March 1, 2008

Around the Bases

Around the Bases
Romanski's blast in eighth makes winner of San Diego
By Phil Stanton Co-Founder


SAN DIEGO – It’s not often that a pitcher can take himself off the hook, but junior Josh Romanski of San Diego had that opportunity on Friday.


With the Toreros trailing 2-0, Romanski (pictured right, photo by Brock Scott) clubbed a three-run homer off the dorm beyond the right-field fence as USD posted a 3-2 victory over Cal Poly at Cunningham Stadium on the second day of the USD Tournament.


“I don’t think I was really looking at it as taking myself off the hook,” Romanski said. “More getting the team off the hook.


“Individual performances during the game aren’t important, but when you get up in that situation, you just want to do your best to hit something hard and cut the deficit in half at least with a guy on third. That’s really what I was looking to do. I just got a pitch I could handle and put a good swing on it.”


Sophomore Kevin Muno started the winning rally with a one-out single to short. He stole second and moved to third on a base hit by junior Sean Nicol, setting the table for Romanski as the Toreros improved to 3-2.


On the mound, Romanski worked six innings with eight hits, two runs (one earned), one walk and two strikeouts. The Mustangs (2-3) had runners on in each of the first six frames, but stranded nine in those six innings and 10 in the contest. Romanski continually worked out of jams.


“That’s what our pitching staff is all about,” Romanski said. “When runners get on base, we try to minimize the damage, and that’s what I tried to do all day. I didn’t have a breaking ball I was throwing for a strike consistently, so I had to pitch with my fastball and my changeup, and I thought I did alright. I gave up some two-strike hits where I made some mistakes, left the ball over the plate. That I will definitely get better at this week in the bullpen and be ready to go next week.”


Added San Diego coach Rich Hill: “He wasn’t as sharp today. But the thing about Josh is he just battles, he competes. You saw that. The tougher the situation gets, the more of a quality pitch he seems to make. I thought we made some great defensive plays to back him up. I thought it was a great performance from his heart. Physically, he’ll take it up a notch next start.”


Cal Poly got its first run in the third on a leadoff homer to left by sophomore Luke Yoder. The Mustangs doubled their lead in the sixth. Sophomore Wes Dorrell reached on a two-base error, was sacrificed to third and scored on a two-out single by the No. 9 hitter, senior Pat Pezet.


After giving up a leadoff double to start the seventh, USD reliever Sammy Solis (1-0) retired six straight to earn the victory. Sophomore All-American A.J. Griffin got three groundball outs in the ninth to earn his second save.


Muno, Nicol and senior Kevin Hansen each had two hits for the Toreros. Junior Logan Schafer had four hits for the Mustangs.