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March 20, 2006

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DONS MEET WOLVERINES AND GOLDEN EAGLES THIS WEEK: The Dons invite Utah Valley State to Benedetti Diamond on Tuesday and Wednesday. Both games begin at 2:00 PM. Over the weekend, USF travels to Tulsa, Oklahoma to take on Oral Roberts for a three game set. Friday will be a night start, with first pitch set for 7:00 PM. Saturday's game will begin at 2:00 PM with the final game starting at 1:00 PM on Sunday.

Scott Cousins NAMED WCC PLAYER OF THE WEEK FOR MARCH 13-19: Scott Cousins helped USF post a 3-1 mark on the week, and led the Dons to a pair of wins over New Mexico on the road over the weekend. Cousins batted .500 (8-for-16) in four games, driving in seven runs and scoring five times. The junior began the series at UNM with a 3-for-5 performance, clubbing a triple and driving in three runs. Cousins went 2-for-4 in each of the next two contests in the series, scoring four times and hitting his first home run of the season on Sunday.

Patrick McGuigan NAMED WCC PITCHER OF THE WEEK FOR MARCH 6-12: Senior right-hander, Patrick McGuigan was been named the WCC Pitcher of the Week for March 6-12, 2006. The Hawaii native pitched a complete game shutout against Georgetown on Saturday (3/11), allowing just two hits - both singles - and struck out a career high 12 batters. His previous career high was seven, set earlier this year at Southern Utah (2/17). The 12 strikeouts are tied for third most in a single game by a Dons pitcher. The Don all-time saves leader is now tied for eighth (Jim Ross 74-76) on the win chart with 13. On Wednesday (3/8), he threw 1.2 innings of relief, allowing no runs on one hit while striking out one and not issuing a walk. McGuigan is now 4-1 (after a win in relief against New Mexico on Saturday) with a 3.67 ERA and 32 strikeouts.

DONS CONTINUED HOT OFFENSE AGAINST NEW MEXICO: Over the weekend, the Dons bats were on fire as they collected a three-day total of 32 hits, with eight of them going for extra bases (two doubles, two triples, and four homeruns). On Friday, the Dons managed 15 hits, scoring ten runs, a triple and a homeruns, four walks and a stolen base in a game where they had to comeback late. Saturday, they roped seven hits, scoring 11 runs with six RBI, two homeruns, and seven walks. In the finale on Sunday, the Dons managed ten hits, scoring seven runs, two doubles, a triple and a homerun, one stolen base and six walks.

Zach Kim ON FIRE: Over the weekend, red-shirt freshman Zach Kim amassed four hits to bring his season batting average to .309. He had a single on Friday, then a big day on Saturday. The Castro Valley native was 1-for-4 with his first career homerun and added another RBI on a sacrifice hit. Sunday was another day for a first when Kim went 2-for-4 with his first career triple. He also scored two runs on the day. Kim now has 17 hits, including the triple and homerun, seven runs scored, 11 RBI, and is 3-for-4 in stolen base attempts.


SCOUTING UTAH VALLEY STATE: San Francisco is the second stop for Utah Valley State on their nine-game 12-day road trip to the West Coast. They split a four game series with Sacramento State last weekend. The 6-13 Wolverines are participating in only their third year of Division I baseball and finished 2005 at 17-39. Leading the Wolverines at the plate are sophomore first baseman Adam Openshaw (.365, 27 hits, one homerun, nine runs and nine RBI), junior shortstop Eli Slesk (.301, 25 hits, six doubles, 19 runs and nine RBI), and junior infielder Dan Bulow (.316, 24 hits, eight doubles, two homeruns, 10 runs and 17 RBI). On the mound, senior right-hander Kyle Tash is 4-1 with a 4.91 ERA and has 20 strikeouts in five games started.


SCOUTING ORAL ROBERTS: Last season, the Golden Eagles finished 42-20 and won their eighth consecutive Mid-Continent Conference Title and advanced to the NCAA Regionals for the eighth consecutive and 16th year overall. Senior infielder Tim Torres leads Oral Roberts at the plate with a .371 batting average, 25 hits, four doubles, six homeruns, 22 runs scored, 12 RBI and is six-for-seven in stolen bases. Also helping at the plate is senior outfielder/pitcher Travis DeBondt (.385, 20 hits, six doubles, two triples, two homeruns, 14 runs scored and 12 RBI) and junior catcher Andy Bouchie (.346, 27 hits, seven doubles, three homeruns, 16 runs scored and 14 RBI). On the mound, senior right-hander Chris Ashman is 3-1 with a 1.99 ERA in seven appearances (all in relief) and has 18 strikeouts in 22.2 innings pitched. Senior right-hander Nick Jones is 3-2 with a 4.14 ERA in six starts with 35 strikeouts.

USF ALUM DUSTIN DELUCCHI PLAYED FOR ITALY IN INAGURAL WORLD BASEBALL CLASSIC: Former USF star Dustin Delucchi patrolled the outfield for Italy in first round play, starting all three contests as the Italians went 1-2 in Pool D. Delucchi had his best game against Australia when he went 2-for-4 with two runs scored and one RBI.

DONS DOMINATE EAST COAST SCHOOLS: Since 2000, the Dons have played 13 East Coast schools and are 11-2 in that span with their latest three victories coming over Georgetown last weekend. In 2000, the Dons swept a double-header with Fairfield University (Connecticut) at Benedetti Diamond (8-3, 4-1). In 2002, USF played a two game series with Stony Brook University (New York) and came away with a split (4-7, 8-7). USF swept two games from Louisiana-Lafayette in 2004 (15-6, 6-0). In winning the Pepsi/Johnny Quick Classic in Fresno, the Dons played four East Coast schools, Beating Penn (7-0), Iona (10-1) and Penn State (6-1), but fell to Monmouth 3-5.

CATCHERS CORNER: So far this season, USF catchers (juniors Jon Norfolk and Daniel Morales) have combined to throw out a total of eleven runners attempting to steal (11-for-34). Norfolk is third on the team in batting average (.333). He has 15 hits, one double, two RBI and has scored four runs. Norfolk is also fourth in on base percentage (.375). Morales is batting .237 with 14 hits, four doubles, two homerun, nine RBI and has scored eight runs. He is sixth in slugging (.407) and seventh in on base percentage at .329.

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.

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.

HEAD COACH Nino Giarratano NEARS 200TH VICTORY AT USF: The 2005 West Coast Conference Coach of the Year needs just 6 wins to reach the milestone of 200 victories as the head coach of the University of San Francisco. He currently has a total of 191. 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 dollar 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.