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USF Baseball Travels To Cal and UC Riverside This Week

Feb. 12, 2007

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USF TRAVELS TO CAL ON TUESDAY, HOSTS AN EXHIBITION WITH RIKKYO UNIVERSITY, THEN TRAVELS TO UC RIVERSIDE FOR A WEEKEND SERIES: The Dons play a mid-week game at Cal on Tuesday starting at 1:30 PM before hosting Rikkyo University from Tokyo at Skyline Community College on Thursday with first pitch wet for 2:00 PM. With Benedetti Diamond still under construction, USF transfered its UC Riverside series to Riverside. Friday is set for a 2:00 PM start with Saturday's and Sunday's first pitch set for 1:00 PM.

WHO'S HOT FOR THE DONS: Junior third baseman Brian Chavez had a career day as a Don on Sunday, smashing four hits, including two doubles and batting in three. In two games last week, junior right fielder Luke Sommer had four hits including a double and his first homerun of the year and also had two RBI. Senior catcher Jon Norfolk, who just began swith hitting this year, continues to lead the Dons in batting average at .462 after getting two more hits last week. Junior second baseman Joey Railey tripled in Sunday's game vs. Sacramento State. Last week, senior utilityman Daniel Morales connected for a double and an RBI and also made two mound appearances, not giving up a hit or a run in 1.2 innings pitched. Junior first baseman Mitchell Bialosky stroked his second homerun of the season on Sunday vs. Sacramento State, and on Tuesday vs. San Jose State started his first ever game on the mound as a Don, going five innings, surrendering only two runs off three hits but earning the loss. Senior RHP Jason Dufloth earned his second win of the season on Sunday vs. Sacramento State, throwing six innings. Freshman RHP Alex Kalogrides made his Dons debut on Tuesday, throwing 1.0 scoreless inning of relief, only giving up one hit.

SCOUTING REPORT - WEEK 3

GAME #6 - CALIFORNIA BEARS

SCOUTING CAL: The 2007 California baseball team is looking to prove it has what it takes to be an NCAA Regional contender. On paper, the Golden Bears appear to be in a challenging spot, returning only one regular Pacific-10 starter on the mound and three regular starters in the field. A perfect example of Cal's talented youth is 6-5 sophomore right-hander Tyson Ross, who is on the watch list for the Wallace Award as the nation's top collegiate baseball player. As a true freshman for the Bears, Ross was selected honorable mention All-Pac-10 after finishing 6-4 with a 3.19 ERA (seventh in the Pac-10). He also had 85 strikeouts (10th in the Pac-10) in 84.7 innings. Another super sophomore for the Bears will be David Cooper, a transfer from Cal State Fullerton who was a member of the 2006 College World Series All-Tournament team. Cal coach David Esquer is entering his eighth season directing the Bears.

LAST MEETINGS: USF 4, CAL 3 (2/7/06); USF 7, CAL 6 (4/25/06, Dante Benedetti Classic - AT&T Park); USF 9, CAL 5 (5/9/06)

LAST TIME AGAINST THE DONS: (2/7) San Francisco fought back from an early 2-0 deficit with a three-run fourth fueled a mammoth two-run homer from junior catcher Daniel Morales. Senior outfielder Stefan Gartrell hit a squibber to the right side of the infield to score Joey Railey to give the Dons a 4-3 lead. Sophomore right-hander Brian Anderson (1-0) collected the relief win, tossing two scoreless innings and did not allow a hit while picking up a strikeout. (4/25) In the first annual Dante Benedetti Classic, USF came from behind to defeat Cal 7-6 at AT&T Park, home of the San Francisco Giants. Four homeruns were hit - two by each team. Daniel Morales smoked a three-run bomb over the left field wall and Scott Cousins bashed a solo-shot to right. In the bottom of the ninth, tied at six USF scored the winning run after George Lujan doubled, then crossed homeplate after Joey Railey's double. Cole Stipovich earned the win facing only one batter in 0.1 innings of work. (5/9) USF swept the season series over Cal with a 9-5 non-conference win at Evans Field. Sophomore left-hander Luke Sommer started for the Dons and retired the first 12 batters he faced in only his second appearance on the mound. Sophomore right-hander Brian Anderson (6-0) earned the win in relief, throwing 3.1 innings allowing three runs (none earned) on three hits, with one walk and a strikeout. USF had 14 hits on the day.

GAME #7-9 - UC RIVERSIDE HIGHLANDERS

SCOUTING UC RIVERSIDE: With 16 players returning from lastyear's squad, Head coach Doug Smith has one of the deepest teams in his three seasons as UCR's head coach and Baseball America has UCR ranked 26th in its preseason poll. Highlighting UCR's returners is arguably the strongest pitching staff in the Big West. At the top of the rotation is junior right-hander James Simmons. Simmons was the Friday starter last year, going 9-5 with a 2.96 earned run average to gain a spot on the conference's second team. Simmons struck out 94 batters in 109.1 innings,both tops on the team. The Highlanders are solid up the middle with the dynamic double-play duo of junior shortstop Jaime Pedroza and junior second baseman Drew Garcia. Pedroza really came around at the plate in 2006, hitting .352 (second on the team) with 11 doubles, 31 RBI and a .497 slugging percentage.The switch-hitter gives the Highlanders power from either side and a much-needed lefty presence in the lineup.

LAST MEETINGS: UCR 8, USF 0 (2/3/06); UCR 7, USF 0 (2/4/06); UCR 9, USF 7 (2/5/06)

LAST TIME AGAINST THE DONS: (2/3) USF baseball dropped its season debut 8-0 against UC Riverside Friday afternoon at the UC Riverside Sports Complex in a game shifted south due to unplayable conditions in San Francisco. The Dons collected just five hits - all singles as the Highlanders erupted for 13. Junior outfielder Scott Cousins led USF at the plate with a pair of hits. Senior right-hander Patrick McGuigan suffered the loss, allowing four runs (three earned) off nine hits in 6.0 innings in his second career start. (2/4) USF suffered its second straight shutout to open the season, dropping a 7-0 decision to UC Riverside Saturday afternoon at the UC Riverside Sports Complex. The Dons scratched out six singles, but the Highlanders tallied 12 hits, including five for extra bases. (2/5) USF baseball scored four runs in the ninth, but could not come all the way back against UC Riverside, dropping a 9-7 decision in the series finale Sunday. Sophomore infielder Joey Railey enjoyed the best day of his young career at the plate, finishing 3-for-5 with a pair of RBI, while junior outfielder Scott Cousins turned in a 2-for-4 day with a two-run double.

LAST WEEK: USF baseball struggled offensively and dropped a 6-1 non-conference decision to Bay Area rival San Jose State Tuesday afternoon in non-conference action at College of San Mateo Stadium. Junior outfielder Luke Sommer clubbed his first home run of the season for the Dons to lead off the seventh, finishing 2-for-4 with a stolen base. Junior right-hander Mitchell Bialosky (0-1) turned in a strong performance in his first career start for the Dons, tossing 5.0 innings, allowing two runs off three hits and struck out seven. After giving up a two-run double in the second, Bialosky retired eight straight Spartans before giving up a one-out single in the fifth. Freshman right-hander Alex Kalogrides made his Dons pitching debut in the seventh inning, allowing one hit in a scoreless frame.

San Francisco defeated Sacramento State 8-4 in non-conference baseball action at the College of San Mateo on Sunday afternoon. With one out in the third, junior second baseman Joey Railey tripled down the right field line and was batted in off junior right fielder Luke Sommer's single up the middle. Senior designated hitter Daniel Morales reached on a fielder's choice and advanced to second on senior catcher Jon Norfolk's single. Both Morales and Norfolk scored on junior third baseman Brian Chavez's double to right center. Then, junior first baseman Mitchell Bialosky slammed his second homerun of the season, a two RBI shot to right to cap the scoring. Chavez had four hits on the afternoon, including two doubles and three RBI; all game and career highs for the third baseman as a Don. Senior right-hander Jason Dufloth (2-0) earned the victory with six solid innings, allowing four runs off nine hits and striking out three.

RIKKYO UNIVERSITY EXHIBITION GAME: Thursday, February 15, USF will host Rikkyo University out of Tokyo for an exhibition game being held at Skyline Community College. Rikkyo's Baseball Team, a member of the Big Six League of Tokyo, has won the championship several times. By their outstanding performances, the Baseball Team and the American Football Team have also drawn nationwide attention to the University.