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USF Wins Home Series Versus Portland; Travels to Gonzaga This Weekend

April 17, 2006

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DONS MEET SPARTANS AND BULLDOGS THIS WEEK: USF will play a non-conference game against the Spartans at San Jose on Tuesday. Game time is scheduled for 6:00 PM. The Dons return to WCC action this weekend when they travel North to Spokane, WA to visit Gonzaga. Friday's game is set for 3:00 PM with Saturday's and Sunday's games scheduled for 1:00 PM.

LAST WEEK: USF took their seventh consecutive series with two victories over WCC foe Portland last weekend. The Dons fell in game one 3-2, but bounced back huge in games two and three. USF won game two 10-5 behind solid pitching from sophomore left-hander Aaron Poreda (3-4) and homeruns from juniors Chris Bacigalupi and Scott Cousins. San Francisco doubled up on Portland once more as they defeated the Pilots 14-7 on Saturday. Senior right-hander Patrick McGuigan earned the win, his ninth of the year and the Dons smacked 14 hits on the day.

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.

TEAM NOTES: USF won its seventh straight series and third consecutive West Coast Conference set against Portland (April 13-15), defeating the Pilots two games to one... The Dons played its first games at Benedetti Diamond since March 23 and have played just 12 home games on the year, 11 coming at Benedetti Diamond... USF has won 18 of its last 22 games after posting a 5-11 mark to start the season and has won seven 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; Portland, 2-1)... San Francisco owns a 9-2 record at Benedetti Diamond this season, but have played just nine home games at Benedetti Diamond since Valentine's Day... USF owns a 13-12 road record and has won 10 of its last 13 contests away from Benedetti Diamond dating to March 15... 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... USF owns a 6-3 record during West Coast Conference action boosted by the pitching staff which owns sparkling 2.50 ERA, allowing just 22 extra-base hits in 79.1 innings... The Dons staff boasts a strikeout to walk ratio of 51/13 during league contests... After defeating Portland's Sean Sargent April 14, the Dons improved to 10-3 on the season against left-handed starters... USF owns a 13-12 mark against right-handers.

SCOUTING REPORT - WEEK 12

GAME #40 - SAN JOSE STATE SPARTANS

SCOUTING SAN JOSE STATE: The Spartans finished 2005 with a 28-28-1 mark, their best since their 2002 NCAA Tournament appearance. SJSU is currently 24-15, 5-4 WAC. At the plate, junior outfielder Ryan Angel is leading the Spartans with a .338 batting average, 51 hits (14 doubles, one triple, and two homeruns), 24 RBI, 30 runs scored, a .483 slugging percentage and seven stolen bases. On the mound, senior Branden Dewing is 5-3 with a 2.47 ERA in 11 starts. The left-hander has three complete games, two shutouts and has 36 strikeouts in 73.0 innings pitched.

LAST MEETING: San Jose State 6, at USF 5 (3/14/06)

LAST TIME AGAINST THE DONS: USF rallied for three runs with two outs in the ninth, but came up short in the end as they fell to San Jose State University 6-5. Sophomore infielder Joey Railey continued to pound the ball, coming only a homerun away from the cycle. His first hit of the game was a triple to center field in the third, and then he added a single in the fifth. The Pittsburg, CA native's big blow came in the bottom of the ninth. With two outs and the bases loaded, Railey doubled to center to score all three runners and put the Dons to within one. San Francisco natives, senior outfielder Stefan Gartrell and junior first baseman Daniel Morales both added two hits a piece. Morales doubled in the fourth and Gartrell doubled in the eighth, his fifth of the season. Norfolk also added a hit for the Dons.

GAME #41-43 - GONZAGA BULLDOGS

SCOUTING GONZAGA: Gonzaga finished 2005 28-26, 15-15 WCC under second year head coach Mark Machtolf. The Bulldogs are currently fifth in the WCC with a 22-12, 4-4 WCC record. Senior left-hander Patrick Donovan is leading the Zags on the mound with a 5-2 record and a 3.27 ERA with a complete game shutout and 35 strikeouts in 63.1 innings. Junior infielder Scott Campbell has played in all of the Bulldogs' 34 games and is batting .414 with 58 hits (six doubles and four homeruns), has 17 RBI and has scored 35 runs.

LAST MEETING: USF 4, at GON 2 (4/8/05); at GON 5, USF 4 (4/9/05); at Gon 3, USF 1 (4/10/05)

LAST TIME AGAINST THE DONS: Gonzaga took two-of-three from the Dons in their only series of 2005. USF's 4-2 victory in game one was their fourth in a row. Freshman outfielder Luke Sommer blasted a three-run home run and senior right hander Nick Pereira (7-1) pitched a complete game. In game two, trailing 4-3 entering the ninth inning, USF baseball tied the contest at 4-4 on an RBI single from senior pinch-hitter Cy Donald, Jeff Culpepper's RBI single gave Gonzaga a 5-4 victory. On Sunday, USF baseball dropped a tough 3-1 decision in the rubber match of its series against Gonzaga Sophomore left-hander Scott Cousins (7-2) suffered the complete game loss, snapping a string of five straight wins, allowing three runs off seven hits and struck out six.

ALL AROUND GAME COMING TOGETHER: In USF's last ten games, the pitching and batting have been working in tandem to produce a 7-3 record (6-3 WCC). As a team, the Dons batted .303 with 102 hits (19 doubles, one triple, and seven homeruns), they have 56 RBI and have scored 60 runs. USF is 11-for-18 in stolen bases and have been hit by pitches 13 times compared to six for their opponents. On the mound, the team's ERA was 2.45 and they struckout 58 batters compared to just 15 walks. The nearly 4-to-1 ratio betters their opponents ratio of 2-to-1 (61/33) in that span.

Patrick McGuigan REACHES NEW HEIGHTS: With a win against Portland (4/15), senior right-handed pitcher Patrick McGuigan improved to a dazzling 9-1 on the season and has not lost since the Dons season opener at UC Riverside (2/3/06). McGuigan is now 19-6 in his career, good for sole possession of second place on the Dons career wins chart. USF Legend of the Hilltop and Hall-of-Famer Dana Hendershott (1968-71) is the all-time leader with 22. With 157 career strikeouts, the USF career saves leader needs just three 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 2.43 ERA, allowing 32 runs (21 earned) off 75 hits and has struck out 53 and walked just 11 in 77.2 innings.

Stefan Gartrell CONTINUES TO PRODUCE: Senior outfielder Stefan Gartrell continues to produce for USF at the plate and leads the club in RBI with 36 and now has 105 in his career. The San Francisco native currently shares eighth place on the Dons RBI list with USF Hall-of-Famer Jermaine Clark (1995-97) and Nick Cirbo (2001-04). Pat Walsh (1997-00) ranks seventh with 109 RBI.

Scott Cousins A THREAT ON BOTH SIDES OF THE BALL: Junior left-hander/outfielder Scott Cousins looks to be back in gear on the mound for the Dons this season and owns a 3-1 record with a 3.40 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 28/9 strikeout/walk ratio. The 2005 West Coast Conference First Team selection also gets it done at the plate, batting .305 with four doubles, two triples, three home runs, 23 RBI and a team-high 14 stolen bases

DAZZLING Aaron Poreda: Sophomore left-hander Aaron Poreda continues to dazzle for the Dons after collecting his third win of the season against Portland (4/13), tallying eight strikeouts in 7.0 innings. Poreda tossed the first complete game of his career at Oral Roberts (3/23), allowing one run off five hits and struck out a career-high nine in collecting his second win of the season. Poreda ranks second on the team with a 2.50 ERA, allowing just 32 earned runs (19 earned) and owns a 3-4 record with 52 strikeouts and just 15 walks in 68.1 innings.

DELONG'S POWER EMERGING: Junior outfielder Lucas DeLong has emerged as a tremendous power source for the Dons over the last 10 games, batting .324 with four doubles, a triple, a home run and a team-best 11 RBI. The junior center fielder leads the team with 11 RBI during West Coast Conference play, while hitting at a .324 clip. Delong hit his team-leading sixth home run of the season at Santa Clara (4/1) and now has 14 career long balls.

RAILEY STAYS HOT: Sophomore infielder Joey Railey continues to create havoc at the top of the order for the Dons and leads the club in batting (.379), hits (53), walks (29) and on base percentage (.488). Railey has tallied nine doubles, triple and 18 RBI.

USF EARNS SERIES VICTORY OVER NO. 22 PEPPERDINE: San Francisco earned its first series victory at Pepperdine (April 7-9), defeating the No. 22 Waves two games to one. USF batted .320 for the series, while the pitching staff posted a sparkling 1.73 ERA holding Pepperdine to a .276 average at the plate. The Dons outscored the Waves 11-8 and held a 33-27 hit advantage

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 514 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.

WCC LEADERS: USF is third in the West Coast Conference with a team ERA of 3.61. Individually, eight players hold top-ten spots in 17 categories. Patrick McGuigan leads the way with seven rankings, including first in wins (9), shutouts (2) and complete games (3), second in ERA (2.43), third in innings pitched (77.2), sixth in strikeouts (53), and ninth in opponents batting average (.253). Joey Railey tallies five top ten rankings, coming in second in batting average (.371), walks (29), and on base percentage (.483), and eighth in hits (82), and stolen bases (11). Aaron Poreda (fifth in ERA with 2.63, seventh in strikeouts with 52, and eighth in innings pitched with 68.1) and Scott Cousins (third in stolen bases with 14, sixth in walks with 24, and eighth in triples with 2) have three each. Stefan Gartrell has two top ten rankings, including third in RBI (36) and seventh in doubles (11). Falling in with one apiece are Lucas DeLong with six home runs (sixth), Jeff Gordon with three saves (fifth), 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 earned national recognition and enters the upcoming season ranked No. 35 in the 2006 Collegiate Baseball Preseason Poll. The Dons set program records for wins (38), West Coast Conference victories (20) and ranked in the top-10 nationally in team ERA (2.86) and team fielding percentage (.976).

Nick Delyon EARNS FIRST COLLEGIATE STRIKEOUT: Freshman left-hander Nick Delyon pitched in his first West Coast Conference game over the weekend, throwing 0.2 innings and earned his first collegiate strikeout.

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.

Chris Bacigalupi DOMINATING WCC TEAMS: In his last four games (all vs. WCC opponents) junior Chris Bacigalupi is batting .500 (3-for-6 with a double and a homerun), has an RBI and has scored four runs.

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 .337 clip with two doubles, eight RBI and ranks second on the club in sacrifice 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 3.59 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.

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.