WCC College baseball Division I
Entering weekend play, the Toreros had been off to their best start since 2002. Photo credit: usdtoreros.com

The University of San Diego dropped the final game of a three-game set Sunday, as Loyola Marymount University took two out of three at home from the Toreros.

Over the weekend, the Toreros:

  • Fell 9-5 Friday, unable to overcome LMU’s 5-run fourth inning.
  • Shut out the Lions 6-0 Saturday, led by freshmen pitchers Carter Rustad and Ivran Romero, a Poway High School grad.
  • Lost 4-2 Sunday, though graduate student Kieran Shaw pitched 3 2/3 innings of scoreless relief to finish the contest.

After the series, USD’s record is 20-7, best in the West Coast Conference. In WCC play, though, they are 6-3, tied for second place as one of four teams with .667 winning percentages.

The Toreros, though, before facing LMU ( 11-18, 4-8 WCC) had been off to their best start in nearly 20 years. They had the same record, 19-5, through 24 games in 2002.

USD also placed in the Collegiate Baseball national poll for the third week in a row last week, moving up two spots to No. 27.

That marks 15 consecutive years of the team being nationally ranked by at least one college baseball publication.

They’re doing it with their bats. Before the LMU series, USD’s 199 runs led the conference. They also led in doubles, RBIs and batting average.

In addition, USD’s team average, .317, ranked fifth in the nation. The Toreros sat in the top 20 of several offensive categories in Division I, first in sacrifice flies with 20, and second in doubles with 64.

Graduate student Thomas Luevano has led the way, batting .327 with a team-high eight home runs. His 37 RBIs led the WCC and ranked fourth in the nation last week – and he picked up four more against LMU.

The program has accomplished the feats despite pandemic challenges. The Toreros were set to host Pepperdine for a three-game series beginning April 1, but had to postpone the games after the Waves faced COVID-19 issues.

USD subbed in two games with Cal State Fullerton, which they split.

The Toreros welcome the University of San Francisco – one of WCC’s second-place teams – at 6 p.m. Friday to begin a three-game series.