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USF Earns First Ever West Coast Conference Championship

May 15, 2006

WEST COAST CONFERENCE CHAMPIONS: With the 10-1 victory over Loyola Marymount (21-31, 8-10 WCC) on Sunday, the University of San Francisco (36-19, 15-6 WCC) earned its first ever West Coast Conference Championship. They share the title with Pepperdine, who also finished the regular season with a 15-6 conference record. The Dons were runner-up to the WCC Champ Waves in 2005.

WCC CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES: By beating the Waves two-out-of-three in Malibu earlier this season, USF earned the tie-breaker and will host the WCC Championship Series at Benedetti Diamond on May 26-28. The winner of the series will get an automatic bid into an NCAA Regional. The games Friday and Sunday (if necessary) are slated for a 1:00 PM first pitch, while Saturday will be a noon start. All games can be seen on Fox Sports Net.

2006 SENIOR NIGHT HONORS MOST SUCCESSFUL CLASS IN PROGRAM HISTORY: This group of seniors (Stefan Gartrell, Patrick McGuigan, Andrew Smith, Jacob Abramson, and Ben Summerhays) propelled the Dons into its first West Coast Conference Championship series in school history and the first post-season appearance for San Francisco. The current group of four year seniors - Gartrell, McGuigan, Smith - has won more games than any group in program history at 126 and counting. They have won more West Coast Conference games than any group in program history at 66. Offensively, this group has amassed 372 hits, 19 homeruns, 218 RBI and 53 stolen bases. On the mound Patrick McGuigan is the Dons all-time leader in saves (17) and ranks second in program history with 21 career wins.

Scott Cousins NAMED WCC/RAWLINGS PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Junior left-handed pitcher/outfielder Scott Cousins led the Dons to their first ever West Coast Conference title with another dominating performance in a sweep of Loyola Marymount last weekend. San Francisco was a perfect 4-0 on the week with a Tuesday win at Cal and Cousins hit .529 (9-17) with four doubles, a home run and six RBI to pace the team. Cousins was 7-for-13 (.538) against the Lions with three doubles, a home run and five RBI. USF's Friday starter pitched another strong ball game in the series opener against LMU, tossing 9.0 innings, allowing four runs (three earned) off just six hits and struck out a season-high eight batters in the no-decision. Cousins was previously WCC Player of the Week for the weeks of March 20 and April 24. He also earned WCC Player of the Month honors for April.

LAST WEEK: USF went 4-0 last week, beating Cal 9-5 and bringing their record against the Pac-10 to 5-1 for the season. The Dons then hosted WCC foe Loyola Marymount for a three game set at Benedetti Diamond over the weekend. The series was crucial for the Dons, who needed at least two wins to earn a spot in the WCC Championship Series. USF defeated LMU 5-4 in 11 innings on Friday. Junior pinch hitter Blake Nelson was the hero, smacking a bases loaded single to win the game. The Dons secured their spot in the championship series by taking game two 5-1 on Saturday. Sophomore left-hander Aaron Poreda (7-4) pitched a spectacular game, going the distance and only allowing one run on 10 hits with four strikeouts and no walks. Juniors Lucas DeLong and Scott Cousins homered in the win. Sunday was 2006 Senior Day, and it ended in a big win for USF as they clinched a tie for the WCC Championship and home field advantage for the Championship Series with a 10-1 win over the Lions.



SCOUTING THE `BOWS: The Rainbows are currently 37-12 on the season and lead the western athletic conference with a 14-6 record. They also have an incredible 13-2 road record. Junior infielder Justin Frash leads the team at the plate with a .366 batting average, 63 hits (10 doubles, two triples and two homeruns), 44 RBI and a stolen base. On the mound, junior right-hander Steven Wright leads the team with a 9-2 record and a 2.66 ERA in 94.2 innings. Wright has an incredible strikeout to walk ratio of 103-to-17.

LAST MEETINGS: USF 7, at Hawai'i 4 (4/6/05)

LAST TIME AGAINST THE DONS: Trailing 3-2 heading into the bottom of the eighth inning, the Dons rallied to score five runs in the frame to defeat the Hawaii Rainbows 7-4. Freshman left-hander Aaron Poreda came on in relief to pick up the victory, his first career victory on the Hilltop. With the score tied and the bases loaded, freshman Joey Railey delivered a pinch hit two RBI single before sophomore catcher Jon Norfolk's RBI fielder's choice and junior Jon Knoble's RBI triple.