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USF Hosts No. 7 Pepperdine in Weekend Series at Benedetti Diamond

April 12, 2007

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DONS HOST WAVES IN CRITICAL WCC SERIES: USF welcomes No. 7 Pepperdine to the Hill Top in a West Coast Conference clash of the defending champions. Friday's game time is set for 3:00 PM with 1:00 PM starts on both Saturday and Sunday.

DANTE BENEDETTI CLASSIC: The Dons like AT&T Park. After defeating Cal 4-3 in the 2006 Dante Benedetti Classic, USF returned to the home of the Giants and took a 6-2 win over West Coast Conference and Bay Area rival Santa Clara on Friday afternoon. The Dons out hit the Broncos 10-7, and have now had 10 or more hits in 17 games and nine of their last 13. Senior right-hander Jason Dufloth (5-3) went the distance, earning his fifth win of the season in the longest outing of his career. Dufloth threw 115 pitches, only allowing two earned runs off seven hits and no walks, and recorded four strikeouts. Junior second baseman Joey Railey had three hits in the contest, giving him four in the two-year history of the game. Senior left fielder Jonnie Knoble had two hits, three RBI and stole his team leading 15th and 16th bases. Junior third baseman Brian Chavez had two hits also. Junior first baseman Mittchell Bialosky, junior shortstop Tavo Hall, and senior designated hitter Daniel Morales each had one hit on the day.

LAST WEEK: The Dante Benedetti Classic was sandwiched in between Thursday and Saturday games at Benedetti Diamond. On Thursday, a two-run homerun by Blake Nelson in the bottom of the ninth wasn't enough as San Francisco fell to Santa Clara 4-3. Senior designated hitter Nelson did his best to rally the Dons in the ninth, hitting a two-run homerun just over the right field fence to bring the score to 4-3 with one out, but two consecutive pinch hitters grounded out to second to end the game. Junior third baseman Brian Chavez had doubled earlier in the inning, and scored on Nelson's blast. Junior first baseman Mitchell Bialosky homered in the fourth to give the Dons an early lead, but a three-run shot by SCU's junior first baseman Ryan Conan in the sixth put the Broncos up 3-1. Santa Clara added an insurance run in the seventh off three singles. Bialosky had two hits, with Nelson, Chavez, and junior second baseman Joey Railey adding one each.USF's junior left-hander Aaron Poreda (5-3) earned the loss, allowing four runs (one earned) off nine hits and recorded four strikeouts in 8.0 innings pitched. Senior right-hander Daniel Morales pitched a scoreless ninth and struck out one Bronco.

On Saturday, a ninth inning Santa Clara grand slam silenced San Francisco, as the Dons fell to the Broncos 10-6. USF hasn't lost a season series against SCU since 2004. Heading into the top of the ninth inning tied at 6-6, Broncos freshman catcher Tommy Medica singled and advanced to second on sophomore right fielder Matt Long's bunt single. After fielding confusion, junior third baseman Gabe Alcantar reached on a bunt, promptly loading the bases with no outs. Junior first baseman Ryan Conan then connected on a delivery from Dons junior right hander Brian Anderson and sent the ball over the left field fence to make it 10-6. Anderson (0-2) took the loss for the Dons, allowing four earned runs off four hits and a walk in 0.1 innings of work. Seniorcatcher Jon Norfolk led all Dons batters with three hits, two RBI and a run scored. Bialosky and Railey had two hits. Nelson, Morales, Knoble, Hall added one each.


GAME #35-37 - PEPPERDINE WAVES (26-10, 6-0)

SCOUTING PEPPERDINE: With three straight NCAA Regional championship game appearances in the last three years and a roster filled with significant post-season experience, the Pepperdine baseball team entered the 2007 campaign with its sights set on making an extended run in the NCAA Tournament during the upcoming season. Fourth-year head coach Steve Rodriguez, who added stability and continuity to the program by signing a five-year contract extension, returns 16 letterwinners from last year's team that posted a 42-21 overall record, captured the West Coast Conference (WCC) title and made its fourth consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance in 2006. The No. 7 Waves will look to remain undefeated in West Coast Conference play when it meets San Francisco at Benedetti Diamond. Pepperdine had its season-high seven-game winning streak snapped on Tuesday, falling 6-5 at Long Beach State. Leading the Waves at the plate is junior OF Adrian Ortiz who is batting .432 with five doubles, four triples and a homerun, along with 11 stolen bases. On the mound, junior right-hander Barry Enright (last season's WCC Co-Pitcher of the Year) is 8-1 with a 1.56 ERA and 49 strikeouts in 10 starts.

LAST MEETINGS: USF 6, No. 22 PEP 3 (4/7/06); No. 22 PEP 5, USF 3 (4/8/06); USF 2, No. 22 PEP 0 (4/9/06)

LAST TIME AGAINST THE DONS: In a rare series win in Malibu, USF took 2-of-3 from No. 22 Pepperdine in early April. In game one, USF continued its hot play with a 6-3 victory against Pepperdine at Eddy D. Field Stadium behind another strong start from junior left-hander Scott Cousins (3-0). The Dons win for the 15th time in their last 17 games and improve to 2-0 versus top-25 opponents this season. San Francisco did the bulk of the damage in the second inning with a four-run outburst. As it turned out that would be enough for Cousins who continued to impress, allowing three runs (one earned) off seven hits in 8.0 innings and struck out six and allowed just one walk. Sophomore Brian Anderson collected his first career save, allowing just one hit in the ninth.

In game two of a three game series, USF fell to Pepperdine 5-3. Pepperdine plated one in the first, but the Dons tied it in the top of the fourth. In the sixth, senior short stop Andrew Smith singled through the left side and Cousins homered to right field to tie the score at three runs a piece. USF couldn't hold off the Waves as they scored two more in the eighth. Sophomore left-hander Aaron Poreda took the loss, throwing seven-plus innings, allowing five runs (four earned) on 13 hits with one walk and four strikeouts.

In the final game of the series, USF got a dazzling pitching performance from senior right-hander Patrick McGuigan (8-1) who tossed a complete game 2-0 shutout. McGuigan won his 18th career game to move into sole possession of second place on the USF all-time wins list after entering the game tied with Jerry Eilers (1962-64). McGuigan hurled his third complete game of the season, allowing just six hits - only one for extra bases - to go along with three strikeouts and did not issue a free pass.


GAME 1: No. 23 USF 7, NO. 20 PEP 6 (5/26/06)

In its first ever West Coast Championship game, USF came out on top, beating Pepperdine 7-6. The Dons lead the series 1-0 over the Waves and have now won their 10th straight. In a game of furious rallies and outstanding plays from both teams, USF's sophomore first baseman Mitchell Bialosky scored the winning run in the bottom of the eighth, breaking open a 6-6 dead lock. After diving into first base beating out a bloop infield single, he advanced to second on So. SS Tavo Hall's ground out and scored after So. 2B Joey Railey singled up the middle. Pepperdine's So. CF, Adrian Ortiz, tried to throw out the barreling Bialosky at home, but his throw came up short, bouncing in front of Jr. C Chad Tracy. After only throwing 1.1 innings of relief, Sr. RHP Patrick McGuigan (12-2) made huge strides in the USF record books. The WCC Co-Pitcher of the Year earned the win and now owns the single-season record for victories and is tied with Dana Hendershott (1968-71) with 22 career victories. McGuigan didn't allow a run and only gave up one hit after coming in for USF's starter, Jr. LHP Scott Cousins. The win was USF's first ever as a ranked team.

GAME 2: No. 20 PEP 11, No. 23 USF 0 (5/27/06)

USF baseball fell to Pepperdine 11-0 on Saturday at Benedetti Diamond in Game two of the West Coast Conference Championship Series. The Waves hand the Dons their first loss since they fell to San Diego 9-3 on April 30. Pepperdine's starter, Sr. LHP Paul Coleman (7-5) dominated USF through 7.2 innings, not allowing a run and only giving up two hits while striking out eight batters. USF's So. LHP Aaron Poreda didn't fare as well, struggling through 4.1 innings, allowing eight runs (six earned) on eight hits and struck out three Waves. So. INF Joey Railey came through for the first hit of the day for USF, a single in the fourth. Jr. LF Scott Cousins singled to right in the seventh and Sr. PH Jacob Abramson singled in the ninth for the Dons third hit.

GAME 3: No. 20 PEP 9, No. 23 USF 4 (5/28/06)

In the final game of the West Coast Conference Championship, USF fell 9-4 to Pepperdine at Benedetti Diamond on Sunday afternoon. McGuigan (12-3) had rough second and third innings, but continued to battle over the next 2.3 innings to try and give his batters a chance. The WCC Co-Pitcher of the Year earned the loss, throwing 5.2 innings, allowing eight runs off 14 hits and struck out three batters. The three strikeouts give McGuigan 173 for his career. The WCC Player of the Year, Cousins had three hits on the day, all singles and drove in a run and played well defensively in left. Hall also had three hits, all singles, scored twice and had a stolen base. So. OF Luke Sommer had two hits, including a double and scored a run. Jr. CF Lucas DeLong doubled and Bialosky and Sr. 3B Andrew Smith singled. Sr. RF Stefan Gartrell singled in his last at bat at Benedetti Diamond, concluding a fantastic career in the Green and Gold.

WCC LEADERS: USF still leads all WCC teams in fielding with a .976 and is third in team pitching with a 3.83 ERA. Individually, nine Dons hold top-ten spots in eight different categories. Jr. 1B Mitchell Bialosky is eighth in batting average at .357 and ninth in RBI with 27. Sr. C Jon Norfolk is ninth in batting average at .348. Jr. RF Luke Sommer has five homeruns, good for a fourth place tie. Sr. LF Jonnie Knoble is third in stolen bases with 16, Jr. SS Tavo Hall is tied for fourth with 11, and Jr. 2B Joey Railey is sixth with 10. On the mound, Jr. LHP Aaron Poreda is tied for third with five wins, sixth in ERA at 3.08, and seventh in opponents batting average at .251. Sr. RHP Jason Dufloth is also tied for third with five wins, and Sr. LHP Cole Stipovich is tied for third in appearances with 18.

WHO'S HOT FOR THE DONS: Sr. RHP Jason Dufloth threw the longest outing of his career in the Dante Benedetti Classic, a nine-inning, 115 pitch performance, only allowing two earned runs off seven hits and no walks, and recorded four strikeouts. Jr. 2B Joey Railey had three hits in the DBC, giving him four in the two-year history of the game. Sr. UT Blake Nelson smacked two homeruns against Santa Clara last week.