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USF Takes Last Road Trip of the Season; Plays Three in San Diego

May 2, 2007

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DONS TRAVEL TO SAN DIEGO: USF will take its last road trip of the season as it heads South for a three-game West Coast Conference series with No. 9 San Diego. Friday will be a 3:00 PM start with both Saturday's and Sunday's games set for 1:00 PM.

FOUR DONS BASEBALL PLAYERS HONORED: Junior Tavo Hall earned the Charles Harney Award, given to the student with the top graduating G.P.A. Hall's pursuit of excellence both on the field and in the classroom has left a mark on the Dons baseball program and the University. He has recorded a 3.877 grade-point average in International Studies with emphasis in world religions and spiritualities. A two-time All-West Coast Conference Academic Team selection, Hall is the first baseball player honored with this award and is the first student-athlete to serve as class valedictorian in nearly two decades. A three-year starter at shortstop, Tavo has battled through much adversity on the field and has suffered season-ending injuries in back-to-back seasons, but returned last year in time to lift the Dons baseball program to the first NCAA Regional berth in school history.

Senior Jonnie Knoble earned the Sandee L. Hill Dedication Award. Knoble epitomizes what it means to be a student-athlete. After suffering a career-threatening back injury last season, Knoble has bounced back this season to enjoy a career year for USF baseball. An outstanding performer in the classroom, the fifth-year senior is in the middle of his finest statistical season, establishing career-highs in virtually every offensive category and ranks second among West Coast Conference stolen base leaders with 19. Knoble litters the career offensive records for the Dons, ranking second in stolen bases (57) and is in the top-15 in hits (176). Knoble's perseverance and dedication to academic and athletic excellence is an inspiration to his team and is a credit to the university and its mission.

Seniors Daniel Morales and Lucas DeLong earned the Peter Peletta Award. The Peter Peletta Award is the only USF athletic award that is open to all students, not just athletes. It is for loyal service to the department. Both athletes committed many hours in helping the department outside baseball. Morales, in addition to his baseball and academic duties, worked as a student trainer and also assisted in game operations, helping staff numerous athletic events. DeLong also put in many hours working numerous athletic events assisting the full-time staff and was the lead person in charge of some outside rentals.

A LOOK AHEAD: On Tuesday, May 8, USF will host the University of the Pacific at Benedetti Diamond for the conclusion of a suspended game from March 4th, and a regularly scheduled meeting. Game one will begin at 1:30 PM with the second starting 30 minutes after the conclusion of the previous game. That weekend, USF will host its final West Coast Conference series of 2007, a three game set versus Saint Mary's. Friday's game is set for 3:00 PM. Both Saturday's and Sunday's contests will begin at 1:00 PM. Sunday is senior day, join us at Benedetti Diamond as we honor our departing players.


GAME #48-50 - NO 9 SAN DIEGO (35-14, 13-2 WCC)

SCOUTING SAN DIEGO: The Toreros finished third in the WCC last season with a 33-25, 13-8 WCC record, head coach Rich Hill has his No. 9 San Diego in first place in the conference going into the final two weeks of play. After losing friday starter Josh Butler to the MLB draft and the majority of their infield, USD began 2007 with two freshman All-American pitchers and a wealth of offensive talent. WCC Freshman of the year Josh Romanski is 8-1, 2.10 ERA with 72 strikeouts in 90.0 innings. Fellow frosh All-American Brian Matusz is 9-2, 2,62 ERA with 138 strikeouts in 96.0 innings. At the plate, junior Justin Snyder leads the Toreros with a .366 batting average, 15 doubles, three homeruns and 31 RBI. Senior Shane Buschini is batting .341 with 15 doubles, two triples, 12 homeruns and 118 RBI.

LAST MEETINGS: USF 4, USD 0 (4/28/06); USF 5, USD 0 (4/29/06); USD 9, USF 3 (4/30/06)

LAST TIME AGAINST THE DONS: USF defeated San Diego 4-0 on Friday. Junior left-hander Scott Cousins did damage on both sides of the plate, throwing a complete game shutout and adding two hits. Cousins struck out seven batters and only allowed six hits and two walks, keeping the Toreros from crossing the plate. As a batter, Cousins was 2-for-3 with an RBI. Sophomore left fielder Luke Sommer was 2-for-4 and did the most damage in the bottom of the fourth as he stroked a one out bases loaded triple to right field to put the Dons on the board and give them a lead they would not relinquish. USF added their fourth and final run in the fifth when Cousins singled home sophomore third baseman Joey Railey who had walked and advanced to second on a wild pitch.

San Francisco continued to stymie No. 24 San Diego as they took game two 5-0 on Saturday in West Coast Conference action at Benedetti Diamond. The Dons are now 5-1 against Top-25 ranked opponents and have held the Toreros scoreless for 18 consecutive innings. USF got another incredible pitching performance from sophomore left-hander Aaron Poreda (4-2) who tossed 8.2 scoreless innings, only giving up four hits, three walks and striking out one. Over 70% of Poreda's pitches went for strikes on the afternoon and he lowered his ERA to 2.12. Sophomore left-hander Cole Stipovich finished the game, facing only one batter in the ninth. Senior right-fielder Stefan Gartrell drove in two runners to bring his team leading season RBI total to 48 and moves into seventh place on the career chart with 117. On the afternoon, Cousins stroked two hits and stole his team leading 18th base. Railey, Smith, Gartrell, Sommer, Bialosky, junior center fielder Lucas DeLong, and freshman second baseman George Lujan each had one hit a piece. Smith also stole his 10th bag of the season.

USF won the series, but couldn't finish off San Diego on Sunday, as the Diamond Dons fell to the Toreros 9-3 at Benedetti Diamond. After 27 straight innings of not crossing the plate, San Diego netted three runs in the top of the first. USF took one run back in the bottom of the frame. With two outs, junior left fielder Scott Cousins walked and scored on senior right fielder Stefan Gartrell's single to right. USF was within two in the bottom of the third when junior center fielder Lucas DeLong singled, stole second and scored on Cousins single to right field. But that would be as close as they would get as San Diego would score two more in the fourth, one in the eighth and two in the ninth. Cousins gave the Dons their third run in the bottom of the sixth, smashing a lead-off homerun over the 360 sign in right-center field. McGuigan (9-2) suffers the loss, throwing four innings, allowing six runs (all earned) on eight hits and two walks.

LAST WEEK: USF started the week on a low note as it fell to UC Davis 6-1 on Tuesday. Senior LHP Cole Stipovich (1-2) threw 3.0 innings in the loss, giving up two earned runs off four hits and added a strikeout. The Berkeley native made his first career start on the mound in his 23rd appearance this season. Senior center fielder Jonnie Knoble singled in the fourth on a bunt and advanced to second on a throwing error by Aggies junior third baseman Daniel Descalso. He advanced to third on sophomore left fielder Zach Kim's sacrifice bunt, and scored on junior first baseman Mitchell Bialosky's double to left. Knoble's hit gives him 43 for the season and 168 for his career.

The Dons fared better over the weekend, taking two of three from Gonzaga for their first WCC series victory of the season. On Friday, USF defeated the Zags 4-2. Junior left-hander Aaron Poreda (6-5) threw a nine inning gem, allowing only two unearned runs off seven hits, one walk, and recorded six strikeouts. Poreda now leads the team with 57 strikeouts against only 12 walks. USF smacked 10 hits in the contest with senior left fielder Jonnie Knoble overtaking 15th place on the Dons all-time hits chart. Knoble had three hits on the day, giving him 171 for his career.

USF fell 1-0 in a great pitchers dual in game two. Senior right-hander Jason Dufloth (5-4) earned the loss, but did stretch his scoreless innings pitched to a career high 12.1 innings. Dufloth previously threw 5.0 scoreless last weekend at Portland, and continued with 7.1 versus the Bulldogs. He allowed eight hits and recorded six strikeouts without walking a batter. Dufloth got out of quite a few jams before leaving in the eighth with two runners on base. Senior left-hander Cole Stipovich came in and struck out a batter before giving way to senior right-hander John Quine, who threw the final 1.1 innings and struck out two. Senior left-fielder Jonnie Knoble had two hits, including a double, giving him 173 for his career, which puts him in a 14th place tie with Reggie Brown (1976-79) on the Dons all-time hits chart.

The Dons rebounded on Sunday, taking a 10-2 win. Senior center fielder Jonnie Knoble continued his offensive onslaught against the Zags, smashing three more hits for a career total of 176, which puts him into a tie for 13th place with Andrew Smith (2003-06). Junior designated hitter Matt Lieb hit his first career homerun as a Don in a 2-for-5 day, including four RBI and two runs scored. Sophomore left fielder Zach Kim increased his team leading batting average to .397 on a 4-for-4 day with a triple, an RBI, a run, and a stolen base. Senior first baseman Chris Bacigalupi and junior short stop Brian Chavez each went 2-for-4 with an RBI in the contest. Seniors Blake Nelson and Jon Norfolk and junior Joey Railey and Mitchell Bialosky all singled.Junior right-hander Tommy Peale (3-1) earned the victory, allowing two earned runs off seven hits in 7.2 innings. Peale recorded three strikeouts and did not walk a batter. Senior left-hander Cole Stipovich retired the only batter he faced in the eighth and junior left-hander Matt Baugh threw a scoreless ninth and struck out two Bulldogs.

WCC LEADERS: (As of May 1) San Francisco is first in the West Coast Conference in team fielding with a .974. In team pitching, USF is third with a 3.67 ERA. Individually, 10 Dons hold top-10 spots in 13 different categories. Sophomore Zach Kim leads the conference in batting average at .397. Junior Luke Sommer is tied for third with six homeruns. Senior Jonnie Knoble is third in stolen bases with 19 and junior Joey Railey is fourth in the same category with 16. Railey is also 10th in both hits (57) and on base percentage (.415). Junior Brian Chavez is tied for fifth with 13 doubles. Junior Mitchell Bialosky is fifth in RBI (36) and 10th in slugging percentage (.483). On the mound, junior Aaron Poreda is eighth in innings pitched (84.1) and opponents batting average (.254) and is tied for eighth with a 6-5 record. Freshman Alex Kalogirdes is first in the conference with a 0.60 ERA. Senior Cole Stipovich is second in apperances (25). Junior Tommy Peale is second in opponents batting average at .203.