#36 San Diego Baseball 2018 Preview

San Diego Toreros
Overall Rank: #36
Conference Rank: #1 West Coast
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San Diego comes into the 2018 season as a team on a bit of a mission as they have not been to the NCAA Tournament since 2013. Last year the Toreros had a solid season, but weren’t able to get enough done in their non-conference schedule and missed out on a berth in the West Coast Conference Tournament. Looking ahead to 2018, the schedule is going to have opportunities for enhancing an NCAA Tournament resume as San Diego will play ten teams that went to postseason last spring. If the weekend rotation can stay healthy and dominate, then the Toreros will be in great shape to win the West Coast Conference title this spring.
2017: 35-18-1, 18-9
2017 Postseason: None
Coach: Rich Hill
Key Departed Players:
Hunter Mercado-Hood, OF.314 BA, 9 HR, 38 RBI
Riley Adams, C, .312 BA, 13 HR, 47 RBI
Roman Garcia, IF, .292 BA, 14 HR, 53 RBI
Colton Watner, OF/C, .290 BA, 1 HR, 24 RBI, 14 SB
Troy Conyers, P, 2.70 ERA, 46.2 IP, 13 BB, 65 SO
Key Returning Players:
Jay Schuyler, UTIL, .352 BA, 6 HR, 32 RBI
Jeff Houghtby, IF, .263 BA, 2 HR, 21 RBI
Paul Kunst, UTIL, .250 BA, 1 HR, 12 RBI, 7 SB
Brhet Bewhley, IF, .257 BA, 4 HR, 27 RBI
Kevin Collard, OF, .288 BA, 2 HR, 24 RBI
Paul Richan, P, 3.05 ERA, 76.2 IP, 21 BB, 73 SO
Nick Sprengel, P, 3.29 ERA, 82.0 IP, 33 BB, 86 SO
Chris Murphy, P, 4.17 ERA, 69.0 IP, 35 BB, 89 SO
Nick Sprengel will be the Friday night starter once again this season for San Diego. Sprengel has outstanding stuff and has continued to develop a nice reputation with Team USA during the offseason. A key for Sprengel this season will be to continue to attack opposing hitters and limit walks like he did a year ago by only allowing 33 walks in 82.0 innings of work. Paul Richan and Chris Murphy will round out the weekend rotation and put the Toreros in position to win series on a regular basis. There is some work to do in the bullpen as San Diego does need to replace Troy Conyers, who was dominant last season with 13 saves. Louie Crow, Travis Kuhn and others should wage a fierce competition for that spot right from the start of the season. Jay Schuyler and Brhet Bewhley will anchor an offense that might have to rely a bit more on small ball as San Diego lost plenty of production from 2017. In the end, there should be enough pitching for Coach Hill and his staff to be able grind their way through the schedule and win the West Coast Conference and return to the NCAA Tournament.
Projected Postseason: NCAA Baseball Tournament