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Baseball To Finish Home Slate With Rival Santa Clara

May 3, 2007

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Baseball Game Day: The Saint Mary's baseball team (19-25-1, 1-14 WCC) will finish its 2007 home slate as the Gaels host their South Bay rivals Santa Clara (23-23, 7-8 WCC) in the three-game conference series. The weekend matchup will begin on Friday, May 4 at 3 p.m. from Louis Guisto Field.

Who's Hot: Saint Mary's freshman infielder Randy Wells continues to swing the hot stick. The newcomer batted .667 (10-for-15) over the past four games. Wells has added four doubles, a triple and six RBI to lead the Gaels in all three categories. In Sunday's contest against Portland, the newcomer batted 3-for-4 with two doubles and two RBI. Against Patten, the newcomer batted 3-for-5 with two runs and two RBI. Wells had a multi-hit game in each of the four contests.

Last Time Out: The Gaels strung together back-to-back victories for the first time since the middle of March. After earning its first WCC win on the season, Saint Mary's downed Patten 11-3 on Tuesday. Nine different Gaels tallied a RBI while 10 recorded a hit.

Save Sighting: Saint Mary's senior Michael Nisco recorded his third save on the season which marks the ninth of his career. The nine career stops rank third in the SMC career annals. Nisco passed Don Tynon (1993-94) who had eight while Nick Lymberopoulos (1990-92) sits in second with 10. Nisco's ninth save came in a two inning outing against Portland on Sunday.

Senior Day: Saint Mary's will recognize seven players for senior day. The ceremony is set for Saturday, May 5 prior to first pitch against rival Santa Clara. Eric Cattoni, Ryan Doyle, J.P. Musgrove, Michael Nieto, Michael Nisco, Justin Sloan and Gilbert Urbina will take to Louis Guisto Field for the last time in their collegiate career this weekend.

Starting Stoppers: Saint Mary's junior college transfer Alex Jensen pitched a gem in his first league start. Jensen tossed six innings and scattered five hits while fanning five in the no-decision. Freshman Brandon Berl got the Gaels back on track in conference play with a seven inning victory. Berl struck out six and allowed a run on six hits.

Scouting Santa Clara: The Broncos enter Moraga with a 23-23 overall record and 7-8 West Coast Conference mark. SCU is coming off back-to-back double-digit scoring outputs. The Broncos ran past Stanford 16-8 on Tuesday and defeated LMU 11-1 on Sunday for their lone win of the series. As a team the Broncos are batting .284 and sport a 4.24 ERA.

Individually Santa Clara is led by freshman catcher Tommy Medica and junior infielder Gabe Alcantar. Medica paces the squad with a .403 batting average and four triples. Alcantar leads the team with 57 hits and 13 doubles while carrying a .333 average. Ryan Conan has supplied the punch with eight home runs and 47 RBI. On the hill, Matt Wickswat leads all starters with a 6-5 record and a 3.72 ERA. The sophomore has fanned 65 in 75 innings pitched. Closer Jeff Lombard has a 3.09 ERA in 25 appearances and sports nine saves and 31 Ks in 32 innings pitched.

Versus the Broncos: The two squads have met 166 times since 1971 with the Broncos holding a 103-63 advantage. The two programs squared off three times on a conference series last season in Santa Clara with the Broncos taking two of three. The Gaels won the first game but dropped the next two including the last meeting 3-2.

Mid-Season All-America: Saint Mary's freshmen Randy Wells and Anthony Aliotti were named to the Perfect Game Freshmen Mid-Season All-America list. Wells was selected at second base as the second-ranked newcomer at his position. Aliotti was tabbed as the third best utility player in the country as he has been one of the top two-way threats on the mound and at the plate in the league.

Award Watch: Saint Mary's senior outfielder Eric Cattoni (Lethbridge, Alberta) was announced as a candidate for the baseball division of the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award. Cattoni was among a list of 30 candidates and is the lone representative from a California institution. An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School, the CLASS award was designed to honor the attributes of seniors who remain committed to their university.

Record Watch: Saint Mary's senior Eric Cattoni moved into a tie for ninth all-time in single season stolen bases with 26. His 48 runs scored this season rank him in a tie for sixth in a single season with former Major Leaguer James Mouton. Cattoni also sits in sixth all-time in the annals with 43 career stolen bases, five away from two others in fifth.

WCC Leaders: As a team Saint Mary's ranks third in the WCC with a .285 mark. The Gaels sport a couple league leaders as the team continues conference play. Senior Eric Cattoni leads the league in runs scored with 48 and stolen bases with 26. Freshman Anthony Aliotti is third in the conference with 29 walks and second with a .451 on base percentage. Sophomore Joel Staples is third in home runs (6), fourth in slugging percentage (.527) and sixth in RBI (35). Cattoni is also second in triples with three.

Head Coach Jedd Soto: Soto enters his fourth year as head coach at Saint Mary's College. In just his third season at the helm, Soto turned the program around and made it one of the top contenders in the West Coast Conference. Soto led Saint Mary's to its finest season in 15 years, compiling its first winning season since 1991.

Since his inaugural season, Soto has added 12 wins, compiling an improvement of six victories a year. With that feat, Soto became only the second coach in Saint Mary's modern history to record back-to-back improvements in the win column.

Soto has had 11 players earn West Coast Conference accolades including three first-team selections in 2005 and six overall selections in 2006, the most at SMC since the 1994 season. In addition to the conference awards, Soto had six players selected in the amateur draft the last two seasons and eight players selected in previous drafts.

Soto was hired on July 1, 2003 as a unanimous choice of the players, coaches, administrators and the search committee. At 29 years of age, Soto was the youngest head coach hired in Division I baseball.

Saint Mary's Ink Seven For '08: Saint Mary's secured commitments from six players from Northern California and one from San Diego, CA. Under the direction of Soto and his assistants, the SMC coaching staff assembled the class with six pitchers (5 RHP, 1 LHP) and one infielder with many of the arms able to make a contribution at the plate as well.

Saint Mary's six Northern California players include Daniel Alcaire SS/RHP (Salesian High School), Justin Kuks RHP (West High School), Taylor Reid RHP (De La Salle High School), Alex Schmarzo RHP (Palo Alto High School), David Small LHP (Benicia High School) and Kyle Tachibana RHP/INF (Los Altos High School). The lone Southern California signee is Dorsey Ek RHP/INF from Francis Parker High School in San Diego, CA.

Next Series: Saint Mary's will close out its 2007 regular season schedule on the road. The Gaels will head over the bridge and face Bay Area rival San Francisco for a weekend conference series. First pitch is scheduled for Friday, May 11 at 3 p.m. from Bendetti Diamond.