May 28, 2006
(San Francisco, CA) - In the final game of the West Coast Conference Championship, USF fell 9-4 to Pepperdine at Benedetti Diamond on Sunday afternoon. The Dons (38-21) took the regular season series with the Waves (40-19) 2-1 and won the first game of the Championship Series, but couldn't come back in game three.
USF now awaits the announcement of the NCAA Regional field, which will be announced Monday, May 29 at 9:30 AM PT on ESPN. The Dons finished the 2006 campaign with 38 wins, tying the program record for most victories in a single season, set by the 2005 team. San Francisco looks for it's first ever regional berth.
Trailing 7-0 in the fourth, USF mounted its first try at a comeback. Junior left-fielder Scott Cousins singled to right and went to third an out later on sophomore designated hitter Luke Sommer's double to left. Cousins scored on junior catcher Jon Norfolk's RBI groundout and sophomore first baseman Mitchell Bialosky drove home Sommer with a single up the middle.
USF's starter, senior right-hander Patrick McGuigan kept the momentum in the top of the fifth, not allowing a run and getting his hitters back to the plate, but the Dons could only muster one run in the bottom of the frame when Cousins singled to right, scoring Hall. USF tried one more rally in the bottom of the ninth, but could only plate one.
McGuigan (12-3) had rough second and third innings, but continued to battle over the next 2.3 innings to try and give his batters a chance. The WCC Co-Pitcher of the Year earned the loss, throwing 5.2 innings, allowing eight runs off 14 hits and struck out three batters. The three strikeouts give McGuigan 173 for his career.
The WCC Player of the Year, Cousins had three hits on the day, all singles and drove in a run and played well defensively in left. Hall also had three hits, all singles, scored twice and had a stolen base. Sommer had two hits, including a double and scored a run. Junior center fielder Lucas DeLong doubled and Bialosky and senior third baseman Andrew Smith singled. Senior right fielder Stefan Gartrell singled in his last at bat at Benedetti Diamond, concluding a fantastic career in the Green and Gold.
Pepperdine's sophomore right-hander Jason Dominguez (6-1) earned the win in relief, throwing 2.2 innings of scoreless ball, allowing only three hits, a walk and struck out two Dons. Freshman second baseman Denny Duron had four hits on the day and drove in a run, and sophomore designated hitter Matt Aidem had three hits, including a double.
NOTES: The last time USF lost a conference series at home was against Pepperdine April 1-3, 2005.