April 4, 2006
This Week in Gaels Baseball: The Saint Mary's baseball team will continue West Coast Conference play this weekend against Loyola Marymount after playing a non-conference contest against Nevada. All four games will be on the road beginning with a night-game on Tuesday, April 4 against the Wolf Pack at 5 p.m. from Peccole Park. SMC continues its conference slate against LMU in a weekend series. The two WCC foes will clash, beginning on Friday, April 7 at 2 p.m. from George C. Page Stadium.
Scouting Nevada: The Wolf Pack are coming off a WAC series loss to Sacramento State this past weekend. Nevada took the first game but then dropped the next two. After the weekend the Wolf Pack fell to 14-14 overall and 4-2 in WAC play. Offensively Nevada is led by Matt Bowman. In 27 starts, Bowman is batting .367 with four home runs and 20 driven in. Shawn Scobee has provided the punch for the Wolf Pack by drilling 11 home runs and driving in 27 to go on top of his .352 batting average.
On the mound, Nevada is led by Tim Schoeninger. The starter leads the team with a 3.46 ERA and three wins. Schoeninger has struck out 45 in 52 innings pitched. Reliever Wesley Dorsett has made 13 appearances from the pen and leads the team with two saves. Dorsett posts a 4.50 ERA and two wins.
Scouting LMU: The Lions will host the Gaels sporting a 13-21 overall record and a 2-1 WCC mark. The Lions are coming off a conference series victory over No. 19 ranked Pepperdine. Offensively LMU is led by Erik Johnson. In 31 starts, Johnson is batting .357 with three home runs and 32 RBIs. Brian Wilson closely follows with a .355 batting clip, adding a home run and 15 RBIs.
On the hill, Brad Meyers leads the team with a 5-2 record and a 2.86 ERA. Meyers has fanned 30 in 66 innings. Andy Beal follows with a 5.09 ERA and a 2-5 mark. Beal has struck out 45 in 53 innings pitched.
Who's Hot: Freshman Joel Staples put together a solid conference opening series. The newcomer batted .308 and led the team with two doubles and six total bases in his first action against WCC pitching. Senior Sam Carter continues to stay hot, opening his conference season with a .400 batting mark against No. 25 ranked San Diego. Carter drove in two and tallied a double.
What A Month: Saint Mary's senior outfielder Sam Carter put together a month that would satisfy most players for an entire season. The Concord native led the Gaels in nearly every offensive category. The senior batted .489 (23-for-47) with four home runs and 21 RBIs. Carter slugged .915, adding eight doubles to go along with the four round trippers. Carter tallied 19 runs and 43 total bases and sported a .569 on base percentage by drawing 10 walks to only four strikeouts.
Out of the 13 games played in the month of March, Carter tallied multi-hit games in eight of them including out-bursts of three or more four times. In six of the games the senior drove in two or more runs and crossed the plate multiple times. Carter's highlight of the month included a 3-for-4 performance from the plate with a career-high five RBIs and four runs scored. Two of the three hits left the yard.
Gaels A Top The WCC: Senior Sam Carter is currently among the leaders in the WCC in several categories. Carter is second in the WCC with 35 RBIs and tied for first with a 1.30 RBI per game. The senior is fifth in the league with a .386 batting average and is tied for third with six home runs. Carter is sixth with 66 total bases and second with a .653 slugging percentage.
Joining Carter among the ranks is senior Orben Frederick who has accumulated 42 hits which ranks seventh in the conference. Senior Preston Young is second in the WCC with seven home runs and fifth with a .567 slugging percentage while freshman Joel Staples is third in the league with three triples. Junior Eric Cattoni is sixth in the conference with 11 stolen bases.
On the hill, seniors Corey Madden and Joel Fountain are among the leaders in the strikeout department. Madden is fourth with 48 Ks and second with 10.54 Ks per nine innings. Fountain is seventh in the league with 44 strikeouts.
Young Smashes His Way Into The Books: Senior Preston Young is rapidly moving up the SMC career home run list. With his three home runs against Southern Utah, Young now has seven on the season and 22 for his career. His 22 career home runs moved him into sole possession of third place in the record books, surpassing Curt Cannedy who belted 21 in the 77-78 seasons. The seven home runs this season surpasses his single season best of six, which he has accomplished twice.
Home Cooking: Saint Mary's continues to stay hot at home establishing an 11-4 mark at Louis Guisto Field. With the 11 wins, SMC tied last years win total at home and there is two months remaining in the season. The 11th win came in a 5-4 victory over Utah.
Head Coach Jedd Soto: Soto enters his third year as head coach at Saint Mary's College. After two seasons at the helm, Soto has had seven players earn West Coast Conference accolades including three first-team selections in 2005, the most at SMC since the 1991 season. In addition to the conference awards, Soto had four players selected in the 2005 amateur draft and eight players selected in previous drafts.
This season Soto has already had two players named the West Coast Conference Player of the Week. In Saint Mary's opening week, senior Delaney Gallagher nabbed the honor while senior Joel Fountain was named Pitcher of the Week for his one-hit complete game shutout against Georgetown.
Last season Soto led the Gaels to their first 20 win season since 2002 and his six win improvement is the most by any single coach at Saint Mary's since Jim Jones accomplished the feat in 1987.
Soto has been instrumental in bringing in the top talent to Moraga and his 2006 recruiting class is no different. Soto inked 14 players in the early signing period including 10 Northern California players. Several of Soto's signee's are ranked among the best in the nation.
Soto was hired on July 1, 2003 as a unanimous choice of the players, coaches, administrators and the search committee. At 29 years of age, Soto was the youngest head coach hired in the West Coast Conference.
Coach Soto comes from a coaching tree that includes Smoke Laval: current head coach of LSU, and Jim "Skip" Walker: 1000 game winner at the collegiate level and hitting pioneer. With the implementation and combination of the systems used by Laval and Walker, Soto's style of play is bred for success.
Next Week: The Gaels will return home from their longest road trip on the season for a five-game homestand. SMC will open its home slate with a Tuesday matinee against UC Davis. The Gaels will play a three-game conference series against Gonzaga on the weekend.