Feb. 19, 2007
Baseball Game Day: The Saint Mary's baseball team (6-8) will continue its non-conference slate with a Tuesday matinee at Nevada (4-8). First pitch is scheduled for 2 p.m. from Peccole Park. The game will mark the fourth meeting between to two teams as the Gaels opened the season against the Wolf Pack in a three-game set in Moraga.
Who's Hot: Saint Mary's junior catcher Ian Gordon has been locked on as of late adding some punch to the Gaels lineup. The backstop batted .357 (5-for-14) with a team-leading five RBI and three doubles last week. Gordon slugged .571 and recorded eight total bases. In the series finale against Utah Valley State, Gordon smacked two doubles in four at-bats with a RBI.
Last Time Out: The Gaels swept the Wolverines to earn their second series victory on the season. SMC opened the three-game set with a 16-1 victory behind the arm of Sean Gleason. The Gaels then smacked the Wolverines around for a 13-3 win and secured the sweep with a 3-2 victory on Sunday. The Gaels erupted for 32 runs in the three games over the weekend.
Freshman Sensations: Three freshmen lead the Gaels in hitting and show no signs of slowing down. Randy Wells leads the squad with a .414 batting average and a team-high 24 hits. Wells also paces the Gaels with 15 RBIs and two triples. Anthony Aliotti follows with a .400 mark and has added 12 RBIs. Kyle Jensen closely follows with a .388 mark.
Bullpen Notes: The bullpen continues to headline the Saint Mary's pitching staff with an impressive two weeks. After sporting a perfect 0.00 ERA after a road series against LSU, the Gaels came right back against UC Davis and Utah Valley State to showcase a 0.68 ERA. Junior Alex Jensen allowed no runs in 7.1 innings of relief with a win and six strikeouts over the course of the week.
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 from the bullpen.
Scouting Nevada: The Wolf Pack will open their home slate against the Gaels on Tuesday. UNR sports a 4-8 record with all 12 games coming on the road. The Wolf Pack are batting .283 while opponents sport a .305 ledger. UNR holds a 5.47 ERA on the hill while opponents sit at a 4.58 mark.
The Wolf Pack are led by Konrad Schmidt and Shaun Kort. Schmidt is off to a fast start with a .410 batting average, six home runs and 20 RBIs. Kort sports a .400 average with one home run and 13 RBIs. On the mound, Ryan Rodriguez sports a 2.13 ERA in four starts with a 1-2 record and 29 strikeouts in 25.1 innings pitched.
Versus The Wolf Pack: The two programs have met 111 times since 1971 with the Gaels holding a 55-52-4 advantage. UNR holds a 29-25 record at home against SMC. The Gaels won the last meeting in 2005 in Nevada with a 9-5 decision. The two programs kicked off the 2007 season with a three-game set where the Wolf Pack proved victorious with two wins in Moraga.
Race Track: Senior outfielder Eric Cattoni has been off to the races early in 2007. The Lethbridge, Alberta native has swiped 11 bags in 13 attempts thus far. Cattoni stole two more bases in the series against Utah Valley State. On the season, Cattoni is batting .327 with a team-leading 19 runs scored.
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 play a Tuesday matinee against Sacramento State in Sacramento before returning home for a four-game series against Columbia. First pitch against the Hornets is set for February 27 at 2 p.m. from Hornet Field. The Gaels will play back-to-back double-headers against Columbia, starting on Saturday, March 3 at 11 a.m. from Louis Guisto Field.