Lobos Open D-I Baseball Championships Vs. San Diego

May 28, 2012

New Mexico Lobos Baseball - 2012 College World Series

For a New Mexico Lobo team without a home (field) most of the season, maybe playing on the road is a home away from home. The Lobos, who rolled to the Mountain West crown in Las Vegas, open the College World Series Friday in Los Angeles against the University of San Diego Toreros.

The Lobos get to stay in the West, but were placed in the bracket opposite the overall No. 2 seed UCLA (42-12), which opens in L.A. against Creighton.

The NCAA Division I Baseball Championships open with 16 regionals featuring four teams playing in a double-elimination bracket. The 16 host teams were announced on Sunday and New Mexico joined the NCAA postseason party on Monday morning during the NCAA Baseball Selection Show.

The Bruins obviously are the showcase team - and the team to beat - in their regional, but the Toreros will not be an easy out.

San Diego lost 5-1 Sunday to Pepperdine to lose the West Coast Conference championship to the Waves. However, San Diego went into that game ranked No. 20 in the nation and left with a sparkling 40-15 record.

The Toreros also finished second in the WCC with a 15-9 mark, behind Pepperdine's 16-8 record.

San Diego is paced by sophomore third baseman Kris Bryant, who is hitting .359 with 74 hits, 16 doubles, two triples, 14 home runs and 57 RBIs.

San Diego was ranked No. 20 in last week's Collegiate Baseball Top 25 poll, was No. 21 in the Baseball America's Top 25 poll and was No. 23 in the USAToday/ESPN Top 25 poll.

San Diego and Pepperdine both took 14-7 WCC marks into last weekend's three-game finale and the Waves took two of three to grab the title. The 2012 Torero team is only the third team in the program's history to reach the 40-win plateau.

The Toreros have a solid pitching staff paced by Michael Wagner, a 6-4 right-hander. Wagner led the nation with 19 saves to set a San Diego and WCC single-season mark. Wagner has a 2.50 ERA with 48 strikeouts against only 17 walks.

San Diego features five pitchers with ERAs under 3.40: James Pazos (1.53), Paul Sewald (2.83), Calvin Drummond (3.33) and Dylan Covey (3.38).

Like the Lobos, the Toreros also have some sticks featuring seven players hitting over .300 and nine players hitting over .280. Corey LeVier tops San Diego with a .367 average (.402 in WCC games). San Diego bats .310 as a team while its pitching staff is holding the enemy to a .252 batting average. The Toreros are 28-1 this season in games they led after six innings.