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USF Baseball Back Home After Short Roadtrip; Host UC Davis and Gonzaga

April 23, 2007

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DONS HOST UC DAVIS AND GONZAGA: USF returns home from a short three-game Northwest road trip to host UC Davis in a mid-week matchup. First pitch against the Aggies is set for 2:00 PM Tuesday. This weeken, the Dons return to West Coast Conference action with a three game set against Gonzaga. Friday is a 3:00 PM start. Both Saturday and Sunday are set for 1:00 PM first pitches.

LAST WEEK: In a mid-week game last Tuesday, USF defeated Nevada 17-2 at Benedetti Diamond. The 17 runs were the highest total for the Dons (20-19) all season, and most since a 15 run out break against Cal (2/13). USF smacked 13 hits in the game, including five doubles and two homeruns, off of nine Wolf Pack pitchers. USF put up nine runs before they put the game completely out of reach for the Pack when they plated eight runs in the eighth inning, highlighted by junior right-fielder Luke Sommer's grand slam and Senior catcher Blake Nelson's two-run shot to left. With the bases loaded, Sommer smashed the ball on a line over the right field fence for his sixth homerun of the season, and his first career grand slam. Jr. LHP Matt Baugh (2-2) earned the win in relief, allowing one earned run off five hits, two walks, and struck out three in 5.0 innings.

USF took a 3-1 lead into the sixth, but could not hold on, dropping a 5-3 decision at Portland Friday afternoon. The Dons got a pair of solo home runs and the offense recorded 10 hits.Senior catcher Jonathan Norfolk led off the second with a home run, his second, to left field to tie the score at 1-1. The Dons jumped out to a 3-1 edge with Poppert's first home run as a Don with two outs and none on in the sixth. Portland would answer with two runs in the bottom of the sixth to knot the score, and two more in the eighth to take the lead. It was enough for junior left-hander David Gruener (2-3), who went the distance for the Pilots, allowing three runs off 10 hits with five strikeouts and two walks. Junior left-hander Aaron Poreda (5-5) suffered the loss for USF, allowing four runs off eight hits in 7.0 innings with five strikeouts.

Leading 1-0 after five innings on Saturday, the Dons couldn't hold the lead as they resumed the game on Sunday morning and fell to Portland 3-1. In the top of the third on Saturday, junior second baseman Joey Railey was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning, and advanced to second on his 14th steal of the season. Junior right fielder Luke Sommer walked to put runners at first and second. Both Dons then took off on a double steal and Railey scored on a throwing error by Portland's catcher Rocky Gale. Senior right-hander Jason Dufloth was on a roll, throwing all five innings of the suspended game and not allowing a run off three hits and added two strikeouts. Junior left-hander Matt Baugh (2-3) earned the loss as the game picked up Sunday and gave up all of Portland's three runs (two earned) off six hits and a walk and recorded one strikeout in 1.2 innings pitched.

San Francisco played much better in their regularly scheduled contest with Portland, pounding the Pilots 8-0. Junior right-hander Tommy Peale (2-1) threw 7.0 strong innings in the win, only allowing five hits and striking out three Pilots. After being one-hit in the previous game, the bats returned for the Dons. Poppert was 2-for-5 with two RBI. Sommer was 2-for-4 with an RBI, a run scored and a stolen base. Bacigalupi went 2-for-3 with an RBI and two runs scored. Morales added his fourth homerun of the year. Railey, Kim, Nelson, Knoble, and junior Matt Lieb all singled on the day.


GAME #42 - UC DAVIS AGGIES (13-23)

SCOUTING DAVIS: Head coach Rex Peters is in his fourth year at the helm of the Aggies and led them to an 18-34 finnish in 2006. Leading Davis at the plate is junior Daniel Descalso who is batting .411 (62-151) with 16 doubles, three triples, two homeruns, and 28 RBI. He also leads the team with a .596 slugging percentage and has added five steals. On the mound, junior right-hander Jeff Reekers is 4-4 with a 4.64 ERA in nine starts. He has 12 strikeouts in 52.1 innings. In their last game, the Aggies fell to No. 25 Long Beach State 9-6.

LAST MEETING: USF 8, UCD 0 (2/24/07)

LAST TIME AGAINST THE DONS: San Francisco won their second game in the River City Classic, beating co-host UC Davis 8-0 at Dobbins Field on Saturday afternoon. With the second consecutive shutout, the Dons haven't allowed a run in their last 20 innings. Junior shortstop Tavo Hall smacked three singles, scored twice and had two RBI. Senior catcher Daniel Morales also had three hits, including a double. Senior left fielder Jonnie Knoble had two singles, an RBI and scored a run. Junior second baseman Joey Railey also doubled and scored twice. Senior right-hander Jason Dufloth (3-1) earned the combined shutout win, throwing 7.0 innings. The right-hander only allowed five hits, no walks and struck out three Aggies. Freshman Alex Kalogrides and senior Cole Stipovich both pitched an inning of relief, respectively, neither allowing a hit, a run, or a walk. Kalogrides earned his first strikeout on the season.

GAME #43-45 - GONZAGA BULLDOGS (26-18, 9-3 WCC)

SCOUTING GONZAGA: Fourth year head coach Mark Machtolf returned a solid lineup in 2007 and also started play in a brand new facility in Spokane, Patterson Baseball Complex and Washington Trust Field. The Zags, who are striving for their fourth winning season in the past five years, finished 2006 with a 29-24 record. Leading Gonzaga at the plate is junior third baseman Darin Holcomb, who is batting .348 (63-181) with 12 doubles, four homeruns and 32 RBI. He is also first in slugging percentage with a .381 and has added four steals. On the mound, junior RHP Brandon Harmon is 6-5 with a 3.74 ERA in 14 appearances (12 starts). He has 51 strikeouts in 91.1 innings. Senior RHP Josh Monroe is 6-2, 4.38 ERA in 14 appearances (nine starts). He has 35 strikeouts in 51.1 innings. Gonzaga meets Washington State University in a mid-week matchup before their WCC series with USF.

LAST MEETINGS: GON 3, USF 1 (4/21/06); USF 8, GON 1 (4/22/06); GON 9, USF 8 (4/23/06)

LAST TIME AGAINST THE DONS: USF baseball dropped the opener of its West Coast Conference series at Gonzaga in a 3-1 pitcher's duel Friday afternoon at Avista Stadium. Junior left-hander Scott Cousins (3-2) pitched well for San Francisco but got little offensive help in the contest and allowed three runs (two earned) off eight hits in 7.1 innings to go along with five strikeouts. USF scored its lone run of the game in the third. Sophomore outfielder Luke Sommer slammed his 11th double of the season down the right field line, was sacrificed to second by freshman infielder George Lujan and scored on a sacrifice fly by sophomore infielder Joey Railey.

After managing just one base hit in the first five innings, the USF offense woke up from a long slumber and used a four-run sixth inning to take a 8-1 victory against Gonzaga Saturday afternoon. Sophomore infielder Joey Railey did an outstanding job at the top of the order for the Dons finishing 4-for-5 with a triple and scored three runs. Senior outfielder Stefan Gartrell enjoyed a monster day at the plate for the Dons, going 2-for-5 with a pair of doubles and five RBI. Sophomore left-hander Aaron Poreda (4-4) pitched a strong 7.0 innings for San Francisco. The Moraga native allowed just one run off six hits and struck out five, lowering his ERA to 2.36.

USF dropped a tough one to Gonzaga 9-8 on Sunday. The Dons managed 13 hits, compared to the Zags 12, but left 10 runners on base. Gartrell was 1-for-3 with his homerun and added his seventh stolen base of the year. Junior left-fielder Scott Cousins had a good day, going 2-for-5 with a double, two RBI, two runs scored and tallied his 17th stolen base of the season. Junior designated hitter Blake Nelson had three hits, including a double. Senior shortstop Andrew Smith added two hits, an RBI and a run scored. Freshman second baseman George Lujan was 2-for-3 on the day, and freshman Zach Kim added a pinch-hit single. Junior Chris Bacigalupi and sophomore Mitchell Bialosky each added a hit apiece. Sophomore right-hander John Quine (2-3) took the loss for the Dons, pitching in relief of starter, senior right-hander Patrick McGuigan. Quine threw 0.1 innings, allowing two runs (both earned) on two hits. McGuigan threw seven innings, allowing seven runs (six earned) on nine hits while striking out two and walking two.

WCC LEADERS: As a team, USF is second in fielding with a .974, third in batting (.284), and third in pitching (3.83 ERA). Individually, ten Dons are among the top-ten in 11 categories. Mitchell Bialosky (tied for fifth in RBI with 35; eighth in slugging percentage with .493), Joey Railey (fourth in stolen bases with 15; ninth in on base percentage with .421), and Aaron Poreda (ninth in both innings pitched with 75.1 and opponent batting average wtih .260) have two each. Zach Kim is second with a .388 batting average. Luke Sommer is tied for fourth with six homeruns. Brian Chavez has 12 doubles, good for a sixth place tie. Jonnie Knoble (17) and Tavo Hall (13) are third and tied for fifth respectively in stolen bases. On the mound, Alex Kalogrides is first in ERA with a miniscule 0.64 and Cole Stipovich is tied for third in appearances with 22.

WHO'S HOT FOR THE DONS: In four games last week, Brian Chavez led all Dons while batting .364 (4-for-11) with a double. Jonnie Knoble batted .333 (4-for-12) with a double, his team leading 17th stolen base and two RBI. Derek Poppert was 5-for-16 (.313) with a double, his first homerun as a Don, and four RBI. Luke Sommer had three hits, including his first career grand slam, and six RBI. Daniel Morales batted .333 with a homerun and two RBI. Jon Norfolk and Blake Nelson each had a homerun. On the mound, Tommy Peale was 1-0 with a 0.00 ERA in 7.0 innings pitched and added three strikeouts. Matt Baugh went 1-1 in two appearances and added six strikeouts in 6.2 innings pitched.

A LOOK AHEAD: On the first day of May, the Dons host California in a mid-week game at Benedetti Diamond. First pitch is set for 3:00 PM. The weekend May 4-6, the Dons will travel to San Diego for a three game set with the Toreros. Game times are 3:00 PM Friday, 1:00 PM Saturday and Sunday.