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USF Travels to Fresno To Finish Series With Bulldogs, Then Hosts Georgetown This Weekend.

March 6, 2006

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DONS MEET BULLDOGS AND HOYAS THIS WEEK: The Dons conclude the three game series with Fresno State on Tuesday (6:35 PM) and Wednesday (6:35 PM) in Fresno. They lost the first game 4-3 last Wednesday. This weekend, USF will play at home for the first time in nine games, hosting Georgetown. Game times are 2:30 PM on Friday, 1:00 PM on Saturday and Noon on Sunday.

Scott Cousins MAKES 2006 PITCHING DEBUT: After only being able to play in the field and bat the first part of the season because of an arm injury, Cousins made his 2006 mound debut on February 28, an 8-4 loss to UC Davis. Despite the loss, the mound appearance was successful for the left-hander. He threw one inning of scoreless ball, retiring all three batters he faced. On Wednesday (3/1) he made his first start, going four innings, allowing two earned runs on seven hits, no walks and two strikeouts. At the plate, Cousins is having a stellar year, batting .351 with 20 hits (2nd), 15 runs (1st), two doubles, one triple and seven RBI.

Aaron Poreda EARNS FIRST WIN OF THE SEASON AND DROPS ERA TO BELOW 2.00: Sophomore left-hander Aaron Poreda earned his first victory of the year on Sunday February 26, beating Sacramento State 6-2 in the River City Classic. Poreda threw 8.1 innings, allowing only two runs (none earned) off 11 hits and struck out four. The outing drops his ERA to a 1.85, which leads the team.

Tavo Hall STEPPING IT UP: Sophomore shortstop Tavo Hall played well the last two weeks, smacking six hits in three games, including a 3-for-5 day in the win over Sacramento State (2/26) and adding a double in the loss to Washington State (2/26). Last Wednesday he was 2-for-4 in the loss to Fresno State. For the year, Hall is batting .309 with 17 hits, two doubles, six RBI and 12 runs scored. He also has three stolen bases.

Lucas DeLong ADDS TO TEAM LEADING HOMERUN TOTAL: Junior outfielder Lucas DeLong added another homerun in the River City Classic (2/26) and now leads the team with four. The extra knock brings his career total to 12. Along with the lead in homeruns, DeLong is third in slugging percentage (.500), fourth in runs batted in (7), total bases (21), and runs scored (8).

Stefan Gartrell CONTINUES WITH HOT BAT: Senior outfielder Stefan Gartrell added to fire to his arsenal in the River City Classic (2/26), coming away with two more hits, including an RBI double in the game against Sacramento State. He leads the team in four offensive categories: slugging percentage (.620), RBI (15), doubles (7) and total bases (31), and he is third in batting average (.380). Gartrell has also shown some speed on the base paths and is currently 3-for-3 in stolen bases.

GAME #16 - FRESNO STATE BULLDOGSSCOUTING FRESNO STATE: The Bulldogs are 11-8 going into the mid-week contest against the Dons. After finishing the 2005 season 30-29 (2nd WAC), they have been tabbed to finish first in 2006. They return sophomore third baseman Beau Mills (.246, six doubles, two homeruns) who was named to the 2006 Wallace Award watch list. Leading the team offensively is sophomore outfielder Steve Susdorf, who is batting .327 with 13 runs scored, 16 hits, three doubles, five homeruns and 14 RBI. On the mound, junior right-handed pitcher Andy Underwood is 2-2 with a 2.77 ERA and 28 strikeouts. Last week, the Bulldogs took the Wednesday game against the Dons 4-3. They then swept Portland in a three-game non-conference set.

LAST MEETING: at Fresno St 4, USF 3 (3/1/06)

LAST TIME AGAINST THE DONS: In the first inning, sophomore infielder Joey Railey hit a come-backer to Bulldog starter Doug Fister (3-1), sophomore shortstop Tavo Hall hit a flare to right and junior left-handed pitcher Scott Cousins added an RBI single. After senior outfielder Stefan Gartrell was hit to load the bases, Fister struck out sophomore outfielder Luke Sommer. Junior catcher Daniel Morales then hit a shot to Fresno's third baseman Adam O'Daniel, who missed the ball, allowing two more runs to score. Cousins made his first start of 2006, throwing four innings, allowing two earned runs on seven hits, no walks and two strikeouts.

GAME #17-19 - GEORGETOWN HOYASSCOUTING GEORGETOWN: Part of the Big East Conference, the Hoyas were 25-31 in 2005, the second straight season in which the team amassed 25 wins. Expected to lead the team this season is All-Big East First Teamer Ryan Craft. The infielder ranked among the league's top ten in the major offensive categories with 13 homeruns, a .598 slugging percentage and 48 RBI. The senior was picked for the All-Big East Preseason Team as well. Also helping the Hoyas will be senior outfielder Timmy Jones, who led last year's squad with 41 runs and ten stolen bases. On the mound, sophomore left-hander Mike Gaggioli finished 2005 with a 3.42 ERA in 81 innings. In the Hoyas last game, Saint Mary's completed the three game sweep by beating Georgetown 15-2 on Sunday. GU plays Cal on Tuesday and San Jose State on Wednesday, before traveling to San Francisco for a three game set this weekend.

LAST MEETING: USF and Georgetown have never met.

Joey Railey ON FIRE: Sophomore infielder Joey Railey has started the season on a rather hot streak. He continues to lead the team in batting average (.415) and hits (22). He also has four doubles, a triple, ten RBI and has scored nine runs. He is second with 28 total bases and second on the team in slugging at .528. He also has two steals to his credit.

Zach Kim MAKING MOST OF PLAYING TIME: Red-shirt freshman Zach Kim has made the most out of his playing time, especially the last couple weeks when he went 6-for-15 in four games. He now has 10 hits, six RBI, four runs scored, a walk and a stolen base on the season. He has started in six games and is batting .370.

Stefan Gartrell NAMED TO BASEBALL AMERICA'S FAB 50: Senior Stefan Gartrell was named to the Fabulous 50 Seniors of 2006 by Baseball America. The outfielder came in at No. 40 after a stellar 2005 campaign. In an injury plagued season Gartrell still managed to hit a whopping .364 with 52 hits, five homeruns, and 41 RBI. He had a 15-game hit streak that stretched from February 23 to March 19 in which he had 21 hits. Gartrell was also named to Baseball America's pre-season All-Conference Team.

Patrick McGuigan THROWS FIRST COMPLETE GAME: Senior right-handed pitcher Patrick McGuigan threw the first complete game of his career Friday, February 17 against Southern Utah. He also picked up his 12th career victory which puts him in a tie for ninth place overall in pitching wins for a Don. The hurler was a WCC Honorable Mention in 2005 after going 5-2 with a sparkling 1.66 ERA and striking out 50 in 54.1 innings. The 1.66 ERA was the lowest single-season mark in school history. He entered 2006 ranked fifth among USF career leaders in ERA at 2.64 and shares sixth place in appearances with 65. He is USF's career saves leader with 13.

Scott Cousins NAMED TO WALLACE PRE-SEASON WATCH LIST FOR COLLEGIATE BASEBALL PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Junior LHP/OF Scott Cousins was selected to the Wallace Award Watch List for the 2006 College Baseball Foundation's Player of the Year. Cousins is the first Don to make the preseason watch list since three-time All-American Tagg Bozied in 2001. Cousins emerged as one of the top two-way players on the West Coast last year with an outstanding sophomore campaign on the Hilltop. The left-hander posted an 8-5 record with a 2.86 ERA in 95.1 innings and struck out 76 batters with only 30 walks. The eight victories were the third most ever recorded by a Dons hurler. At the plate, the West Coast Conference Player of the Month for March was equally impressive, batting .309 with a team-high seven home runs and ranked second on the squad with 30 RBI. Cousins earned First Team All-WCC honors last season and earned the 2005 Dante Benedetti Award presented to the team MVP. Cousins was also named to Baseball America's pre-season All-Conference Team.

HEAD COACH Nino Giarratano NEARS 200TH VICTORY AT USF: The 2005 West Coast Conference Coach of the Year needs just 12 wins to reach the milestone of 200 victories as the head coach of the University of San Francisco. He currently has a total of 188. He will become just the fifth coach in Dons athletic history to surpass the 200 victory mark in the Green and Gold. Giarratano also needs just seven wins to reach 500 overall as a college coach, after recording 310 wins in 8 seasons as a junior college head coach at Trinidad State Junior College in Trinidad, Co. and Yavapai Community College in Prescott, AZ.

DONS RANKED IN PRE-SEASON TOP 40 FOR THE FIRST TIME IN 10 YEARS: Fresh off the most successful season in program history in 2005, USF Baseball earned national recognition and enters the upcoming season ranked No. 35 in the 2006 Collegiate Baseball Preseason Poll. The Dons set program records for wins (38), West Coast Conference victories (20) and ranked in the top-10 nationally in team ERA (2.86) and team fielding percentage (.976).

USF PICKED THIRD IN WEST COAST CONFERENCE PRE-SEASON POLL: After the best year in program history, the WCC coaches have taken notice and voted San Francisco into the third spot in the preseason baseball poll, giving them a total of 34 points. The Dons follow only last year's champ Pepperdine (48) and San Diego (42).

DANTE BENEDETTI CLASSIC: USF will host Cal Tuesday, April 25, 2006 at SBC Park in the inaugural Dante Benedetti Classic, celebrating the legacy of a giant in San Francisco youth and collegiate baseball. Benedetti, who coached USF for 16 years for an annual salary of one doller passed away in November of 2005 at the age of 86 after a long illness. The game will be the first college game ever played in the home park of the San Francisco Giants and will precede a night game against the New York Mets.

WEST COAST CONFERENCE CHANGES SCHEDULE: No longer will there be two divisions in the WCC, as the league has changed the format, and all eight teams will compete with each other as one. Also different from years past is the number of games played. Previously, 30 games were scheduled for conference play, now the teams will play 21. The WCC Championships will still be played, but will feature the true one and two teams instead of the first place team from each division.