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Baseball Heads To Baton Rouge To Face LSU

Feb. 6, 2007

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This Week In Gaels Baseball: The Saint Mary's baseball team (3-4) will continue its non-conference slate with a three-game series on the road in Baton Rouge, LA. The Gaels will face the LSU Tigers (0-0) in opening day for the Bayou Bengals at Alex Box Stadium. First pitch of the three-game set is scheduled for Friday, February 9 at 7 p.m. The Gaels and Tigers will then square off on Saturday, February 10 and Sunday February 11 at noon. All game times are based on Eastern Standard Time.

Who's Hot: Saint Mary's freshman Randy Wells put together a solid week against San Jose State in a three-game series. The newcomer batted .636 (7-for-11) with six runs and three RBIs. Wells collected six hits in the first two games of the series as he batted 3-for-5 and 3-for-4 in the Friday and Saturday games. On the season, Wells is batting .393 with eight runs and a team-leading nine RBIs.

Last Time Out: The Gaels won their first series on the season by taking two games from San Jose State. The Gaels defeated the Spartans on Friday by the score of 7-6 and then took down SJSU on Sunday in the rubber match 7-5. Freshman Anthony Aliotti earned his first victory on the season in his first collegiate start in the 7-5 win.

Runs A Plenty: In the three games against the Spartans the Gaels averaged 6.3 runs per contest scoring seven in both victories and five in the loss. On the season SMC plates 5.86 runs a game and nearly tallies double-digits in hits with 9.86 per contest.

Bullpen Notes: The Gaels bullpen was lights out against SJSU on the weekend, posting a 1.86 ERA in 9.3 innings pitched...the freshman duo of Scott Schneider and Taylor Stanton continue to provide a 1-2 punch in late innings. The two have have yet to allow an earned run and are a combined 2-0 with two saves in 8.1 innings pitched...on the season the bullpen sports a 5.40 ERA in 26.2 innings pitched and has struck out 17 while walking 10.

Scouting LSU: The Tigers will open their 2007 campaign this weekend against the Gaels. LSU is coming off a 35-24 overall record and a 13-17 SEC mark. The Tigers bowed out in the SEC Tournament to top-seeded Alabama. The Tigers were 25-12 at home last season. LSU welcomes first-year head coach Paul Mainieri from Notre Dame. Mainieri replaces Smoke Laval and his 451 career victories.

The Tigers return its leading bat in designated hitter Steven Waguespack. As a junior, Waguespack batted .321 with three home runs and 20 RBIs. LSU also returns first baseman Jordan Mayer and his .301 batting average with six home runs and 30 RBIs. The Tigers return some punch in second baseman J.T. Wise and his 11 home runs as a true freshman. Wise added a .299 batting average and 40 RBIs. On the hill the Tigers welcome St. Joseph's defector Charlie Furbush. The 6-4 lefthander will start on Friday and brings over a resume that includes a 10-1 record and a 2.89 ERA with 115 Ks in 2006.

Versus The Tigers: The three-game set will mark the first time the two programs have met in the modern era. Friday's matchup will mark the first time the Gaels have faced an SEC opponent in the modern era (1971).

Race Track: Senior outfielder Eric Cattoni has been off to the races early in 2007. The Lethbridge, Alberta native has swiped seven bags in seven attempts thus far. Cattoni stole three bases in a Saturday contest versus Nevada and added two more against Patten last Tuesday. On the season, Cattoni is batting .320 with eight runs scored and three RBIs.

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 continue on the road for one more game as they will play UC Davis on Tuesday, February 13 at 2:30 p.m. from Dobbins Field. SMC will then return home for a three-game set against Utah Valley State, starting on Friday, February 16 at 2 p.m. from Louis Guisto Field.