Feb. 17, 2009

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San Diego and Pepperdine Share Top Spot in WCC Poll


San Diego and Pepperdine each garnered 45 points to share the No. 1 position in the West Coast Conference Preseason Poll, in voting by the league’s head coaches and released by the conference office.


The Toreros received four first-place votes, while the Waves earned three first-place votes. Santa Clara claimed third place with 35 points. Gonzaga got one first-place vote and 30 points for fourth, followed by San Francisco, Loyola Marymount, Saint Mary’s and Portland.


USD has won the past two WCC championships. The Toreros, under head coach Rich Hill, reached the title game of the Long Beach Regional a season ago before falling to eventual national champion Fresno State. Junior reliever A.J. Griffin and sophomore starters Kyle Blair (pictured right) and Sammy Solis will anchor the pitching staff, while junior outfielder James Meador will guide the offense.


Pepperdine reached the WCC Championship Series in 2008. The Waves, under skipper Steve Rodriguez, earned an NCAA at-large bid and reached the title game of the Stanford Regional before falling to the host Cardinal. Pepperdine has one of the top relievers in the nation in senior Nick Gaudi. Senior right-hander Nathan Newman was First Team All-WCC a year ago, as were senior infielders Ryan Heroy and Bryce Mendonca..


WCC Preseason Poll

1. San Diego (4) 45

1. Pepperdine (3) 45

3. Santa Clara 35

4. Gonzaga (1) 30

5. San Francisco 26

6. Loyola Marymount 20

7. Saint Mary’s 14

8. Portland 9

(photo courtesy of USD Media Relations Office)