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Baseball Continues Non-Conference Play With San Jose State

Jan. 31, 2007

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This Week In Gaels Baseball: The Saint Mary's baseball team will continue its non-conference slate with a three-game series against San Jose State. The Gaels will host the Spartans on Friday, February 2 at 2 p.m. and then hit the road and play at Municipal Stadium on Saturday, February 3 at 1 p.m. SMC will return home on Sunday, February 4 for a 1 p.m. matinee from Louis Guisto Field.

Who's Hot: Saint Mary's freshman Anthony Aliotti leads the team with a .583 batting average. Aliotti opened up his collegiate career with a 3-for-4 effort against Nevada on Friday and followed that up with a 2-for-3 performance at the plate on Saturday. Aliotti is 7-for-12 on the young season with two runs scored and two RBIs. On the hill, the newcomer sports a perfect 0.00 ERA in 1.2 innings of relief.

Last Time Out: The Gaels suffered a 13-11 loss to Patten University on Tuesday in seven innings. In the contest, the freshman duo of Kyle Jensen and Randy Wells combined to knock in six RBIs. Jensen batted 3-for-4 to move his average to .455 on the season while Wells batted 1-for-4 with two runs.

Race Track: Senior outfielder Eric Cattoni has been off to the races early in 2007. The Lethbridge, Alberta native has swiped five bags in five attempts thus far. Cattoni stole three bases on Saturday versus Nevada and added two more against Patten on Tuesday. On the season, Cattoni is batting .308 with six runs scored and two RBIs.

A Different Look: In the first four games of the season, nine newcomers have found time around the diamond while 11 new hurlers toed the rubber. Six Gaels tallied their first collegiate hit this past series while all 11 pitchers made their first Division I appearance.

Scouting San Jose State: The Spartans finished the 2006 campaign with a 33-26 overall record. SJSU bowed out in the WAC Tournament to Fresno State by the score of 3-2. The Spartans took down Co-WCC Champions San Francisco in both games last season by the scores of 6-5 and 7-0. SJSU sports 15 seniors on its roster.

The Spartans return three of their four top offensive threats in Ryan Angel, Greg Fyfe and Donato Giovanatto. Angel led the team with a .318 average, five home runs and 36 RBIs in 2006. Fyfe batted .311 with one home run and 18 RBIs while Giovanatto chipped in a .286 average in 35 games played. Josh Amberson recorded a 6-4 mark on the hill with a 4.22 ERA while Loren Moneypenny returns after a 4-6 mark and 80 Ks in 98.2 innings pitched.

Versus The Spartans: The two programs have met 104 times since 1971 with the Spartans holding a 73-31 advantage. Saint Mary's is 15-27 at home against SJSU and 16-46 in San Jose. The two teams last met in February of last season with the Gaels taking a 5-2 victory from Louis Guisto Field.

Home Sweet Home: The Gaels will play a school-record 33 home games in 2007. SMC boasted a 17-12 mark at home in 2006. Under head coach Jedd Soto, the Gaels are 28-19 at Louis Guisto Field in the last two seasons. Saint Mary's will play 12 WCC games at home, including a three-game set against rival Santa Clara on May 4-6.

Soto Signs Multi-Year Extension: Head coach Jedd Soto signed a multi-year extension to stay with Saint Mary's. SMC is where Soto started his Division I head coaching career. Over the past three seasons, Soto has posted a 60-96 overall record.

WCC Preseason Poll: The Saint Mary's baseball team was tabbed for a seventh place finish as selected by the West Coast Conference coaches. Pepperdine was chosen as the favorite to capture its fourth straight WCC baseball title in the 2007 preseason poll. The Waves, who have been ranked as high as No. 19 in the preseason polls, received six first place votes and a total of 47 points to edge out San Diego and 2006 WCC regular season co-champion San Francisco for first place in the listing.

Head Coach Jedd Soto: Soto enters his fourth year as head coach at Saint Mary's College. In just his third season at the helm, Soto turned the program around and made it one of the top contenders in the West Coast Conference. Soto led Saint Mary's to its finest season in 15 years, compiling its first winning season since 1991.

Since his inaugural season, Soto has added 12 wins, compiling an improvement of six victories a year. With that feat, Soto became only the second coach in Saint Mary's modern history to record back-to-back improvements in the win column.

Soto has had 11 players earn West Coast Conference accolades including three first-team selections in 2005 and six overall selections in 2006, the most at SMC since the 1994 season. In addition to the conference awards, Soto had six players selected in the amateur draft the last two seasons and eight players selected in previous drafts.

Soto was hired on July 1, 2003 as a unanimous choice of the players, coaches, administrators and the search committee. At 29 years of age, Soto was the youngest head coach hired in Division I baseball.

Saint Mary's Ink Seven For '08: Saint Mary's secured commitments from six players from Northern California and one from San Diego, CA. Under the direction of Soto and his assistants, the SMC coaching staff assembled the class with six pitchers (5 RHP, 1 LHP) and one infielder with many of the arms able to make a contribution at the plate as well.

Saint Mary's six Northern California players include Daniel Alcaire SS/RHP (Salesian High School), Justin Kuks RHP (West High School), Taylor Reid RHP (De La Salle High School), Alex Schmarzo RHP (Palo Alto High School), David Small LHP (Benicia High School) and Kyle Tachibana RHP/INF (Los Altos High School). The lone Southern California signee is Dorsey Ek RHP/INF from Francis Parker High School in San Diego, CA.

Next Week: The Gaels will hit the road for their first prolonged road trip of the season. Saint Mary's will head to Baton Rouge, LA to face off against LSU for a three-game set. First pitch is scheduled for Friday, February 9 at 7 p.m. ET from Alex Box Stadium.