Diamond Dons Pitching Prevails in Missouri Sweep

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The University of San Francisco Dons baseball team swept Missouri this past weekend at Bendetti Diamond in a three game series. The Dons’ (5-2, 0-0 WCC) strong pitching was a major factor in their victories as the three Dons starters shut out the Tigers (2-4, 0-0 Big 12) offense in 18.1 innings pitched and the bullpen allowed only two runs all weekend.

In game one of the series, the Dons started their second team All-American Kyle Zimmer who pitched five scoreless innings. The right-hander struck out five and allowed no walks in his second start of the season. The Dons led 1-0 for the majority of the contest until the eighth inning when a RBI ground out from the Tigers put them on the board. Fortunately, more solid pitching from reliever Elliot Waterman kept the game tied into the bottom of the eighth inning. The Dons exploded in the bottom of the eighth scoring two runs off of RBIs from Adam Clear and Matt Chavez. Waterman continued to dominate in the ninth and sealed the Dons victory while improving his ERA to 1.59.

The second game of the series featured more masterful pitching from redshirt sophomore Abe Bobb. In the 3-1 victory Bobb struck out five, walked zero, allowed four hits and improved his ERA to an astonishing .64. Bobb attributed his success to the home field atmosphere and his ability to convert on lots of first pitch strikes. Both teams’ strong pitching held offense to a minimum until the fourth inning when Dons catcher Mason Morioka smashed a solo homerun to put San Francisco up 1-0. The Dons added insurance runs in the fifth and sixth innings to give themselves a 3-0 lead. The win was cemented after left fielder Ted LeMasters made a beautiful double play, catching a fly out and then promptly gunning down the runner headed for home base. San Francisco’s closer Elliot Waterman struck out the side in the 9th inning and gained his second save of the year.

The third game of the series was a complete blowout as the Dons scored five runs in the first three innings of play. A double to right center by Matt Chavez in the first inning, with two men in scoring position, gave the Dons an early lead that would only multiply. In the second inning, shortstop Aritz Garcia smacked an RBI double followed by an additional RBI from Jason Mahood that put the Dons up 4-0. Junior outfielder Bob Mott earned his first start of the season and added another run. Freshman pitcher Christian Cecilio used the run support to his advantage, throwing 6.1 innings and allowing only three hits. Cecilio stayed ahead in the count with early strikes and forced the Tigers into easy ground ball outs.
The next match for the Diamond Dons will feature a Bay Area face off against the Cal Bears, this Tuesday February 28 at 1:30 PM. The Dons went 1-2 against the Bears last season, winning 7-6 and losing 4-0.

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