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Torero Athletics: No. 13 Baseball Has a 5-0 Week; Spring Sports Roundup

The USD baseball team has turned up the heat in just its second week of the season. This past week’s schedule certainly had the look of being grueling with six games — including an exhibition against a British Columbia team (a 12-8 USD win) — but the Toreros prevailed with a perfect mark.

The five nonconference wins came against cross-town rival San Diego State 3-2 in 10 innings and then a 4-0 run in the SDSU-USD co-hosted Tony Gwynn Legacy Tournament. USD topped Michigan (5-1) on Feb. 23, Grand Canyon (8-4) on Feb. 24, and then won a doubleheader day against No. 4 Arkansas (7-6) and Arizona (5-3) to improve the Toreros’ season record to 7-2.

The team’s perfect week earned the Toreros, previously unranked, with the No. 13 spot in the new Collegiate Baseball NCAA Div. I baseball poll presented by Big League Chew Bubble Gum. Furthermore, San Diego swept the weekly West Coast Conference honors with Paul Richan being named the Rawlings/WCC Pitcher of the Week and Tora Otsuka earning Rawlings/WCC Player of the Week recognition.

Richan pitched eight complete innings in the win against Michigan, scattering three hits, allowing one run, walking two and striking out nine. Otsuka, meanwhile, started all five games last week and batted .500 with a team-best 11 hits in 22 at-bats. He totaled 13 bases, had a team-high five RBI, and added two runs. Otsuka chipped in a double, a triple and had a stolen base.

Next Games: USD hosts South Korea's KT Wiz (exhibition game), Tuesday, 6 p.m., Fowler Park; USD hosts Indiana in a four-game series at Fowler Park: USD vs. Indiana, Friday, 6 p.m.; USD vs. Indiana (DH), Saturday, 1 p.m. and 5 p.m.; USD vs. Indiana, Sunday, 11 a.m.

Softball

A six-game split occurred this past week for the USD softball team.

It started out tough as the Toreros visited Big West Conference's Cal State Fullerton on Feb. 22. The Toreros were no-hit by Titans pitcher Taylor Dockins in a five-inning, 8-0 setback. She allowed only a walk to Hannah Gilliland.

From there, the softball team played five games in the three-team Gaucho Classic hosted by UC Santa Barbara. USD opened with a doubleheader split against Dayton on Feb. 23. The Toreros won the opener, 3-2, with Taylor Spence going 3-for-4 at the plate with an RBI single and a run scored. Sara Silveyra drew a bases-loaded walk for one run and Kailey Hill had an RBI single for the deciding run. Dayton, however, won 3-2 in the second game. USD's offense got eight hits, but couldn't get the sweep. Spence was 2-for-4 with an RBI, Gilliland was 2-for-4 and Shelbi Evans was 2-for-3.

The Toreros played two games on Feb. 24, concluding a series with Dayton with one game and then one more against host UC Santa Barbara. USD triumphed in the first game, downing Dayton 6-3 on 13 hits and scoring runs in four of seven innings. Spence and Silveyra each had three hits, Lauren Kane and Gilliland had two apiece and Kane and Hill each had two RBI. Silveyra scored three runs. The second game was a 5-4 loss to UCSB in eight innings. Spence and Hill each had two hits, but the Toreros' lead in the seventh inning evaporated and the Gauchos got a sacrifice fly in the first extra inning to pull out the win.

The Toreros, however, got even on Feb. 25. The Toreros (9-8) earned a 3-2 decision in eight innings, as it rallied from a 2-1 deficit when a wild pitch by the UCSB pitcher enabled Shannon McKeon to score from third base to tie it in the seventh.

In the top of the eighth, McKeon's single drove in Kane, who was the international tiebreaker runner starting the inning at second base, for the winning run. Shelbi Evans had grounded out to move Kane to third. In the bottom of the eighth, the Gauchos' lead runner also got to third, but USD induced a popup to second base and a then a play at first ended the inning and game.

On Monday, Spence was named the WCC Player of the Week, going 10-for-20 with three runs scored and two RBI, slugged .524 and had three stolen bases.

Next Games: USD Softball hosts San Diego Classic (all games at USD Softball Complex): USD vs. Long Beach State, Thursday, 6 p.m.; USD vs. Colorado State, Friday, 4:30 p.m.; USD vs. UCLA, Saturday, 7 p.m.; USD vs. Oregon State, Sunday, 12:30 p.m. and USD vs. CSU Northridge, Sunday, 3 p.m.

Men's Tennis

The USD men's tennis team fell 4-3 to crosstown rival San Diego State on Feb. 23 at the Skip and Cindy Hogan Tennis Center on the USD campus.

Alexandros Araouzos, playing in the decided singles match for USD, had two match point opportunities against SDSU's Ignacio Martinez, but was unable to convert, thus sending the Toreros to the nonconference loss. Martinez won, 4-6, 6-2, 7-5.

USD lost the doubles point to start the match and two singles wins by the Aztecs had the Toreros fearful of being swept. But Joel Gamerov, Nico Borter and August Holmgren won their singles matches to tie the match at 3-3.

Araouzos, who had come up strong in two earlier-season matches when it was needed most, couldn't duplicate it this time. USD's record falls to 4-3 on the season.

Next Matches: USD Men's Tennis vs. USC, Thursday, 2 p.m., La Jolla Beach and Tennis Club; USD at Pacific Coast Doubles Tournament, Thursday-Sunday, La Jolla Beach and Tennis Club.

Men's Crew

San Diego was edged by UC San Diego at the City Championship on Mission Bay over three timed races. The two local teams, along with guest Orange Coast College, competed on Feb. 24. An ill-stricken San Diego crew took to the water in a last-minute lineup up change to race their opponents.

The City Championship title is determined by the winner of at least two of three timed race pieces. The three teams lined up both their 1V and 2V eights, six boats across, for a six, four and three-minute race. 

The Toreros fell short to both OCC and UCSD in the varsity eight on both the six and four minute contests. The second varsity fell to UCSD but defeated OCC’s second eight for all three racing pieces. The varsity eight pulled ahead of the Tritons by about a seat and a half for the third race. 

Women's Tennis

The women's tennis team had no scheduled matches last week, but will return to action this Friday in the West Coast Conference opener at 1:30 p.m. against Santa Clara. The Toreros (3-4) will play the match at their Skip and Cindy Hogan Tennis Center courts.

Golf

The USD men's golf team, under the direction of first-year head coach Chris Riley, returns to tournament action for the first time since Feb. 13 at today’s NIT event at the Omni Tucson National Golf Club in Arizona. USD will then compete this Saturday and Sunday in the Desert Mountain Intercollegiate in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Connect with USD Athletics

For all USD Athletics news, scores and information, visit the website and follow the Toreros on social media platforms: FacebookTwitter and Instagram.