USD (28-25) travels to UC Irvine on Tuesday for a game against the Anteaters that will wrap up not only the regular season but the 2009 season itself. It is an early ending for a program that has become accustomed to postseason appearances.
The Toreros were torpedoed by injuries to their top two pitchers — Sammy Solis and Kyle Blair — and four position players — center fielder Kevin Muno, third baseman Victor Solis, first baseman Jose Valerio and infielder Steven Chatwood — which explains, at least in part, how the team staggered down the stretch.
USD opened West Coast Conference play by winning its first six games. The Toreros went 5-10 the rest of the way, however, and won't be around to defend their back-to-back WCC championships. Gonzaga and Loyola Marymount will meet in two weeks to determine the conference's automatic entrant in the NCAA Tournament.
This is the first time in 10 seasons that USD has failed to reach the 30-win plateau and the first time in four years the Toreros will miss the postseason.