Torero baseball prepares for USD Tournament after successful road trip

By Hunter Jameson

The Toreros are coming off a four-game winning streak and looking forward to hosting the USD Tournament this upcoming weekend. They traveled to Wilmington, North Carolina N.C. for the Hughes Brothers Challenge over the past weekend.

Sophomore infielders Andrew Daniel and Connor Joe hit back-to-back home runs in the fourth inning to carry the Torero offense past the Gardner-Webb University Runnin’ Bulldogs. Junior pitcher Michael Wagner was credited with the win.

In the second game of the tournament, the Toreros outlasted the University of North Carolina at Wilmington Seahawks in the 10th inning when senior designated hitter Dylan Haupt came up with the only RBI of the game.

The Toreros would score again on an error and ultimately win 2-0. Junior Dylan Covey was credited with the win after pitching six strong innings.

In the final game, the Toreros dominated the Stony Brook University Seawolves, who competed in in the 2012 College World Series.

Sophomore Andrew Daniel, junior Kris Bryant and senior Dillon Haupt all hit home runs to lead the Toreros to a 15-4 victory.

This was a very successful tournament for all aspects of Torero baseball and it is just what they needed looking forward to the USD tournament.

Each year the men’s baseball team hosts the USD Tournament, where teams from around the nation travel to San Diego to play challenging opponents they would not otherwise face throughout the season.

This year the tournament participants include the College of the Holy Cross Crusaders, the University of Michigan Wolverines and the Saint Louis University Billikens.

The Crusaders of the Patriot League have started off 1-6 on the 2013 season. They have faced tough competition from the Cal Poly San Luis Obispo Mustangs and the University of Nevada Wolfpack, but have not had much success so far this season.

The Wolverines are 5-5 on the season. An opening series against the University of California, Berkeley Golden Bears left them 0-3, but the Wolverines have recovered substantially well.

The offense is lead by junior outfielder Michael O’Neill. He is hitting .442, has 23 hits, 13 runs, nine RBI and one home run. Freshman Evan Hill has earned two of the Wolverines’ five wins as a pitcher this season.

The Billikens of the Atlantic 10 conference have started off with a strong 7-4 record this season. They have competed against teams such as Oral Roberts University Golden Eagles and Northwestern University Wildcats.

The Billikens are lead by senior third baseman Grant Nelson, who has a .348 batting average with 16 hits and six runs scored. On the mound, redshirt senior Alex Alemann is 2-0 on the season.

At 7-4, the Toreros are the definitely the most talented team in the tournament, and have faced the toughest competition of any team so far.

This includes the San Diego State Aztecs and Cal State Fullerton Titans. Senior designated hitter Dillon Haupt leads the offense for the Toreros, with 15 RBIs, 15 hits, and nine runs scored.

Freshman PJ Conlon has started 2-0 as pitcher, with junior Michael Wagner throwing the most innings on the year so far.

The USD Tournament runs from March 7 to March 10. On March 7, Crusaders will face off against the Wolverines at 2 p.m.

On March 8 the action gets underway with the Wolverines playing the Billikens at 2 p.m. followed by a game between the Toreros and the Crusaders at 6:30 p.m.

On March 9, the Billikens and the Crusaders start the day’s games at 11 a.m. After that, the Toreros will play the Wolverines and the Billikens in a doubleheader with the games starting at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. respectively.

On March 10, the Billikens will face off against the Wolverines at 10 a.m. and the Toreros will play the Crusaders in the final game of the tournament at 1 p.m.