San Diego Toreros baseball
|San Diego Toreros|
|University||University of San Diego|
|Location||San Diego, CA|
|Head coach||Rich Hill (baseball coach Rich Hill - AKA Bucky Big Teeth) (16th year)|
|Home stadium||Fowler Park
|Colors||Navy, White, and Toreros Blue
|NCAA Tournament appearances|
|2002, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2013|
|Conference tournament champions|
|2002, 2003, 2007, 2008, 2013|
|2007, 2008, 2010
WCC West Division: 2002, 2003
The San Diego Toreros baseball team is the varsity intercollegiate baseball program of the University of San Diego, located in San Diego, California, United States. The program has been a member of the NCAA Division I West Coast Conference since prior to the 1985 season. Beginning in 2013, its home venue will be Fowler Park, located on the University of San Diego campus. Rich Hill has been the program's head coach since prior to the 1999 season. As of the end of the 2012 season, the team has appeared in seven NCAA Tournaments, all since 2002. It has won four conference championship series, three regular season conference championships, and two regular season division championships. As of the start of the 2014 Major League Baseball season, 15 former Toreros have appeared in Major League Baseball.
The team began play in the 1958 season as an independent school in the NCAA College Division, made up of the athletic programs of small universities and colleges. The school, founded in the early 1950s, was then known as the San Diego College for Men, and its athletic programs were known as the Pioneers. Mike Morrow was the program's head coach for its first six seasons (1958–1963), and the team had an 82–64 record during his tenure. In 1961, the school's athletic programs were renamed the Toreros, for the Roman Catholic school's connections to Spain.
John Cunningham era
In 1964, John Cunningham became the program's second head coach. In 1966, the team joined its first conference, the College Division's Southern California Athletic Conference (SCAC). In four seasons in the conference (1966–1969), the team had a conference record of 25–26–1. Prior to the 1970 season, the Toreros left the SCAC to become a College Division Independent again. Also in 1970, the team began playing in a new venue, which would eventually be dedicated to John Cunningham.
In 1972, the San Diego College for Men merged with the San Diego College for Women to form the University of San Diego.
Through the 1973 season, NCAA institutions had competed in two divisions– the large-school University Division and the small-school College Division. After the 1973 season, however, the NCAA reorganized into its modern, three-division format. The University Division became the modern Division I, while the College Division became Division II and Division III. San Diego, which had previously competed as a College Division Independent, became a Division II Independent.
After five seasons as a Division II Independent, the Toreros transitioned to Division I prior to the 1979 season, joining the Southern California Baseball Association (SCBA). The SCBA, which began play in the 1977 season, was the southern division of a baseball-only merger of the Pacific Coast Athletic Association (PCAC) and the West Coast Athletic Conference (WCAC). The SCBA's counterpart, the Northern California Baseball Association (NCBA), also began play in the 1977 season. San Diego played six seasons in the SCBA, never finishing higher than fourth in the conference.
The SCBA and NCBA stopped operating after the 1984 season, and the PCAC and WCAC returned to sponsoring separate baseball conferences. As a result, San Diego joined the WCAC following the 1985 season. Shortly thereafter (following the 1988 season), the conference was renamed the West Coast Conference (WCC). San Diego struggled in its first several seasons in the league, finishing no higher than fourth from 1985–1991. In 1992 and 1993, however, the Toreros had consecutive second-place finishes and consistently finished highly in the 1990s.
Following the 1998 season, John Cunningham retired after 35 seasons. The team's venue had been renamed John Cunningham Stadium in 1988, and Cunningham retired as San Diego's all-time wins leader with 843 wins. Then-San Francisco head coach Rich Hill was hired to replace Cunningham.
Rich Hill era
In 1999, Rich Hill's first season, the WCC split into two, four-team divisions, the West Division and the Coast Division. The Toreros finished third, second, and second in 1999, 2000, and 2001, respectively. The team then won the West Division and the West Coast Conference Championship Series in both 2002 and 2003, appearing in its first two NCAA Tournaments. San Diego again qualified for the tournament in 2006.
In 2007, the Toreros had a 43–18 overall record and an 18–3 WCC record. After winning the WCC Championship Series, the team received a berth in the 2007 NCAA Division I Baseball Tournament as the #8 National Seed. The team hosted a Regional at Cunningham Stadium but was eliminated after consecutive losses to Fresno State and Minnesota.
- Independent (College Division) (1958–1965)
- Southern California Athletic Conference (College Division) (1966–1969)
- Independent (College Division/Division II) (1970–1978)
- Southern California Baseball Association (Division I) (1979–1984)
- West Coast Conference (1985–present)
- Known as the West Coast Athletic Conference from 1985–1988
John Cunningham Stadium
John Cunningham Stadium, located on the university's campus, was the program's home venue from prior to the 1970 season until after the 2012 season. Before the field's 1970 construction, the program had played at several different venues in San Diego. The field had a capacity of 1,200 spectators and was named for former San Diego head coach, John Cunningham, who coached the team from 1964–1998.
Beginning in the 2013 season, the team will play at Fowler Park, built on the location of Cunningham Stadium, which was demolished in summer 2012. Fowler has a capacity of 1,700 spectators that can be expanded to 3,000. The park is named for Ron and Alexis Fowler, who donated much of the stadium's $13 million construction cost. The playing field itself is named Cunningham Field, dedicated to the same coach for whom the program's former venue was named.
The team's most successful head coach is former coach John Cunningham, who won 843 games from 1964–1998. Also, Cunningham's 35 seasons as head coach make him the longest tenured coach in program history.
|1999–present||Rich Hill - AKA "Bucky Big Teeth"||14||481–331–3||.594|
Current coaching staff
- Head coach – Rich Hill - AKA Bucky Big Teeth
- Associate coach – Ramon Orozco
- Assistant coach – Tyler Kincaid
- Assistant coach – Brad Marcelino
|Independent (College Division) (1958–1965)|
|Southern California Athletic Conference (College Division) (1966–1969)|
|Independent (College Division/Division II) (1970–1978)|
|Southern California Baseball Association (1979–1984)|
|West Coast Athletic Conference/West Coast Conference (1985–present)|
|1999||Rich Hill||28–27–1||13–16–1||3rd (West)|
|2000||Rich Hill||34–27–1||14–16||2nd (West)|
|2001||Rich Hill||35–21||20–10||2nd (West)|
|2002||Rich Hill||39–23||20–12||1st (West)||Tempe Regional|
|2003||Rich Hill||32–30||18–12||1st (West)||Fullerton Regional|
|2004||Rich Hill||35–21||19–11||2nd (Coast)|
|2005||Rich Hill||30–27–1||16–14||2nd (Coast)|
|2006||Rich Hill||33–25||13–8||3rd||Fullerton Regional|
|2007||Rich Hill||43–18||18–3||1st||San Diego Regional (#8 National Seed)|
|2008||Rich Hill||44–17||16–5||1st||Long Beach Regional|
|2010||Rich Hill||37–22||19–2||1st||Tempe Regional|
|2012||Rich Hill||40–17||15–9||2nd||Los Angeles Regional|
|2013||Rich Hill||37–25||15–9||t-2nd||Los Angeles Regional (2nd Place)|
National champion Postseason invitational champion
Notable former players
- Kris Bryant
- Josh Butler
- Brady Clark
- Dylan Covey
- Kerry Dineen
- Dan Giese
- A. J. Griffin
- Jeff Grotewold
- Brian Matusz
- Mike McCoy
- Bart Miadich
- Kevin Reese
- Josh Romanski
- Mike Saipe
- Freddy Sandoval
- Anthony Slama
- Sammy Solis
- Zach Walters
- John Wathan
2012 MLB Draft
In the 2012 Major League Baseball draft, the following four Toreros were selected: P Paul Sewald by the New York Mets (10th round), P James Pazos by the New York Yankees (13th round), OF Bryan Haar by the Minnesota Twins (34th round), and P Calvin Drummond by the Oakland Athletics (38th round). Sewald, Pazos, and Haar signed professional contracts.
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After looking over-matched in the ninth against James Pazos and on the first two pitches he saw from Varnadore, Montero fouled a pitch straight back and then proceeded to lace one directly over second base to plate the game-winner.
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Bryan Haar (22) was the Twins 34th round pick out of the University of San Diego.