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Diamond Dons Play in Pacific Baseball Tournament in Stockton.

Feb. 27, 2007

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USF TRAVELS TO STOCKTON FOR PACIFIC BASEBALL TOURNAMENT: The Dons head to Stockton, CA for the Pacific Baseball Tournament, hosted by the Pacific Tigers. USF will face Baylor on Friday at 6:00 PM, then take on Tony Gwynn and San Diego State on Saturday at 11:00 AM, and finally meet Pacific on Sunday at 2:00 PM.

LAST WEEK: San Francisco had the lead, but couldn't hold it as it fell to Stanford 4-1 in non-conference action at Sunken Diamond on Tuesday evening. Previously, USF hadn't lost to Stanford since 2005. USF held a slim 1-0 lead after the first inning. Junior second baseman Joey Railey singled to center and advanced to second when junior shortstop Tavo Hall attempted to sacrifice bunt, but reached base on an error. An out later, freshman designated hitter Derek Poppert singled to load the bases. Railey scored when senior Jon Norfolk reached base on a fielder's choice. Stanford put up zeros until the fifth when, with two outs, they plated two. The Cardinal followed up in the sixth with two more to put it out of reach for the Dons. Junior Mitchell Bialosky (0-2) earned the loss in the longest outing of his short pitching career. The right-hander threw 5.1 innings, allowing four runs (two earned) off four hits and a walk. Bialosky struck out five Cardinal batters.

San Francisco took a commanding 9-0 victory over Sacramento State in its first game of the River City Classic in Sacramento Friday afternoon. The Dons outpaced the Hornets at the plate 10-2 as two USF pitchers held the Hornets to only a couple base knocks. Junior left-hander Aaron Poreda (2-1) had his best outing of the young season, throwing 8.0 scoreless innings, only allowing one hit and striking out seven. Freshman right-hander Chase Tigert made his Dons pitching debut, throwing a one hit, scoreless ninth inning.

San Francisco won their second game in the River City Classic, beating co-host UC Davis 8-0 at Dobbins Field on Saturday afternoon. With the second consecutive shutout, the Dons haven't allowed a run in their last 20 innings. Junior shortstop Tavo Hall smacked three singles, scored twice and had two RBI. Senior catcher Daniel Morales also had three hits, including a double. Senior left fielder Jonnie Knoble had two singles, an RBI and scored a run. Junior second baseman Joey Railey also doubled and scored twice. Senior right-hander Jason Dufloth (3-1) earned the combined shutout win, throwing 7.0 innings. The right-hander only allowed five hits, no walks and struck out three Aggies. Freshman Alex Kalogrides and senior Cole Stipovich both pitched an inning of relief, respectively, neither allowing a hit, a run, or a walk. Kalogrides earned his first strikeout on the season.

WEATHER CAUSES SCHEDULE CHANGES: USF baseball's game against Nevada, originally scheduled for Tuesday, February 27 at Benedetti Diamond, has been cancelled due to snow in the pass and an unfavorable weather report for the Bay Area as announced today by head coach Nino Giarratano. The Dons will take on the Wolf Pack Tuesday, March 27 in Reno at 2:00 PM and will now host Nevada at Benedetti Diamond Tuesday, April 17 with a 2:00 PM first pitch. USF's game at Sacramento State originally scheduled for Tuesday March 27 has been changed to Monday, March 26 with a 2:00 PM first pitch at Hornet Field. San Francisco hosts Southern Utah March 22-24 in the first true home games at Benedetti Diamond.

SCOUTING REPORT - WEEK 5

GAME #13 - BAYLOR UNIVERSITY BEARS (7-4)

SCOUTING BAYLOR: Two years ago, Baylor fielded the most experienced team in the program's history. In 2007, head coach Steve Smith fields one of the youngest squads in his 13-year tenure. Only seven players remain from the 2005 team that reached the national semifinals at the College World Series and only four of those lettered that season. Only OF Chase Gerdes and RHP Jeff Mandel -- both seniors -- played in the 2005 College World Series. However, the 2007 team is not one without a wealth of talent. The Bears return 18 letterwinners, including five starters and eight pitchers, from a 2006 squad that went 37-26 and reached the championship round at the NCAA Houston Regional. Baylor also welcomes an incoming class ranked as the nation's best by Baseball America. Baylor's 2007 roster features seven seniors, but only three -- Gerdes, Mandel and RHP Andy Pape have been with the Bears their entire collegiate careers. The other four -- C Matt Czimskey, 1B/3B Tim Jackson, C Matt Sodolak and RHP Jake Weghorst -- joined the program last season as junior college transfers.

LAST MEETINGS: USF and Baylor have never met

GAME #14 - San Diego State Aztecs (8-6)

SCOUTING SAN DIEGO STATE: As the new season approached, San Diego State found itself in the unenviable position of having to replace seven position starters, a designated hitter, two starting pitchers and a closer. SDSU had nine players taken in the major league draft last June, the third-most in the nation behind only UCLA and Clemson. Seven of those athletes signed pro contracts including three juniors. Head coach Tony Gwynn and his staff welcomed back a pair of key veterans in pitcher Bruce Billings and second baseman Nick Romero. Billings, who was drafted last June by the Philadelphia Phillies but chose to return to school, has been an all-Mountain West Conference selection the past two years and was the league's pitcher-of-the-year in 2005. Romero had nine home runs in 2006, the most ever by an SDSU freshman. Among the other position players back from last season's squad include catcher Chris Anderson (.283) and infielder Mike Willeford (.368). In addition, pitchers Lance Sewell and Mike Koons recorded seven wins between them while making a total of 11 starts and 19 relief appearances.

LAST MEETINGS: USF 1, San Diego State 6 (NA/NA/77)

DIAMOND DON NOTES: USF's pitching staff is operating on a 20.0 innings scoreless streak, dating to the eighth inning at Stanford (2/20) after back-to-back shutouts against Sacramento State (9-0) and UC Davis (8-0)... The Dons have given up just two earned run its last three games and the team ERA has fallen from 4.08 to 3.29... USF has not issued a walk in its last two games and has struck out 29 batters against only five walks in its last four games... Through 12 games, USF owns a 7-5 record. Last year through 12 games, the Dons owned a 4-8 mark.

GAME #15 - PACIFIC TIGERS (4-9)

SCOUTING PACIFIC: Over the past three seasons, the Pacific Baseball program has taken several steps toward becoming a championship program. In 2004, Pacific brought in Ed Sprague as the head coach, giving the Tigers a championship pedigree. In 2005, the Tigers recorded the first winning season since 1999 with a 30-28 record. 2006 saw Pacific continue marching toward greatness as the Tigers opened their first on-campus baseball stadium since 1951, Klein Family Field, on April 18. The Tigers finished the season with another milestone as at 30-25, Pacific posted the first back-to-back 30-win seasons in program history. The Tigers expect to continue progressing toward a championship in 2007, but the road will be tougher as 12 seniors who helped propel Pacific to a combined 60 wins over the last two seasons have graduated. Replacing the experienced core are 16 underclassmen, including several key young players who contributed last season. The Tigers have started a tradition of winning over the past two seasons, and the task for 2007 will be to maintain that momentum.

LAST MEETINGS: Pacific 9, USF 0 (2/12/05); USF 5, Pacific 2 (3/4/05); Pacific 2, USF 1 (3/5/05); Pacific 3, USF 0 (3/5/05)

LAST TIME AGAINST THE DONS: USF dropped their first game of the season on the second day of the 2005 River City Classic, suffering a 9-0 shutout against Pacific. San Francisco's offense managed five hits on the afternoon, while the Tigers tallied 12. Pacific led 2-0 heading into the fifth but scored three runs in consecutive innings to take a 8-0 lead they would not surrender.

USF baseball took a satisfying 5-2 victory in the opening game of the series against Pacific Friday night at Bobby Hebert Stadium in Stockton. The Dons got strong pitching and home runs from sophomore catcher Daniel Morales and junior outfielder Stefan Gartrell to even the season series against the Tigers.

USF dropped both games of its doubleheader against Pacific Saturday in non-conference baseball action at Billy Hebert Field in Stockton, falling 2-1 in the opener and 3-0 in the nightcap. The Dons won the opener 5-2 Friday night and the Tigers win their fourth of their last six contests. San Francisco's pitching staff performed well, but did not get the run support against Pacific in two pitcher's duels. USF out-hit the Tigers 17-12, including a 9-4 advantage in the second game. The Dons lone run of the twinbill was a solo home run by senior infielder Royce Fukuroku in the third inning of game one.

WHO'S HOT FOR THE DONS: Pitching is on the rise as two Dons hurlers dominated in two games last weekend. Junior LHP Aaron Poreda (2-1) earned the victory over Sacramento State on Friday in the River City Classic with an 8.0 scoreless innings and seven strikeout performance, only allowing one hit and no walks. In Saturday's game, senior RHP Jason Dufloth (3-1) earned the win over UC Davis, throwing 7.0 innings of scoreless ball and striking out three while not allowing a walk. Senior catcher Daniel Morales batted 1.000, earning three hits in three at bats versus UC Davis, including a double and scored a run. Senior center fielder Lucas DeLong and junior second baseman Joey Railey each had two hits in the win over Sacramento State, with DeLong adding a double and two RBI and Railey adding an RBI. Railey also earned a double in the win over Davis. Junior shortstop Tavo Hall stroked three singles in the drubing of the Aggies, with two RBI, two runs scored and two stolen bases. He now leads the team with six stolen bases. Senior left fielder Jonnie Knoble add two hits and a stolen base in the win on Saturday.