June 2, 2013


Conyers Lifts San Diego

By Abbey Mastracco

Special to CollegeBaseballInsider.com


LOS ANGELES — San Diego coach Rich Hill (left) told the media that his squad was hungry and ready to go to battle. The blue camouflage uniforms signified that the third-seeded Toreros were ready to do just that.


Sunday afternoon's elimination game in the Los Angeles Regional played out in exactly that fashion – it was a battle until the end. Ultimately it was No. 3 San Diego that won to stay alive with an 8-5 victory over No. 2 Cal Poly at Jackie Robinson Stadium.


“I’m extremely proud of our guys to battle back through the losers’ bracket,” Hill said. “It’s hard to put into words what we have been able to do this year… The turnaround of this team in the last six weeks and playing in the Championship game of the Los Angeles Regional – like I said, adjectives don’t really describe where we are now.”


Troy Conyers (3-2) played the hero for the Toreros (37-24), earning the win in relief and getting a big, two-RBI single in a sixth-inning rally that proved to be key in the win. Louie Lechich started the game and lasted four innings.


I wanted to give them a different look,” Hill said of the decision to go to Conyers in the fifth. “We knew were going to matchup with [Trevor] Bayless late and god back to [Max] Homick to close. Troy got a little tired which was unexpected but Big T got a big hit.”


Added catcher Austin Green: “We were pumped. Big T has been carrying us through the run we had. He pitched the championship game of the WCC Championship [tournament], got big key hits in one of those WCC Championship games as well so he’s a big contributor on our team.”


Michael Holback (3-2) took the loss for Cal Poly (40-19). Jimmy Allen continued his hot-hitting ways, going 3 for 4 with two RBI and a run.


For the tournament, Allen hit .615 with two extra-base hits, five RBIs and a run.


“I think this weekend I was just really relaxed and tried to clear my mind as much as I could and obviously, being a Regional on TV, all of the people in the stands I did whatever I could to just make things simple and kind of relax everything,” Allen said. “It’s ironic that when the most pressure is on the line is when I felt the most relaxed.”


Cal Poly tied the game in the second inning at 1 and again in the top of the fifth at 3, but the Toreros took the lead in the bottom of the inning when AJ Robinson scored on a passed ball.


The Toreros took a 6-3 lead when Conyers doubled home Green and Andrew Daniel. Sloppy command on the part of Holback and Taylor Chris would result in a total of four runs, giving San Diego an 8-3 lead.


But the Mustangs showed resolve in the top of the seventh, scoring two more. Max Homick closed for the Toreros, keeping the lead intact.


Homick also was slated to pitch the Championship game against UCLA.


“Real old-school stuff,” said Hill, of his decision to pitch Homick in the next game. “That’s us, we love it.”


For the Mustangs, it was a banner year in which they were finally able to break through and reach a Regional, giving the younger players experience to build on.


“The finality of the situation, it’s a tough one,” coach Larry Lee said. “I think we got the most out of this team. When you win 40 games on the West Coast, that’s saying something.”


(photo courtesy of USD Media Relations)