Toreros college baseball WCC
Ivran Romero, a USD starter after a season in the bullpen. Photo credit:

University of San Diego baseball head coach Brock Ungricht led his Toreros to their most successful season in more than a decade last season, with 37 wins.

In June, having tasted success at their NCAA Regional before being eliminated, he said, “I think next year, in 2023, we’re gonna be ready to rock and roll.”

The season has begun and Friday the Toreros continued their winning ways, with a 7-3 victory over Nebraska in their home opener. has picked the Toreros to again win the conference title and tabbed junior Kevin Sim, a Torrey Pines High alum, as its conference preseason player of the year (he homered in Friday’s win). The league’s coaches picked USD to finish second, and singled out Sim and fellow junior Jack Costello for All-WCC Preseason Team honors.

“I think the biggest thing is just staying consistent in what we do everyday,” Ungricht said of his team’s approach to the new season. “The goal stays the same. Our goal is to win the West Coast Conference, and that does not change.”

He has a veteran team, with 17 players returning, including 2022 All-WCC Honorable Mention Ryan Robinson, 2022 All-WCC Freshman Team selection Ryan Kysar and 2022 All-WCC Tournament Team selection Ivran Romero, a Poway High alum.

Joining that group are 12 freshmen and seven transfers, including infielder James Arakawa (Pacific), catcher Andrew Semo (Fordham), infielder Ryan Ward (Arkansas), outfielder Gabe D’Arcy (Arkansas), first baseman Max McGwire – son of former major league slugger Mark McGwire – (Oklahoma), Jack Bunnell (Washington), and two-way player Austin Smith (UC San Diego).

After leading the WCC in nearly every offensive category last spring. the Toreros once again figure to dominate at the plate.

“I’ve been around a lot of programs and a lot of offenses, and this is by far the most versatile, one through nine,” said Robinson, who posted a 2.70 ERA with 45 strikeouts a year ago as a redshirt junior.

On the mound, Romero and James Sashin will step into the rotation from the bullpen, joining graduate student Garrett Rennie, expected to be the staff ace.

“There’s not one player that’s going to lead us this year on the mound,” said Romero, a San Diego native. “It’s everyone together, and that’s what’s gonna make us a powerful group.”

The Toreros kick off their 2023 schedule with seven straight at home – they play Nebraska again at 5 p.m. Saturday – but then embark on a monster road trip.

The 11-day jaunt, for nine games across four cities and three states, includes most of their non-conference schedule, with stops at Oregon in Eugene and Oregon State in Corvallis.