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USF Baseball Hosts Portland In WCC Series Beginning Thursday

April 11, 2006

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DONS MEET CARDINAL AND PILOTS THIS WEEK: USF's non-conference match-up at perennial powerhouse Stanford Tuesday was postponed with a makeup date set for Monday, April 17 at Sunken Diamond with a first pitch at 5:00 PM. Thursday, the Dons play at home for the first time since March 22, welcoming West Coast Conference foe Portland for a weekend slate. The series opener is set to start at 3:00 PM with Friday and Saturday's games starting at 1:00 PM.

LAST WEEK: The Dons a road series in Malibu against No. 22 Pepperdine. Friday, USF took the series opener 6-3 behind a strong start from left-hander Scott Cousins, who allowed just three runs (one earned) off seven hits in 8.0 innings and struck out six while giving up just one walk. USF fell 5-3 on Saturday despite a two-run home run from Cousins. But the Dons came back to take the series, winning 2-0 on Sunday behind a masterful pitching performance by senior right-hander Patrick McGuigan, who tossed a complete game, six-hit shutout.

Patrick McGuigan NAMED WEST COAST CONFERENCE PITCHER OF THE WEEK FOR APRIL 2-9: Senior right-hander Patrick McGuigan was named the West Coast Conference/Rawlings Pitcher of the Week for April 2-9. The honor is McGuigan's second of the year, the first being the week of March 6-12 and he was also named March Pitcher of the Month. McGuigan tossed a complete game 2-0 shutout at No. 22 Pepperdine on Sunday, which secured the series victory for San Francisco. With the win, McGuigan improved to a remarkable 8-1 after going the distance for the third time this season, allowing six hits - only one for extra bases - and struck out three without issuing a walk. The USF career saves leader tossed 111 pitches, 76 for strikes and did not allow a runner to reach third base and only three Waves reached scoring position. McGuigan is now 18-6 in his career, good for sole possession of second place on the Dons career wins chart, moving past Jerry Eilers (1962-64). USF Legend of the Hilltop and Hall-of-Famer Dana Hendershott (1968-71) is the all-time leader with 22. With 154 career strikeouts, the USF career saves leader needs just six more to move into sole possession of seventh place on the `K' list, passing Rich Igou (1995-97) at 159. On the season, McGuigan owns a 2.51 ERA, allowing 27 runs (209 earned) off 65 hits and has struck out 50 and walked just 10 in 71.2 innings.

TEAM NOTES: USF has won 16 of its last 19 games after posting a 5-11 mark to start the season and has won six consecutive series (Georgetown 3-0; at New Mexico, 2-1; Utah Valley State, 2-0; at Oral Roberts, 3-0; at Santa Clara, 2-1; at No. 22 Pepperdine, 2-1). San Francisco owns a 7-1 record at Benedetti Diamond this season, but have played just six home games at Benedetti Diamond since Valentine's Day with the last coming March 22 vs. Utah Valley State. USF owns a 13-12 road record and has won 10 of its last 13 contests away from Benedetti Diamond dating to March 15. USF owns a 4-2 record during West Coast Conference action boosted by the pitching staff which owns a sparkling 2.06 ERA, allowing just 13 extra-base hits in 52.1 innings.

GAME #37-39 - PORTLAND PILOTS: The Pilots 22 letter winners from last year's team that finished 17-36 overall record and 7-23 in the West Coast Conference. Portland's current record stands at 11-20, 1-5 WCC. Leading the Pilots on the mound is junior right-hander Sean Sargent, who is 3-5 with a 4.66 ERA in 13 appearances with 8 starts. At the plate, freshman infielder Sean Nicol is batting .383 with 41 hits (eight doubles, two home runs), 16 RBI, 23 runs scored and is 5-for-8 in stolen bases.

TEAM COMPARISONS - 2006 SEASON STATSTeamW-LBARUNSHITSHRRBIBB ERA SOOBAUSF21-14.27918532319159130 3.61202.279POR11-20.278186316211631055.87184.293

LAST MEETING: USF 14, at POR 1 (3/18/05); USF 8, at POR 6 (3/19/05); USF 5, at POR 0 (3/20/05); at USF 9, POR 1 (5/13/05); at USF 4, POR 1 (5/14/05); POR 13, at USF 8 (5/15/05)

LAST TIME AGAINST THE DONS: Winning five out of six contests, the Dons out-scored the Pilots 48 to 22. In game one, sophomore catcher Daniel Morales hit his first career grand-slam. Sophomore outfielder Scott Cousins drove in three runs in game two, and allowed only one hit in earning the shutout victory in game three. Game four was record setting, as USF set a new school record for single season wins (35) in the 9-1 win. Freshman Luke Sommer led the way for the Dons, coming only a double away from the cycle. In game five, junior right-hander Patrick McGuigan picked up his seventh save for the Dons to set the new all-time single-season saves record. McGuigan, went the final 2.1 innings, giving up no runs off three hits while striking out three. USF collected 12 hits in the final game, a 13-8 loss.

Stefan Gartrell CONTINUES TO PRODUCE: Senior outfielder Stefan Gartrell continues to produce for USF at the plate and leads the club in RBI with 31 and now has 100 in his career. The San Francisco native needs just four more to move into sole possession of 10th place on the career list, supplanting Gregg Omori (1998-99). Gartrell is batting .347 on the season with 43 hits (11 doubles, one triple, and two home runs), and has scored 24 runs. The senior is leading the team in multiple RBI games (7) slugging percentage (.500) and is second in multiple hit games (13) and on-base percentage (.442). The 2005 West Coast Conference Second Team selection turned in a 10-game hitting streak earlier this season and is 6-for-6 in stolen bases. In the field, Gartrell has been responsible for 68 put-outs, five assists, and only has one error, for a .986 fielding percentage.

Scott Cousins BACK IN GEAR ON THE MOUND: Junior left-hander/outfielder Scott Cousins looks to be back in gear on the mound for the Dons this season and owns a 3-0 record with a 3.57 ERA which continues to plummet. Cousins earned his 11th career victory at No. 22 Pepperdine April 8, allowing three runs (one earned) off seven hits in 8.0 innings and struck out six Waves. In 35.1 innings, Cousins owns a 24/9 strikeout/walk ratio. The 2005 West Coast Conference First Team selection also gets it done at the plate, batting .310 with four doubles, two triples, two home runs and 18 RBI. As an outfielder, the junior has played outstanding defense, responsible for 36 put-outs, nine assists, and only four errors, for a .918 fielding percentage.

Aaron Poreda CONTINUES TO DAZZLE: Sophomore left-hander Aaron Poreda continues to dazzle for the Dons and tossed the first complete game of his career at Oral Roberts, allowing one run off five hits and struck out a career-high nine in collecting his second win of the season. Poreda leads the team with a 2.20 ERA, allowing just 15 earned runs (13 unearned) and has a 2-4 record with 44 strikeouts in 61.1 innings. Poreda has already surpassed his freshman strikeout (26) and innings (33.1) tallies.

Joey Railey CREATES HAVOC: Sophomore infielder Joey Railey continues to create havoc at the top of the order for the Dons and leads the club in batting (.391), hits (50), walks (27) and on base percentage (.500). Railey has tallied eight doubles, a triple and 17 RBI. In his first season as a regular starter for the Dons, Railey also leads the team in multiple hit games (17) with five three-hit contests and ranks second on the team in multiple RBI games with five. Railey is one of just two players (Gartrell) to play in every contest this season.

Lucas DeLong LEADS TEAM IN LONG BALLS: Junior outfielder Lucas DeLong hit his team-leading sixth home run of the season at Santa Clara (4/1) and now has 14 career long balls. For the season, DeLong is batting .213 with 19 hits (three doubles and six home runs), has 14 RBI, 12 runs scored and one stolen base. In the field, DeLong, one of many fabulous outfielders on the Dons roster, has 61 put-outs, one assist, and only one error for a .984 fielding percentage. The Sparks, NV native needs just two more home runs to jump into the top-10 on the USF career long ball leader board. DeLong's former teammate Nick Cirbo (2001-04) is in a log jam with three other players with 17 career blasts.

Andrew Smith PLAYING WELL: After sitting out early in the year due to injury, senior short-stop Andrew Smith is having a good year. Playing in 16 games with 12 starts, Smith is batting .304 with 14 hits, one being his first career home run against No. 12 Oregon State (3/29). He is also 5-for-8 in stolen bases and has a .968 fielding percentage.

HEAD COACH Nino Giarratano WINS 200TH GAME AT USF: With the win over Oregon State on Tuesday March 29, Nino Giarratano, the 2005 West Coast Conference Coach of the Year after leading USF to the highest win tally in program history (38) earned his 200th career win, and is just the fifth coach in Dons athletic history to do so on the Hilltop. A three-time national junior college coach of the year, Giarratano has 512 total wins after recording 310 wins in eight years as a junior college head coach at Trinidad State Junior College in Trinidad, Co. and Yavapai Community College in Prescott, AZ.

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.

USF AMONG WCC LEADERS: As a team, USF is second only to San Diego in the West Coast Conference in ERA with a 3.64. Individually, eight players hold top-ten spots in 18 categories. Patrick McGuigan leads the way with seven rankings, including first in wins (8), shutouts (2) and complete games (3), third in innings pitched (71.2), tied for third in games started (9), sixth in strikeouts (50), and seventh in ERA (2.51). Joey Railey tallies five top ten rankings, coming in second in walks (27) and on base percentage (.494), third in batting average (.383), fifth in hits (49), and seventh in stolen bases (11). Aaron Poreda (tied for second in games started with ten, third in ERA with 2.35, and ninth in strikeouts with 44 and innings pitched with 61.1) and Scott Cousins (third in stolen bases with 13, fifth in walks with 22, sixth in triples with 2, and ninth in runs scored with 29) have four each. Stefan Gartrell has three top ten rankings, including fifth in RBI (31), sixth in doubles (11), and eighth in on base percentage (.442). Falling in with one apiece are Lucas DeLong with six home runs (fifth), Jeff Gordon with three saves (seventh), and Brian Anderson is tied for second with one shutout.

USF ALUM DUSTIN DELUCCHI PLAYED FOR ITALY IN INAUGURAL 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.

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). Last year's runner up, Loyola Marymount comes in at a close fourth with 32 points.

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 earnednational recognition and enters the upcoming season ranked No. 35 in the 2006Collegiate Baseball Preseason Poll. The Dons set program records for wins (38), WestCoast Conference victories (20) and ranked in the top-10 nationally in team ERA (2.86)and team fielding percentage (.976).

MCGUIGAN NAMED WCC PITCHER OF THE MONTH: Senior right-hander Patrick McGuigan has been chosen as the March Pitcher of the Month, the third consecutive March honor won by a USF hurler. Right-handers Kevin Rose (2004) and Nick Pereira (2005) also earned top pitcher accolades from the league office.McGuigan was 4-0 with a 1.59 ERA and a save for the month of March. He threw 28.1 innings in three starts (one complete game) and three relief appearances. The Hawaii native had an impressive strikeout-to-walk-ratio of 10-to-1 (32 K's and 3 BB). He only allowed eight runs (five earned) on 14 hits. Overall opponents only batted at a .139 clip, but right-handers batted .100. In McGuigan's first start of the month (3/11) he threw a complete game shutout versus Georgetown, earning the 5-0 win. He only allowed two hits and struck out a career high 12 batters.

Jonathan Norfolk CONTINUES STRONG YEAR: Junior catcher Jonathan Norfolk continues to impress and is enjoying a career year at the plate and behind it for USF. On the season, Norfolk is batting at a .311 clip with two doubles, six RBI and ranks second on the club in sacrifices hits with five. The Riverside native turned in a career-long 11 game hit streak earlier this season - the longest for San Francisco in 2006. Norfolk has done a nice job managing the Dons pitching staff which boasts a 3.61 team ERA. Norfolk has thrown out 10 base runners this season.

CLOSER BY COMMITTEE WORKING FOR USF: With USF career saves leader senior right-hander Patrick McGuigan moved to a starting role the Dons have turned to no fewer than six players to close out games this season. While McGuigan collected one save this season at New Mexico (3/17), redshirt freshman RHP Jeff Gordon leads the team with three saves, while sophomore right-handers Brian Anderson and John Quine each secured a pair of games apiece. Junior right-hander Jason Dufloth and junior left-hander Cole Stipovich also picked up one save.

DONS BULLPEN TOUGH: After a rocky 5-11 start to the season, the USF bullpen has been a major asset. In the last 19 games, Dons relievers own a collective 5-2 record with a 3.45 ERA in 44.1 innings and own a 31/6 strikeout to walk ratio, while limiting foes to a .247 batting average. The transformation has been more impressive in the last 10 games where the bullpen boasts a dazzling 0.75 ERA in 12.0 innings with nine strikeouts and five walks while holding opposing hitters to a .154 average.

USF VS. TOP-25: San Francisco owns a 3-1 record against Top-25 opponents this season, defeating No. 12 Oregon State 8-2 (3/29); and won a series at No. 22 Pepperdine 6-3, 3-5, 2-0. The Dons bat at a .319 clip against the national elite and the pitching staff owns a stingy 1.80 ERA with a strikeout/walk ratio of 20/4.

ANOTHER MAGICAL MARCH FOR THE DONS: San Francisco turned in another strong March, posting a 12-3 ledger, which included a season-long seven game winning streak. The Dons hit .269 as a team and out-scored (83-54) and out-hit (130-113) opponents. USF was carried by strong pitching which owned a 3.00 ERA in 129.0 innings allowing 54 runs (43 earned) and boasted a 105/29 strikeout to walk ratio.