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Diamond Dons Travel to Waco, TX for Baylor Tournament

March 6, 2007

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USF TRAVELS TO WACO, TX FOR BAYLOR TOURNAMENT: The Dons head to Waco, TX for the Baylot Baseball Tournament, hosted by the Baylor Bears. USF will face Baylor on Friday at 4:30 PM, then take on Winthrop on Saturday at 12:00 PM, and finally meet Mississippi State on Sunday at 10:00 AM.

LAST WEEK: San Francisco held a 2-1 advantage up to the fifth, but couldn't hold on as it fell to No. 24 Baylor 5-4 in game one of the Pacific Tournament in Stockton on Friday morning. USF out hit the Bears 14-7, but also left 12 runners on base compared with BU's three. USF's offense was on point as five Dons batters had multiple hits in the game. Junior first baseman Mitchell Bialosky stroked three singles, had two RBI and scored a run. Senior left fielder Jonnie Knoble also had three hits and stole his sixth base of the season. Junior second baseman Joey Railey, junior shortstop Tavo Hall, and senior catcher Jon Norfolk all had two hits in the game. Junior third baseman Brian Chavez and senior center fielder Lucas DeLong both added doubles to the offensive attack. Senior right hander John Quine (0-1) earned the loss, allowing the Bears' final run in the ninth. Junior left hander Aaron Poreda threw 8.0 innings in the no-decision, allowing four earned runs off six hits and striking out seven.

San Francisco bounced back in the Pacific Tournament to beat San Diego State 3-1 on Saturday morning at Klein Family Field. Senior Daniel Morales (1-0) earned his first collegiate pitching victory, throwing 1.1 innings of scoreless relief, only giving up a hit and striking out one. Morales just began pitching this season for the Dons. Senior right hander Jason Dufloth started the game, earning the no decision in 6.1 innings, allowing only one earned run on five hits, no walks and five strikeouts. Junior right hander Brian Anderson and senior left hander Cole Stipovich each pitched 0.2 shutout innings each. Railey had two hits for the Dons to bring his team leading total to 20, and also added his fourth stolen base. Hall, Norfolk, and junior third baseman Brian Chavez singled for USF.

Sunday's game versus Pacific at Klein Family Stadium was suspended due to darkness. The Dons and Tigers are holding on to a 5-5 tie after a 12 inning marathon on Sunday afternoon. Junior right fielder Luke Sommer is one hit shy of a cycle, hitting a single, double, and a triple. Junior second baseman Joey Railey also has three hits, including a double. The game will be finished when Pacific travels to Benedetti Diamond on May 8, before their previously scheduled game at 3:00 PM.

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 #15 - BAYLOR UNIVERSITY BEARS (9-6)

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 MEETING: No. 24 Baylor 5, USF 4 (4/2/07)

LAST TIME AGAINST THE DONS: San Francisco held a 2-1 advantage up to the fifth, but couldn't hold on as it fell to No. 24 Baylor 5-4 in game one of the Pacific Tournament in Stockton on Friday morning. USF out hit the Bears 14-7, but also left 12 runners on base compared with BU's three. USF's offense was on point as five Dons batters had multiple hits in the game. Junior first baseman Mitchell Bialosky stroked three singles, had two RBI and scored a run. Senior left fielder Jonnie Knoble also had three hits and stole his sixth base of the season. Junior second baseman Joey Railey, junior shortstop Tavo Hall, and senior catcher Jon Norfolk all had two hits in the game. Junior third baseman Brian Chavez and senior center fielder Lucas DeLong both added doubles to the offensive attack. Senior right hander John Quine (0-1) earned the loss, allowing the Bears' final run in the ninth. Junior left hander Aaron Poreda threw 8.0 innings in the no-decision, allowing four earned runs off six hits and struck out seven.

GAME #16 - WINTHROP EAGLES (10-7)

SCOUTING WINTHROP: Coming off a 46-18 season and the school's fifth NCAA tournament appearance a year ago, the expectations for the 2007 season are indeed high, but that goes along with the territory for a program that enters every season with a goal of reaching the College World Series. Following a 44-22 year in 2005 and the loss of five players to the Major League draft, there were those who thought it would be difficult for the Eagles to repeat such success in 2006. Instead, Winthrop had an even better season a year ago and head coach Joe Hudak expects the same in 2007. Leading the way for the Eagles will be senior centerfielder Tommy Lentz, the preseason Big South Conference Player of the Year, and sophomore pitcher Alex Wilson, the preseason Big South Pitcher of the Year and a preseason first team All-American selection by Collegiate Baseball. Also back is senior shortstop Chris Carrara, another strong candidate for player of the year honors. Sophomore Phil Carey, the lonely Canadian on the roster, is also back after a solid freshman year.

LAST MEETINGS: USF and Winthrop have never met

GAME #16 - MISSISSIPPI STATE BULLDOGS (6-1)

SCOUTING MISSISSIPPI STATE: Coach Ron Polk, began his 28th season as head baseball coach at Mississippi State this year, and returns 17 lettermen, four starting position players and 10 of the 15 pitchers that took the mound for the Bulldogs in 2006. The '06 MSU edition posted a 37-23 record and advanced to the NCAA regional tournament finals in South Carolina against national top-seed Clemson. Junior catcher Edward Easley leads the team with a .556 batting average and 14 hits (one double and two homeruns. On the mound, sophomore right hander Aaron Weatherford is 2-0 in two starts with a 2.08 ERA and 18 strikeouts.

LAST MEETINGS: USF and Mississippi State have never met

WHO'S HOT FOR THE DONS: Junior second baseman Joey Railey continues to dominate at the plate with team leading totals in batting average (.392), hits (20), runs scored (14), walks (9), on base percentage (.492), and total bases (26). He is tied for first with four doubles and is second with a .510 slugging percentage. Railey has no errors in the field. Senior utility Daniel Morales earned his first victory as a pitcher in Saturday's win over San Diego State, throwing 1.1 innings of relief, allowing only one hit, no runs or walks, and striking out one. Senior catcher Jon Norfolk had four hits in two games last week to bring his average to .361. Junior first baseman Mitchell Bialosky had three hits in the loss to Baylor along with two RBI and a run scored. He is now batting .317 on the year. Senior left fielder Jonnie Knoble also had three hits in the loss along with his team leading sixth stolen base.

DIAMOND DON NOTES: USF's pitching staff ended a 22.2 innings scoreless streak when Baylor scored one run with two outs in the bottom of the third inning of last Friday's game (4/2). The streak had previously dated to the eighth inning at Stanford (2/20) before back-to-back shutouts against Sacramento State (9-0) and UC Davis (8-0)... USF has not issued a walk in its last four games and has struck out 46 batters against only five walks in its last six games (not counting unfinished game vs. Pacific)... The Dons raised their batting average 7 points in two games last week, going from .262 to .269 (not counting unfinished game vs. Pacific)... Through 14 games, USF owns a 8-6 record. Last year through 14 games, the Dons owned a 5-9 mark.