San Diego lines up pre-game at the NCAA Los Angeles Regional, Credit: Jeff Poirier
After falling to Cal Poly in the opening game of the NCAA Los Angeles Regional, the San Diego Toreros are stuck at 0-1, facing elimination from here on out. If things go further downhill for USD, it’s entirely possible that UCLA will never even face the No. 3 seed of the Regional. After all, it is a double-elimination bracket, and San Diego State will be waiting tomorrow to fight for its postseason life as well.
But nonetheless, let’s take the time to get to know the Toreros, just in case they do make it through to face the Bruins. San Diego mades its way to Regional play by winning the West Coast Conference tournament. Here’s an in-depth look at where the Toreros are at this season.
San Diego Toreros
Overall Record: 35-24
Road Record: 10-9
Neutral Site Record: 5-1
Wins vs. Ranked Teams: 4
All-Time Record vs. UCLA: 7-19
NCAA Tournament Appearances: 8 total
The number that sticks out here is USD’s total number of NCAA Tournament appearances all time. Though two fewer than fellow Day 1 loser San Diego State, the Toreros’ success has all been fairly recent. San Diego has made the postseason in six of the past eight seasons, including a national seed season in 2007. None of that really means much today, but it’s still interesting to see how the USD program has developed into a contender over the past decade.
If the Toreros do find a way to knock off SDSU and survive another day, it will likely have something to do with third baseman Kris Bryant. The junior from Las Vegas is batting a healthy .340 on the season with 73 hits, including a school-record 31 homes runs. No, that wasn’t a typo. Bryant has 31 jacks to his name, the most in the nation, which would explain his staggering slugging percentage of .860. To honor his achievements, the NCAA named Bryant the National Player of the Year.
For obvious reasons, UCLA would love to avoid seeing Bryant this weekend. And, if the Aztecs can handle their business in tomorrow’s elimination game, that might be the case. Otherwise, the Bruins and Sunday starter Grant Watson will have their hands full with Bryant and the Toreros.