{{ article.title }}

USF Takes on Cal In The Inaugural Dante Benedetti Classic Tuesday

April 24, 2006

Dons Play in Inaugural Dante Benedetti Classic at AT&T Park: 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.



SCOUTING CALIFORNIA: The Golden Bears finished 2005 34-23 overall, 13-11 in the Pac-10, normally a record warranting post-season play, and now have something in common with the Dons. They too were denied a spot in a NCAA post-season regional. Their 2006 motto, `Leave No Doubt' is their rallying cry to play tough and receive a regional berth at the end of the season. Cal is currently 19-20 and 6-9 in the tough Pac-10 Conference. Senior infielder Craig Allen leads the Bears at the plate, batting .363 and is one of only two Bears to have played in all of Cal's 39 games. Allen has 57 hits (11 doubles and eight homeruns), 23 RBI, has scored 28 runs, is second in slugging percentage with a .586 and has four stolen bases. On the mound, junior right-hander Brandon Morrow has an impressive 7-1 record in 11 starts with one complete game. Morrow has struckout 81 batters and allowed only 36 walks. In 77 innings, the junior has allowed 22 runs, only 13 of which were earned.

LAST MEETING: USF 4, at CAL 3 (2/7/06)

LAST TIME AGAINST THE DONS: USF baseball captured its first victory of the season with a satisfying 4-3 non-conference win against Cal. San Francisco fought back from an early 2-0 deficit with a three-run fourth fueled by an RBI single from sophomore outfielder Luke Sommer followed by a mammoth two-run homer from junior catcher Daniel Morales. Cal's pitching held the Dons scoreless until the 10th inning. Sophomore infielder Joey Railey led off the 10th with a double and advanced to third on a sacrifice from sophomore shortstop Tavo Hall. After an intentional walk to junior designated hitter Scott Cousins, senior outfielder Stefan Gartrell hit a squibber to the right side of the infield and just enough to score Railey to give the Dons a 4-3 lead. Sophomore right-hander Brian Anderson (1-0) collected the relief win, tossing two scoreless innings and did not allow a hit while picking up a strikeout. Freshman right-hander Jeff Gordon, and sophomore left-hander Nick Delyon combined for 3.2 innings of scoreless relief, allowing just one hit during the span before giving way to Anderson to start the ninth.

LAST WEEK: USF traveled to Spokane, Washington to take on West Coast Conference foe Gonzaga for a weekend series. The Dons played well, but lost their first series since going 1-2 against Southern Utah on February 17-18. In game one, USF fell 3-1 in a game where they managed just four hits. 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. The Dons evened the series in game two with an 8-1 win. Senior outfielder Stefan Gartrell enjoyed a monster day at the plate for the Dons, going 2-for-five with a pair of doubles and five RBI. 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. USF almost came back to win game three, but fell 9-8. USF started the scoring in the third inning when Gartrell roped a three-run homerun to right center. They added two in both the fourth and seventh innings, and one in the eighth. In the top of the ninth, USF had a runner on with two outs and junior center fielder Lucas DeLong at the plate. DeLong hammered the ball, but strong 25 mile-per-hour winds kept the ball in the park to end the game.

Stefan Gartrell MOVES UP ON THE RBI LIST: Senior outfielder Stefan Gartrell continues to produce for USF at the plate and leads the club in RBI with 45 and now has 114 in his career. The San Francisco native currently resides in seventh place on the Dons RBI list and is only four RBI away from a three-way fifth place tie with Joe Jacobitz (2002-04) and Tony Hurtado (1997-00).

Patrick McGuigan REACHES NEW HEIGHTS: Senior right-handed pitcher Patrick McGuigan has an impressive 9-2 record in 15 appearances in 2006. McGuigan is now 19-7 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 159 career strikeouts, the USF career saves leader is tied for eighth with Rich Igou (1995-97). The senior only needs eight more to pass seventh place holderKen Bowman (1972-75) who has 166. On the season, McGuigan owns a 2.87 ERA, allowing 39 runs (27 earned) off 84 hits and has struck out 55 and walked just 13 in 84.2 innings.

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 3-2 record with a 3.26 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 49.2 innings, Cousins owns a 33/10 strikeout/walk ratio. The 2005 West Coast Conference First Team selection also gets it done at the plate, batting .311 with sixr doubles, two triples, three home runs, 27 RBI, 35 runs scored and a team-high 17 stolen bases

DAZZLING Aaron Poreda: Sophomore left-hander Aaron Poreda continues to dazzle for the Dons after collecting his fourth win of the season against Gonzaga (4/22), tallying five 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 2.36 ERA, allowing just 33 earned runs (20 earned) and owns a 4-4 record with 57 strikeouts and just 16 walks in 76.1 innings.

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 (.370), hits (60), walks (30) and is second in on base percentage (.469). Railey has tallied nine doubles, two triples and 20 RBI.

LAKE NELSON DOING WELL OFF THE BENCH: Junior untility player Blake Nelson seems to be relishing his role off the bench. In 29 games played (12 starts), Nelson is batting .333 with 19 hits (four doubles), five RBI, and nine runs scored. He is also tearing it up versus WCC opponents, leading the team with a .476 average and a .619 slugging percentage in 10 games. Nelson has 10 hits (three doubles), three RBI and has scored four runs.

Chris Bacigalupi BEATING UP THE WCC: In seven games played versus the WCC, junior infielder Chris Bacigalupi is batting .333 with four hits (one double and a homerun) with an RBI and five runs scored. In that span he also leads the team with four hit-by-pitches.

DELONG'S POWER THREAT: Junior outfielder Lucas DeLong leads the team in long balls this season with six. He also has six doubles and a triple, good for a .457 slugging percentage.

Cole Stipovich CONFUSING WCC BATTERS: Sophomore left-hander Cole Stipovich hasn't allowed a run versus WCC opponents in five appearances and has only allowed three hits. Pitching in two games at Gonzaga, one of the best offenses the Dons have seen all season, Stipovich threw 2.2 innings, allowing only two hits, no runs, no walks, and had one strikeout,

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 517 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 second in the West Coast Conference with a team ERA of 3.67. Individually, nine players hold top-ten spots in 17 categories. Patrick McGuigan leads the way with six rankings, including first in wins (9), shutouts (2) and complete games (3), second in innings pitched (84.2), eighth in strikeouts (55), and ninth in ERA (2.87). Joey Railey tallies five top ten rankings, coming in second in base on balls (30), and on base percentage (.469), third in batting average (.370), fifth in hits (60), and eighth in stolen bases (12). Aaron Poreda has four rankings, coming in second in games started (12), third in ERA (2.48), fifth in strikeouts (57), and eighth in Innnings pitched (76.1). Scott Cousins follows with three rankings, including second in stolen bases (17), fifth in walks (27), and ninth in runs scored (35). Stefan Gartrell has two top ten rankings, including second in RBI (45) and eighth in doubles (13). Falling in with one apiece are Lucas DeLong with six home runs (eighth), John Quine and Jeff Gordon with three saves (tied for fourth), 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).

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.

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 .309 clip with three doubles, eight RBI and ranks second on the club in sacrifice hits with seven. 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 3.64 team ERA. Norfolk has thrown out 11 base runners this season.

Nick Delyon EARNS FIRST COLLEGIATE STRIKEOUT: Freshman left-hander Nick Delyon pitched in his first West Coast Conference against Portland (4/15), throwing 0.2 innings and earned his first collegiate strikeout.

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 and junior transfer RHP John Quine lead the team with three saves, while sophomore right-hander Brian Anderson has secured a pair of games. Junior right-hander Jason Dufloth and junior left-hander Cole Stipovich also picked up one save.

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.

Stefan Gartrell NAMED TO BASEBALL AMERICA'S FAB 50: Senior Stefan Gartrell was named to the Fabulous 50 Seniors of 2006 by Baseball America. The outfielder came in at No. 40 after a stellar 2005 campaign. In an injury plagued season Gartrell still managed to hit a whopping .364 with 52 hits, five homeruns, and 41 RBI. He had a 15-game hit streak that stretched from February 23 to March 19 in which he had 21 hits. Gartrell was also named to Baseball America's pre-season All-Conference Team.