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Baseball To Play Full Week With Four Games

Feb. 12, 2007

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This Week In Gaels Baseball: The Saint Mary's baseball team (3-7) will continue its non-conference slate with four games this week. The Gaels will remain on the road when they make the short trek to Davis, CA to face the UC Davis Aggies (0-4) at 2 p.m. SMC will then return home and face Utah Valley State (0-2) for a three-game weekend set. First-pitch of the series is set for Friday, February 17 at 1 p.m. from Louis Guisto Field.

Who's Hot: Saint Mary's freshman Kyle Jensen continues to impress in his first season at the collegiate ranks. Against SEC power LSU, the newcomer batted .455 (5-for-11) with a triple, run and RBI. Jensen recorded four hits in the first two games, including a triple. On the season, the Stockton, CA native leads the team with a .412 batting average, 14 hits and a .500 slugging percentage.

Last Time Out: The Gaels played the Tigers tough but got swept in Baton Rouge despite out-hitting LSU 23-18 on the series. The Gaels rallied back in two of the three games to fall 4-3 in the opener and 7-6 on Saturday. In the series finale the Gaels fell 6-2.

Streaking: Saint Mary's freshman outfielder Kyle Jensen has recorded a hit in every game he has played. Jensen sports a nine game hitting streak which includes four multi-hit games. Over the weekend Jensen led the Gaels with a .455 batting average with two hits on Friday and two more on Saturday.

Bullpen Notes: The bullpen continues to headline the Saint Mary's pitching staff as the relief corps was lights out against LSU. The Gaels no-hit the Tigers out of the pen for the entire series as five pitchers combined for 9.1 innings of zeros across the hit and run columns.

Closing the Door: Saint Mary's freshman closer Taylor Stanton has been a legitimate option for head coach Jedd Soto out of the bullpen. Stanton has tossed 6.2 innings and has yet to allow a hit while recording a win, two saves and five strikeouts in four appearances.

Scouting UC Davis: The Aggies sport a 0-4 mark after being swept by No. 23 Pepperdine in a weekend series in Malibu. Davis fell to another WCC foe in Santa Clara to open the season. The Tuesday matinee against the Gaels will mark the first home game on the season for the Aggies. UC Davis finished the 2006 campaign with a 18-34 overall record and a 12-16 mark at home. The team batted .274 and posted a 5.82 ERA last season.

The Aggies are batting .260 and post a 6.96 ERA thus far in 2007. UC Davis is led offensively by Jacob Jeffries and Evan Hudson. Jeffries is batting .455 (5-for-11) while Hudson follows with a .444 (5-for-16) clip. Justin Schafer and Aaron Hanke are also above the .300 mark with a .400 and .313 average, respectively. On the mound, Bryan Evans sports a 4.76 ERA in one start while Brad McAtee has fanned seven in five innings.

Versus The Aggies: Tuesday's meeting will mark the first of two this season for the two programs. The two teams have met 51 times with the Gaels holding a 29-21-1 advantage since 1971. SMC holds a slight 18-15 advantage in games played in Davis. The last result was in 2005 where the Gaels fell in Davis 9-5.

Scouting Utah Valley State: The Wolverines head into Moraga with a 0-2 record after dropping their first two games of 2007 to the University of Arizona. Last season, UVS recorded a 19-37 overall record and an 8-24 mark on the road. The 2006 Wolverines boasted a .310 batting average but posted a 6.83 ERA. This season UVS is batting .188 and has a 9.00 ERA

The Wolverines return three of their top six hitters for the 2007. Dan Bulow, who batted .337 last season, has a .286 mark in two games this season. Adam Openshaw batted .326 in 52 games last season, sports a .286 mark in 2007. Eli Slesk leads the team this year with a .375 average - Slesk batted .311 last year. On the hill, Marcus Moore returns with his team-leading 4.59 ERA in 22 appearances. In one game this year, Moore sports a 2.25 ERA in four innings of work.

Versus The Wolverines: The two programs have never met as the Wolverines first entered Division I play in 2004.

Race Track: Senior outfielder Eric Cattoni has been off to the races early in 2007. The Lethbridge, Alberta native has swiped nine bags in 10 attempts thus far. Cattoni stole three bases in a Saturday contest versus Nevada and added two more against LSU on Saturday. On the season, Cattoni is batting .314 with 14 runs scored and three double.

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 begin a five-game road-trip next week, beginning in Reno against Nevada. The Gaels will play the Wolf Pack on Tuesday, February 20 at 2 p.m. SMC will then partake in the River City Classic where it will face defending national champions #10 Oregon State.