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Diamond Dons Travel to Sacramento State on Wednesday and Host Southern Utah This Weekend.

March 20, 2007

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USF TRAVELS TO SACRAMENTO STATE AND HOSTS SOUTHERN UTAH: The Dons make the short trip north to Sacramento State on Wednesday for a 2:00 PM match up. USF will then host Southern Utah this weekend in the first games played at Benedetti Diamond in 2007. Thursday and Friday's games begins at 2:00 PM, while Sunday is set for a 1:00 PM start.

LAST WEEK: USF dropped a 10-6 decision at San Jose State in non-conference baseball action Tuesday at Municipal Stadium. The Dons once again struggled to find the big hits when needed and hit into three double plays and stranded nine on base and the Spartans capitalized in completing the season series sweep. Sophomore outfielder Zach Kim went 3-for-4 and slapped a two-run single in the second, staking USF to a 2-0 lead, but it was all San Jose State from there. Junior Mitchell Bialosky also collected a pair of hits for the Dons, who equaled the Spartans with 12 base hits on the night.

USF could not get on track offensively and dropped an 11-1 non-conference decision to No. 5 Oregon State Friday afternoon at Goss Stadium at Coleman Field. The Dons managed just three hits on the day, while the defending national champion Beavers connected for 14 in winning their seventh consecutive game. Junior outfielder Luke Sommer enjoyed the lone offensive highlight of the day for USF with a solo home run in the second on a 2-for-4 day. Junior infielder Brian Chavez collected the Dons third hit of the game.

USF took its first lead of the series with a first inning home run from senior outfielder Jonnie Knoble, but Oregon State countered with seven runs in the bottom of the frame and seized a 9-2 non-conference baseball win Saturday afternoon. The Dons found their stroke at the plate, connecting on nine hits, but the fifth-ranked Beavers clubbed a pair of home runs in winning their eighth straight. Senior right-hander Jason Dufloth (3-3) suffered the loss for the Dons, allowing seven runs off seven hits in 2.1 innings. Senior left-hander Cole Stipovich was strong in 5.2 innings relief, allowing two runs off three hits and struck out three in his longest outing in the Green and Gold. Stipovich retired the first 12 consecutive batters he faced.

San Francisco held No. 5 Oregon State to just one run through eight innings Sunday, but fell 3-2 after a two-run Beaver rally in the ninth. The Dons were swept in a weekend series for the first time since the opening three against Riverside last year. Junior transfer Tommy Peale kept the Dons in the game, throwing an impressive eight innings. The right-hander allowed only one hit and one earned run while striking out six Beavers and not allowing a walk. Luke Sommer had his second homerun of the series while Lucas DeLong and Derek Poppert added singles.

WCC LEADERS: As a team, USF leads the West Coast Conference with a .980 fielding percentage. Individualy, Junior RHP Tommy Peale leads the conference with a 0.82 ERA. Junior OF Luke Sommer is tied for fourth with three homeruns. Junior SS Tavo Hall is tied for fourth with eight stolen bases. Senior OF Jonnie Knoble has six stolen bases, good for a share of seventh. Junior INF Joey Railey comes in 10th with a .444 on base percentage. On the mound, junior RHP John Quine is tied for fith with two saves and junior LHP Aaron Poreda is eighth with a .236 opponents batting average.



SCOUTING SACRAMENTO STATE: Sacramento State began 2007 with just three returning position starters and two returning starting pitchers. Departed are three four-year starters; outfielder Jim Strombach, shortstop Everet Rincon and first baseman Brian Blauser as well as 2006 all-WAC first team selection, catcher Buddy Morales. While the Hornets have lost some familiar faces in the program, all-WAC second team junior third baseman David Flores, senior second baseman Gary Johnson and senior rightfielder Montana Dye remain as the starting position players from a year ago. In its first year of competition in the WAC last year, Sacramento State advanced to the postseason tournament, but was selected in the 2007 Coaches Poll to finish seventh in the standings. In the Baseball America preview, the Hornets were picked to finish sixth.

LAST MEETINGS: USF 8, SAC 1 (2/11/07); USF 9, SAC 0 (2/23/07)

LAST TIME AGAINST THE DONS: After two consecutive rain-outs, San Francisco defeated Sacramento State 8-4 in non-conference baseball action at the College of San Mateo on Sunday afternoon. Sacramento State started the scoring in the first, but USF tied the game in the second before breaking it open in the third. The Dons scored five runs off two singles (Luke Sommer, Jon Norfolk), a double (Brian Chavez), a triple (Joey Railey), and a homerun (Mitchell Bialosky). The Hornets came within two after a run in the fifth and two in the sixth, but USF furthered it's lead with a run in both the seventh and eighth innings. Chavez had four hits on the afternoon, including two doubles and three RBI; all game and career highs for the third baseman as a Don. Senior right-hander Jason Dufloth (2-0) earned the victory with six solid innings, allowing four runs off nine hits and striking out three.

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. Junior second baseman Joey Railey had his fifth multi-hit game of the season, smacking two singles. Senior center fielder Lucas DeLong also had two hits, including a double and had two RBI. Junior shortstop Tavo Hall, junior third baseman Brian Chavez, junior first baseman Mitchell Bialosky, sophomore designated hitter Zach Kim, and pinch hitters Matt Lieb and Alex Massari all had one hit in the game.


SCOUTING SOUTHERN UTAH: Head coach David Eldredge is in his second season at Southern Utah (2006 - 26-28, 11-13), which lost more than half of its starting position players and three of its four starters that had five or more starts. Chester Wilson looks to improve on a highly successful freshman campaign during which he hit .304 and ranked second on the Thunderbirds with 15 doubles. The pitching staff returns key contributors in reliever Jacob Noyes, who posted a team-best 3.67 ERA, and Matt Wilson, who went 5-4 with a 4.98 ERA in 12 starts for Southern Utah. The Thunderbirds narrowly missed the conference tournament last year, finishing two games behind fourth-place Centenary.

LAST MEETINGS: USF 9, SUU 2 (7) (2/17/06); SUU 8, USF 5 (2/17/06); SUU 9, USF 7 (2/18/06)

LAST TIME AGAINST THE DONS: USF captured a 9-2 victory in game one before falling 8-5 in the nightcap against Southern Utah in non-conference action in a frigid day at Thunderbird Park. The Dons got a three-hit complete game from senior right-hander Patrick McGuigan (2-1) in the series opener, but the Thunderbirds bounced back in game two with 13 hits. It was his second win in as many starts against the Thunderbirds and McGuigans's 12th career victory moving him into a share of ninth place on the Dons all-time chart. USF's all-time saves leader made start number three of the season and fourth of his career and tallied 96 pitches, 66 for strikes. Sophomore shortstop Tavo Hall paced USF at the plate with a 5-for-10 day with three runs and an RBI, while freshman infielder Zach Kim ended his afternoon 4-for-8 with a double, stolen base

USF baseball led 7-2 heading into the bottom of the eighth inning, but Southern Utah mounted an improbable rally fueled by an untimely error to capture a 9-7 non-conference win Saturday afternoon as the snow flurried at Thunderbird Park. The Dons drop the series 2-1 to the Thunderbirds. Junior catcher Blake Nelson and freshman infielder Zach Kim each went 2-for-4. Senior outfielder Stefan Gartrell also went 2-for-4 with an RBI and a pair of stolen bases. USF was out-hit 14-10 and stranded seven runners on an extremely cold day featuring multiple snow flurries. Sophomore left-handed starter Aaron Poreda did not factor in the decision and left the game with a 5-2 lead after allowing two runs (one earned ) off seven hits and struck out four in 5.2 innings. Junior left-hander Cole Stipovich (0-1) suffered the hard-luck loss allowing three runs (non earned) in 0.1 innings. The Dons pitching staff allowed just four earned runs in the contest.

WEATHER CAUSES SCHEDULE CHANGES: USF baseball's game against Nevada, originally scheduled for Tuesday, February 27 at Benedetti Diamond, was cancelled due to snow in the pass and an unfavorable weather report for the Bay Area as announced 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.

WHO'S HOT FOR THE DONS: Tommy Peale was impressive in just his second start as a Don, tossing eight innings and surrendering just one earned run with six strikeouts in Sunday's (3/18) 3-2 loss to the No. 5 OSU, the defending national champions. Luke Sommer slugged a pair of solo home runs over the weekend, giving him three on the season to match his career-high. Joey Railey continues to lead the Dons with a .351 batting average, 27 hits, four doubles, and a .444 on base percentage. Tavo Hall leads the Dons with eight stolen bases in nine attempts.