with games at 6 p.m. Thursday and Friday and 1 p.m. Saturday.

Softball: Another WCC Series Win

The USD softball team won two of three West Coast Conference games against Saint Mary's last week, blanking them 4-0 on April 14 on the strength of another dominating pitching performance by Megan Sabbatini and a three-run homer by Olivia Sandusky, and then splitting a doubleheader on April 15.

The Gaels rebounded with a 3-0 win in game one Saturday, limiting USD to only three hits. But the Toreros got the series win via a 6-4 decision in game two, scoring all of their runs in the third inning. Lauren Kane drew a bases-loaded walk for the first run, Kailey Hill and Madison Casiano had back-to-back RBI singles to tie the game at 3, USD took the lead with another based-loaded walk and Sarah Stone had a fielder's choice for an RBI and Lauren Berriatua completed the scoring with a sacrifice fly.

USD (18-17, 4-2 WCC) will play its final home games of the season this weekend when it hosts Santa Clara for a doubleheader Saturday at noon and 2 p.m. and Senior Day game at noon on Sunday.

Men's Tennis: Toreros Split Against WCC Competition

The men's tennis team shut out Loyola Marymount, 4-0, in a road match on April 13, but finished the week with a 4-2 setback to host Pepperdine on April 15 in West Coast Conference play.

Against LMU, USD swept the doubles matches to earn the first point with wins by Filip Vittek and Joshua Page, Gui Osorio and Joel Gamerov, and Guus Koevermans and Pratt Keerasuntonpong. Then, the three Torero singles victories came courtesy of Page, Gamerov and Alexandros Araouzos.

Against Pepperdine, which is always a quality WCC foe, USD battled throughout, but ultimately came up short. The Waves took the doubles point, though Gamerov and Osorio did win their match. In singles play, Osorio and Araouzos won their matches to account for USD's two points.

The Toreros will close out the regular season with a flurry of matches. They'll face WCC foe San Francisco at 10 a.m. Friday on USD's Skip and Cindy Hogan Tennis Center courts, followed by a nonconference 2 p.m. match against UNLV. USD will then close out WCC regular-season play on April 23 when it hosts Santa Clara at 1 p.m.

Women's Tennis: Toreros Fall in WCC Matches

After a 4-0 record to start West Coast Conference play, the women's tennis team has now lost three matches in a row. USD hosted Loyola Marymount on April 13 and welcomed in No. 17 Pepperdine on April 15. The result was a 4-2 defeat against LMU and a 4-0 setback against the Waves.

Nicole Anderson and Colomba DiFilippo won singles matches to secure USD's two points against LMU. Pepperdine, the WCC's top team, won the doubles point, although USD's Maria-Paula Torres and Sophia Chow won their match at No. 3 doubles. The Waves' top three singles players, however, won their matches to secure the WCC win.

USD (8-12, 4-3 WCC) now play back-to-back road matches against San Francisco Friday at 1:30 p.m. and then at Santa Clara at 11 a.m. Saturday to close out the WCC regular-season schedule.

Rowing: Torero Men Gain Experience at Stanford Invite

The men's rowing team competed in dual-style racing last Friday and Saturday at the Stanford Invite, facing Santa Clara on April 14 and Hobart and William Smith Colleges on April 15.

USD had tough luck on both days, finishing behind Santa Clara in both the varsity and second varsity boats and then falling in the varsity race against Hobart by less than five seconds.

The Toreros return to action May 13 at the Western Sprints. 

Women's Track: USD Runners Break Torero Records

Senior Sarah Kapple set a school-record time in the 3,000-meter steeplechase and fellow senior Andrea Hughes set the school’s top mark in the 5,000-meter run to highlight the women’s track team’s efforts at the Bryan Clay Invitational at Azusa Pacific on April 13-14.

Kapple's time of 10 minutes, 51.82 seconds in the steeplechase April 13 was very impressive, especially considering it was her first attempt to run the event in a meet. Furthermore, though USD does not have an official men's track program, USD's Matthew Smith, running unattached, also set a Torero men's 3K steeplechase record with a time of 9:45.0.

Hughes' 5K performance took center stage for USD on April 14. She finished the race in 16:52.77, a time that shattered the previous USD record mark of 17:00, set three years ago by Gillian Gorelik.

Golf: WCC Championship Tournament April 20-22

The men's golf team looks to finish the regular season strong as it prepares to play in the West Coast Conference Championship at Riverside Country Club in Provo, Utah on April 20-22. The tournament is USD's first since March 27-28 when USD played in the Oregon Duck Invitational.

Among Toreros Coach Cory Scoggin's top players are Nick Baines, senior; junior Daniel Lopez and freshman Dalton Hankamer.

Should the team or a few individuals finish among the top of the leaderboard at the WCC tourney, they'd qualify for a spot in an NCAA Tournament regional next month.

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