May 16, 2006
(San Francisco, CA) - USF smacked a season-high 21 hits and scored a season-high 15 runs in route to a 15-1 drubbing of Hawai'i in the regular season finale at Benedetti Diamond on Tuesday afternoon. The Dons (37-19) win their ninth straight, and 12th of their last 13, and hand the Rainbows (37-13) their worst loss since 1998.
The win ends the Dons regular season on a high note before they take on Pepperdine in the West Coast Conference Championships on May 26-28. Friday's and Sunday's (if necessary) games will begin at 1:00 PM and Saturday's first pitch is set for Noon.
USF started early, scoring one run each in the first three innings before breaking out in the fourth with five runs. Junior center fielder Lucas DeLong singled to start the inning. Two outs later, senior shortstop Andrew Smith walked and junior left fielder Scott Cousins was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Senior right fielder Stefan Gartrell smoked a triple to center field, clearing the bases. The very next batter, sophomore outfielder Luke Sommer, followed suit and tripled to the same spot, scoring Gartrell. Sommer then scored on junior catcher Daniel Morales' double to center.
Two more runs would cross the plate in the sixth before another big five run inning in the seventh. Three consecutive doubles started the inning. DeLong doubled to left and scored on sophomore infielder Alex Massari's double to right. Massari's RBI double was his first career hit in a Dons uniform. Sophomore third baseman Joey Railey then doubled home Massari. Two outs later, and with the bases loaded, Morales hit his second double of the night, a two-RBI shot to left. USF batted around in the inning, with the final run coming off DeLong's single to left.
With the big offensive day, three Dons move up in the single-season record books. Cousins is now tied for eighth with Pat Walsh (1998) with 21 steals and tied for 11th with Dustin Delucchi (2000) with 75 hits. Railey moved into a 10th place tie in single-season hits with Danny Trumble, who had 76 in 2000. Gartrell owns fifth place in single-season RBI with 62 and is only two behind Dave Sheldon, who had 64 in 1985.
Morales was 4-for-5 on the day with two doubles and three RBI. Cousins was 3-for-3 with a double and four runs scored. DeLong went 3-for-4 with a double and an RBI. Gartrell had two hits, one a triple, and four RBI. Sommer also had two hits, one of which was his team leading fourth triple and added four RBI.
Junior right-hander Jason Dufloth (2-1) earned the win for USF, throwing six magnificent innings in only his second start this season. He only gave up one run on three hits and struck out five Hawai'i batters.
Junior left-hander Mark Rodrigues (3-2) suffered the loss for Hawai'i, allowing three runs on six hits in only 2.0 innings of work. Six more pitchers would work for the Rainbows on the day, combining for the 15-run loss. Two of the `Bows four hits came off the bat of senior first baseman Luis Avila, who doubled and tripled.
USF has the weekend off before returning to action in the WCC Championships against Pepperdine at Benedetti Diamond on Friday May 26. First pitch is set for 1:00 PM.
- The 15 runs scored are the most since USF defeated Gonzaga 16-9 (4/10/04)
- The 21 hits are the most since USF had 29 in defeating LMU 25-21 (3/4/02)
- In Tuesday's game, the Dons raised their team batting average from .288 to .292 and lowered their team ERA from 3.54 to 3.49.
- In the last nine games, USF is 9-0 and have out scored their opponents 74-32.
- In USF's last three game, they have out scored their opponents 30-3