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|"we are up to trying to experience the minor league-like atmosphere of being on the road.."|
2002 Team Set
|TONY PEREZ HITS FOR THE GAME WINNING RBI AND SHUTS DOWN PEPPERDINE WITH THREE SCORELESS INNINGS TO WIN THE WCC CHAMPIONSHIP AND USD'S FIRST EVER REGIONAL BID.|
Tony Perez greeted sophomore right hander Jacob Barrack with a sacrifice fly to center that scored Assael with what proved to be the game-winning run. The Toreros added an insurance run on a single to left field by Joe Lima. Perez (3-4) also earned the win as he allowed one hit and held Pepperdine scoreless over the final three innings.
TONY PEREZ NAMED HONORABLE MENTION SELECTION FOR THE WEST COAST CONFERENCE
San Diego's win over Northridge completed a perfect weekend that saw USD beat Deleware 6-2 and then-#22 Oklahoma State 13-9 in the Collegiate Classic held in Shreveport. Northridge fell one game shy of the Shreveport College Classic title Sunday, dropping a 5-2 decision to the University of San Diego at Fairgrounds Field, Louisiana. Junior LHP Tony Perez (1-1, 4 saves, 1.58 ERA) pitched six innings allowing just five hits and no earned runs in his first start of the season in the Toreros 5-2 win over Cal State Northridge on Sunday. Senior Andy Davidson held the Toreros to three runs through seven innings before being knocked out in the eighth. The left-hander would finish with six strikeouts and one walk through seven innings. Tommy Caple struckout two in an inning of work on Saturday and pitched three innings in relief of starter Tony Perez on Sunday to notch his third save of the young season.
Playing with the Big Boys
By Kevin Acee
Flashing the smile he seems to always flash, the one that says he is having fun and believes he is about to have it at an opponent's expense, Tony Perez recalled his childhood, back when he really was a little boy. "In Little League I was always the smallest guy out there," he said. "I thought I'd catch up. I didn't." This is interesting, because it was always just assumed that Perez had never considered the fact he isn't 6-foot-4 and 230 pounds. Said one opposing assistant coach after watching the 5-foot-9, 170-pound Perez swagger for a weekend: "Tony Perez thinks he's going to be in the Hall of Fame."
Barely recruited out of high school, unnoticed by scouts who have always come to watch his larger teammates, signed to a partial scholarship at the last minute, he might be the most valuable player on the best baseball team in USD history. It can be argued of Perez that he is both the Toreros' biggest and smallest contributor. What is certain is that Perez, a junior, is the embodiment of what coach Rich Hill wants in a player and one of the main reasons USD will make its first appearance in an NCAA Regional tomorrow night.
Perez worked in the offseason to increase his leg strength, one of the results being an additional two to three ticks on his fastball, up into the high 80s. He was to be used more as a pitcher this season, but the combination of his swinging a hot bat and others not doing so resulted in his starting all but 10 of the team's games at one of the outfield positions. He also pitched in 16 games and was the starting pitcher in five.
As a pitcher, he saved a team-high six games, did not blow one such opportunity and neither was charged with any runs nor allowed an inherited runner to score in 112/3 innings in save situations.
He picked up his third victory of the season Sunday in the deciding game of the WCC Championship Series, pitching three innings of one-hit ball as USD came back to beat Pepperdine 5-3. The deciding run scored on a sacrifice fly – hit by Perez in the eighth.
Most extraordinary is that he did it all with a teeny-tiny body that prompted one young woman in the stands to exclaim, in all sincerity, when she saw him walk to the plate for the first time earlier this season: "Oooh, look at that little boy."
Perez laughs at the talk about his stature. He has been hearing it for years and still does – from opposing teams and fans. He recalls that his father and brother "drilled that in my head, that size doesn't matter."
"I have that little-boy mentality – just come out and play," he said. "To me, I'm just doing what I have to do. I love to play and I want to play."
2001 WBIT MVP
2003 U. San Diego Toreros
2003 Hudson Valley Renegades
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