May 9, 2007
WCC Baseball All-Access
Saint Mary's (21-26-1, 3-15) at San Francisco (24-28, 6-12)
Location: Benedetti Diamond - San Francisco, Calif.
Date: May 11, 2007
Time: 3:00 PM (PDT)
Live Video: WCC Free All-Access
Saint Mary's makes the short trip across the Bay this weekend to visit Bay Area rival San Francisco in the final WCC series for both squads. The Gaels got off to a rough start in conference play, dropping their first 14 games against league opponents, but have come on strong as of late by winning three of their last four WCC contests including taking two-of-three from Santa Clara last weekend. The Dons will look to end a five-game skid this weekend after being swept at San Diego last week and dropping a pair of contests to Pacific on Tuesday. USF swept a three-game set at Saint Mary's last season in the last meeting between the two programs.
The Gaels are led at the plate by three freshmen, as Randy Wells, Anthony Aliotti, and Michael Cipolla are at the top of the SMC stat sheet in batting. Wells, one of the top freshman hitters in the WCC, is leading the team with a .367 (61-for-166) batting average, while fellow newcomer Aliotti is hitting .325 (52-for-160) and has posted a 6-4 mark in 12 mound appearances as a member of SMC's weekend rotation. Cipolla enjoyed an outstanding series against Santa Clara last weekend, going 6-for-13 to lift his season average to .324 (24-for-74) and slugging his first career home run against the Broncos.
San Francisco looks to finish the season on a strong note, as the Dons enter the weekend with a 6-12 mark in league play. Zach Kim has come on strong at the plate for USF, as the sophomore is batting a team-high .370 (27-for73). Mitchell Bialosky provides the power in the San Francisco lineup, ranking second on the team with five homeruns and picking up his team-high 40th RBI in Tuesday's loss to Pacific. Aaron Poreda, who entered the week ranked fifth in the WCC with a 3.01 ERA, was the tough luck loser on the mound last Friday after tossing his second complete game of the season in a 2-1 loss to the Toreros.
San Diego (39-14, 16-2) at Santa Clara (24-26, 8-10)
Location: Schott Stadium - Santa Clara, Calif.
Date: May 13, 2007
Time: 1:00 PM (PDT)
Live Video: WCC Free All-Access
San Diego closes out its WCC slate with a trip to Northern California to face Santa Clara this weekend. The Toreros are among the hottest teams in the nation, having won 10 straight games and 15 straight WCC contests heading into the final week of league play. The Toreros knocked off No. 16 ranked UC Irvine in a mid-week tilt on Tuesday, 4-1, and ascended to a No. 6 national ranking in the most recent Baseball America listing. Santa Clara will look to rebound and finish the conference season on a high note after dropping two-of-three at Saint Mary's last weekend.
The Torero lineup includes three big bats, as Shane Buschini, Jordan Abruzzo, and Justin Snyder provide the fireworks at the plate for USD. Buschini, the reigning WCC Player of the Week, enters the weekend batting a team-high .366 (74-202) with a conference-leading 13 home runs on the season. Abruzzo is batting .342 (76-222) and has driven in a league-best 56 runs, while Snyder ranks second on the team with a .359 (78-217) batting average and has pounded out a WCC-high 78 hits this year. The Toreros are batting .316 as a team, and their pitching staff ranks second in the conference with a 3.36 ERA.
Santa Clara has gotten a spark from catcher Tommy Medica, who has emerged as one of the top freshmen in the conference this season. Medica enters the weekend batting a team-high .399 (55-for-168), and has collected at least a hit in 17 of Santa Clara's 18 WCC contests this season. Ryan Conan provides the power in the Bronco lineup, as the junior has clubbed a team-leading eight round-trippers on the year and has driven in a team-best 49 runs, while batting .280 (47-for-168). Reliever Jeff Lombard has been solid out of the SCU bullpen, nailing down 10 saves to move into a four-way tie for second place on the Santa Clara single-season saves chart.