Friday, February 8, 2008

Matusz and Romanski earn preseason All-American recognition

USD juniors Brian Matusz and Josh Romanski were recognized as preseason All-Americans today on the teams released by Baseball America.

Matusz, a left-hander from Cave Creek, Ariz., was one of five pitchers who were first-team selections.

Romanski, a left-hander from Corona who starts in center field when he isn't pitching, was a second-team pick in the utility spot.

Joining Romanski on the second team was Wake Forest junior first baseman Allan Dykstra, a Rancho Bernardo High graduate.

The Baseball America teams are compiled after considering input from major league scouting directors. The story said Matusz could be considered for the first overall pick in the 2008 draft, which is owned by the Tampa Bay Rays. San Diego County has produced the draft's first pick on two occasions — Eastlake's Adrian Gonzalez in 2000 and Mission Bay's Matt Bush in 2004.

"I like him better than any of the pitchers in the draft," one scouting director said in the Baseball America story. "He's a big left-hander with power and pitches. He was good in high school and he's gotten better in college."

Matusz has good command of a fastball that reaches into the mid-90s, has a good curveball and a changeup that Baseball America calls "the best in this year's draft." Matusz went 10-3 for USD last season with a 2.85 ERA and a school-record 163 strikeouts. A similar effort this season would give him the school's career strikeout mark.

Romanski was the Toreros' most valuable all-around player a year ago, going 9-1 with a 3.05 ERA on the mound while batting .335 with three homers and 30 RBI.

Matusz and Romanski played together over the summer for the U.S. National team.

Other pitchers on Baseball America's first-team squad were Misouri right-hander Aaron Crow, Pepperdine right-hander Brett Hunter and Arizona right-hander Ryan Perry. All three will accompany their teams to San Diego this season.

Matusz and Romanski also were named preseason All-Americans by and Collegiate Baseball, as was sophomore right-hander A.J. Griffin. All three were first-team selections by Collegiate Baseball. made Matusz a first-team pick and placed Romanski and Griffin, who was 6-2 with a 2.70 ERA and 11 saves as a freshman last year, on the second team.

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