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Second Annual Dante Benedetti Classic Scheduled for Friday at AT&T Park

April 3, 2007

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DANTE BENEDETTI CLASSIC: San Francisco will host the Second Annual Dante Benedetti Classic, this Friday against ancient Bay Area and WCC rival Santa Clara. Game time at AT&T Park is set for 11:30 AM, preceding the Giants-Dodgers game that night. Last season, the Dons took an exciting 4-3 game from Cal. The Classic celebrates the legacy of a giant in San Francisco 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.

LAST WEEK: USF played two make-up games early last week, defeating Sacramento State 6-1 on Monday, giving them a five game winning streak, their longest since last season. Senior left fielder Jonnie Knoble had a career day, belting four hits, including a double, scoring twice and stealing two bases. John Quine (2-1) earned the victory in the longest outing of his career. Quine threw 4.0 innings of one hit scoreless relief and struck out a career high seven Hornets against one walk. Freshman Chase Tigert started the game, throwing 4.2 solid innings, only allowing one earned run off four hits, three walks and one strikeout. They traveled across the pass for a meeting with Nevada-Reno on Tuesday, in which they fell 10-5. Lucas DeLong and Daniel Morales homered in the game. Mitchell Bialosky (0-4) earned the loss, throwing 3.1 innings allowing five earned runs off six hits, two walks and a strikeout.

USF opened defense of its West Coast Conference title with a 10-4 victory at Loyola Marymount Friday afternoon at Page Stadium. Aaron Poreda (5-2) posted the victory for San Francisco, allowing four runs (three earned) off 10 hits in 8.0 innings and recorded one strikeout. The win was the 16th career for Poreda, who moves into a share of fourth place on the Dons career victory list. USF's offense did its job, collecting 10 hits for the seventh consecutive game. USF ran wild on the bases, recording five on the day with three from Knoble.

USF Baseball rallied for two runs in the top of the ninth to tie the score at 3-3, but Loyola Marymount used a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the frame to secure a 4-3 victory in West Coast Conference action Saturday afternoon. Jonathan Norfolk went 3-for-3 with an RBI double, while Knoble added a 2-for-4 day with an RBI. Luke Sommer tallied a two hit day with an RBI and Brian Chavez finished 2-for-4 on the day. Jason Dufloth earned a no-decision in 5.2 innings, allowing three runs off six hits and struck out one. John Quine (2-2) entered the game with two outs and a runner on second in the sixth and promptly hit the first two batters he faced to load the bases, followed by an RBI single to give LMU a 3-1 edge. Quine surrendered the loss allowing one run off four hits, hit two and issued a balk in 2.2 innings.

San Francisco jumped to a 4-1 lead in the fourth, but Loyola Marymount's seven runs in the bottom of the frame went unanswered as the Dons fall to the Lions 9-4 in West Coast Conference action on Sunday afternoon. Jonathan Norfolk continued his hot bat against Loyola, going 3-for-4 and 6-for-7 in his last two games. He added an RBI and a run scored. Morales homered, a two-run shot in the fourth. Right-hander Tommy Peale (1-1) pitched 3.2 innings, giving up eight runs (three earned) off seven hits and three walks and added two strikeouts. Left-hander Cole Stipovich allowed the Lion's final run (unearned) off two hits in 3.1 innings.


GAME #32-34 - SANTA CLARA BRONCOS (15-15, 2-1 WCC)

SCOUTING SANTA CLARA: The Broncos and sixth year head coach Mark O'Brian opened up the new season with plenty of optimism and confidence. Boasting one of the best young pitching staffs in the West Coast Conference, if not the nation, and with a solid leadership corps of upperclassmen in the lineup, SCU is primed and ready to build off of last season's 28-26 mark. 2006 Freshman All-Americans Matt Long and Matt Wickswat headline a potent sophomore class, which also includes starting pitchers Justin Kuehn, Sean O'Neill, relievers Daniel DeMarco and Mark Willinsky, and shortstop Brady Fuerst, a WCC All-Freshman team selection last season. Seniors Carl Bacon and Kevin Drever return to provide steady presences behind the plate and in the middle infield, respectively, while the top-rated freshman class in the WCC, according to Collegiate Baseball News, is eager to step up and prove its worth on the diamond. At the plate, junior Gabe Alcantar leads the Broncos with a .400 average and 12 doubles. On the mound, Wickswat is 4-3 with a 3.68 ERA and 45 strikeouts.

LAST MEETINGS: USF 8, SCU 2 (4/1/06); SCU 4, USF 3 (4/1/06); USF 6, SCU 2 (4/2/06)

LAST TIME AGAINST THE DONS: After a rained out game on Friday night, USF baseball began the West Coast Conference season with a double-header Saturday afternoon at Schott Stadium on the campus of Santa Clara University. In game one, left-hander Scott Cousins, in just his fourth start, threw a 122-pitch complete game against the Broncos, holding them to just two runs (both earned) off eight hits with seven strikeouts and only one walk in the 6-2 win. At the plate, Stefan Gartrell brought his hit streak to 10 games as he went 2-for-3 with a double, an RBI, two runs scored and a stolen base. Cousins also helped at the plate with a double, an RBI and a run scored. Lucas DeLong and Joey Railey each added doubles. Andrew Smith and Luke Sommer also had hits in game one.

Santa Clara held a 3-0 lead going into the seventh when the Dons tied it up after freshman second baseman Zach Kim hit an RBI single to right and DeLong hit a mammoth two-run shot over the left-centerfield fence. But the Broncos came back in the bottom of the ninth, winning game two 4-3 on a one-out bases-loaded walk and ending USF's win streak at seven games. Railey padded his team leading hits total, going 3-for-4 with two stolen bases. Cousins also added a hit and a stolen base. Left-hander Aaron Poreda got a no-decision after throwing 5.2 innings, allowing three runs (all earned) off four hits with six strikeouts and three walks.

Dormant for the first six innings, USF's offense rallied late to send the Dons to a 6-2 West Coast Conference victory at Santa Clara Sunday afternoon and helped right-hander Patrick McGuigan reach a personal milestone in the process. San Francisco won for the 14th time in its last 16 games, secured its fifth straight series win and collected its third consecutive series victory against the Broncos. McGuigan (7-1) tossed another gem for USF, allowing two runs (one earned) off 10 hits in seven innings with a pair of strikeouts and did not walk a batter in collecting his 17th career victory, good for a share of second place on the all-time program wins list. McGuigan matches Jerry Eilers (1962-64) on the leader board. Gartrell finished 2-for-4 with his team-leading ninth double of the season, while Kim also finished with a pair of base hits and a team-high three RBI.

Luke Sommer NAMED WCC CO-PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Junior right fielder Luke Sommer was been named Co-West Coast Conference Player of the Week for March 19. In four games, Sommer batted .417 (5-for-12), with two homeruns, five RBI, five runs scored and two walks in helping USF go 4-0 in that span. The Canby, OR native had two consecutive games with a homerun against Southern Utah including a two-RBI shot in a 12-5 drubbing of the Thunderbirds, and a fifth inning lead-off solo homer in a 7-0 shutout. With those two homeruns, Sommer now leads the Dons with five on the season. Sommer is currently batting .256 with 31 hits. He leads the team with five homeruns, is second on the team in RBI with 20 and doubles with 7, and is 6-for-6 in stolen bases.

WCC LEADERS: USF leads the West Coast Conference in team fielding with a .978 percentage. Individually, nine players hold top-ten positions in eight different categories. Aaron Poreda leads all Dons with three top-ten rankings including tied for second in wins (five), seventh in opponents batting average (.244) and tied for ninth in innings pitched (53.1). Tommy Peale is fourth in ERA with a low 1.74. Cole Stipovich leads all Dons and is tied for third in appearances with 16. At the plate, Zach Kim is second in the WCC in batting average with a .412. Jon Norfolk comes in eighth in the same category with a .368. Luke Sommer leads the Dons and is tied for fourth in the conference with five homeruns. Jonnie Knoble is third with 14 stolen bases, Tavo Hall is tied for fourth with 10, and Joey Railey is tied for sixth with nine.

WHO'S HOT FOR THE DONS: Junior left-hander Aaron Poreda earned his fourth victory of the season, which was the 16th career for Poreda, who moves into a share of fourth place on the Dons career victory list. Senior catcher Jon Norfolk batted .500 last week (8-16) with a double, four RBI and two runs scored. Senior left fielder Jonnie Knoble went 8-16 with a double, an RBI, eight runs scored, six walks and five steals. Sophomore utility Zach Kim also batted .500 (6-3) with a double, an RBI and a run scored. Senior catcher Daniel Morales batted .429 (3-7) and smacked 2 homers and a double, had three RBI and scored twice. Junior first baseman Mitchell Bialosky had six RBI off six hits last week. Senior center fielder Lucas DeLong smoked his first homer of the year. Senior right-handed reliever John Quine was 1-1 last week in 6.2 innings with nine strikeouts.