Around the Bases
Matusz rebounds to give
San Diego the win over FSU
By Phil Stanton
SAN DIEGO –
It’s not how you start, but how you finish.
After one-third of an inning, San Diego and
All-American hurler Brian Matusz trailed nemesis Fresno State
2-0. At the end, the Toreros sat on top of a 5-2 score.
After struggling in his first outing a week ago
against San Diego State, Matusz (1-1) rebounded to work seven
innings against the Bulldogs (2-4) with six hits, two runs,
three walks and 11 strikeouts.
The start was shaky, as junior Erik Wetzel led
off with a base hit and sophomore Alan Ahmady drew a one-out
walk. Senior Steve Susdorf ripped a double down the right field
line to give the Bulldogs a 2-0 lead.
But Matusz and the Toreros (4-3) would not allow
“I came out there a little bit rusty,” Matusz
explained, “wasn’t hitting the spots I wanted to hit, leaving
balls up a little bit and walking guys. They took advantage of
me leaving a pitch over the plate and hit it down the line for a
double. From there I pushed that behind me and went on and did
“I thought it was a very gutty performance by
Brian Matusz,” said USD head coach Rich Hill. “He really didn’t
have command of his fastball all day. He gave up those two runs
and it would have been real easy to buckle. But he hit a rhythm,
starting to throw the curveball, the cutter and the changeup and
really pitched off of his offspeed pitches, which is very
difficult to do. People had a chance to watch two future
big-leaguers here today so it was a special game.”
What was the difference in the second start vs.
the first start for Matusz?
“The way I came back after giving up those two
runs was huge,” Matusz said. “We talk about that all the time as
a pitching staff, if you give up a run in the first or the first
few innings to push that aside and you have to go and finish the
rest of the game. That’s what I focused on, playing my game,
being able to get ahead in counts, and throw strikes. I had a
hard time doing that to begin with. My fastball, I wasn’t
locating it the way I was hoping on doing but I was able to use
my secondary pitches, my changeup, to set up those other
pitches, so I was able to come back from that.”
“He was much more of a pitcher today in the
truest sense,” Hill said, “really working the corners and
pitching off of his breaking stuff. Last Friday night, going
against [San Diego State’s Stephen] Strasburg, he was amped up
by the electricity in the crowd, probably trying to do a little
bit too much. But today he showed why he’s going to be a major
USD was held hitless for four innings by junior
Tanner Scheppers (1-1) before senior Ryan Davis led off the
fifth with a single to right. He moved to second on a fielder’s
choice, advanced to third on a throwing error by Scheppers and
scored on a single by sophomore Nick McCoy to pull the Torreros
to within one.
The home team took the lead in the fifth as
junior Josh Romanski had a one-out single and freshman Victor
Sanchez followed with a homer to left to give USD a 3-2 lead.
The Toreros added a pair of insurance runs in the
eighth. Romanski drew a leadoff walk, moved to third on a double
by Sanchez and came in on a sacrifice fly by senior Logan
Gelbrich. With Sanchez at third, senior Kevin Hansen looked to
squeeze with two strikes, missed the ball to strikeout, but the
ball got away from the catcher, allowing Sanchez to score the
game’s final run.