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San Francisco Tops Pepperdine 7-6; Leads WCC Championship Series 1-0

May 26, 2006

San Francisco, CA - In its first ever West Coast Conference Championship Series game, USF came out on top, beating Pepperdine 7-6. The Dons (38-19) lead the series 1-0 over the Waves (39-19) and have now won their 10th straight game.

In a game of furious rallies and outstanding plays from both teams, USF's sophomore first baseman Mitchell Bialosky scored the winning run in the bottom of the eighth, breaking open a 6-6 dead lock, diving into first base beating out a bloop infield single. He advanced to second on sophomore shortstop Tavo Hall's ground out and scored after sophomore second baseman Joey Railey singled up the middle. Pepperdine's sophomore center fielder, Adrian Ortiz, tried to throw out the barreling Bialosky at home, but his throw came up short, bouncing in front of junior catcher Chad Tracy.

After only throwing 1.1 innings of relief, senior right-hander Patrick McGuigan (12-2) made huge strides in the USF record books. The WCC Co-Pitcher of the Year earned the win and now owns the single-season record for victories and is tied with Dana Hendershott (1968-71) with 22 career victories. McGuigan didn't allow a run and only gave up one hit after coming in for USF's starter, junior left-hander Scott Cousins.

Despite a rough start to his first ever post season appearance, Cousins settled down and faced only two over the minimum over the next four innings. The WCC Player of the Year allowed six earned runs off 10 hits and a walk with four strikeouts.

After a scoreless first, Pepperdine plated four in the second. With two outs, Cousins hit junior left fielder Luke Salas. Junior designated hitter Justin Tellam singled and Ortiz walked to load the bases. Sophomore short stop Danny Worth doubled to center, scoring all three runs. Tracy then doubled home Worth to cap the scoring.

USF took one back in the bottom of the inning on Hall's RBI single to right. The at-bat for Hall was his first in over 10 weeks after being out due to injury. But the Dons big blow came in the bottom of the sixth when they scored four runs to take the lead. Cousins beat out an infield single and advanced to second on senior right fielder Stefan Gartrell's single up the middle. Sophomore left fielder Luke Sommer then smashed a homerun over the right field fence to clear the bases. An out later, Bialosky singled and scored on junior center fielder Lucas DeLong's double to left.

Pepperdine retook the lead the very next inning on Tracy's homer to left, but it was short-lived. In the bottom of the frame with the bases loaded, Sommer hit a sacrifice fly to score Railey. Sommer's fourth RBI tied his game high for the third time this season, last reached in USF's 15-1 win over then No. 29 Hawai'i. The Canby, OR native has eight RBI in his last two games.

Railey, Bialosky, and DeLong each had two hits on the day, with Cousins, Gartrell, Sommer, and Hall adding one a piece.

Freshman right-hander Brett Hunter (5-2) took the loss for the Waves, throwing 2.0 innings of relief of Co-Pitcher of the Year, sophomore right-hander Barry Enright. Enright threw 6.0 innings, allowing five runs off eight hits and struck out four.

Worth and Tracy each smacked three hits for the Waves and freshman third baseman Chase d'Arnoud had two.

USF and Pepperdine continue the WCC Championship Series on Saturday at Benedetti Diamond. First pitch is set for 12:00 P.M.