Slow to Start

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Mitchell Lobetos
Staff Writer

It was rough opening week for the men’s baseball team last week. To the Don’s dismay they dropped all four of their games during their series with UCSB in Santa Barbara. The Don’s were outscored 2-8, 5-6, 5-13 and 3-7 respectively.

Opening day starter freshman Thomas Ponticelli lasted 5.0 innings. Ponticelli gave up eight runs, seven of which were earned. Opposing starting pitcher for the Gauchos went 7.0 innings and gave up two runs, both earned. The Dons bullpen had a quality game. Senior Frank Waliczek, freshman Jacob Alcorn, and junior Joey Carney each pitched 1.0 innings of relief giving up no runs and only Alcorn gave up one hit for the relief crew. Junior Blake Valley, sophomore Brady Date, and freshman Riley Helland each had two-hit games. Valley knocked in one run and Helland plated twice. Sophomore Ross Puskarich hit a pinch-hit infield RBI single in the seventh inning. Opposing second-baseman had himself a monster 3-for-5 game knocking in 4 RBI’s and only a single short for the cycle.

Game 2 was more competitive. USF starter, freshman Chase Gardner, went 5.2 innings and gave up four runs, all earned. The opposing pitcher only went 3.2 innings and gave up five runs, all earned. Unfortunately for San Francisco, freshman Scott Parker came in for two innings of relief and gave up two runs, both earned. USF junior Harrison Bruce had two hits good for three RBI’s. Five different players crossed home and six different players collected a hit for the Dons. After being up 5-1 after five innings, UCSB came back and scored five unanswered runs, three of which were in the sixth inning.

In the third game of the four game set freshman starting pitcher Benji Post lasted 2.0 innings and gave up five runs, three earned. Waliczek came in once again for relief and went 1.2 innings. Unfortunately unlike his first time out he gave up six runs, none of which were earned. Alcorn came in for 2.1 innings of relief and gave up two runs, both earned. Junior Mack Meyer was USF’s lone bright spot when it came to pitching, Meyer went 2.0 innings allowing only one hit and striking out a pair. Opposing starter laster 4.1 innings and gave up four runs, all earned. As a team the Gauchos struck out 13 in comparison to USF’s six. Valley once again was an offensive source for the Dons gathering another two hits and three RBIs.

The final game of San Francisco’s opening series had a similar starting pitching line. Sophomore Grant Goodman lasted 2.2 innings and gave up 2 runs, both earned, after allowing six baserunners. Meyer had one strikeout in his 0.1 innings of relief. Junior James Kannenberg came in for 3.2 relief innings of his own and gave up four runs, all earned while allowing seven baserunners. Kannenberg did have four strikeouts in his relief effort. Freshman Joey Steel came in for 1.1 innings of relief and gave up one earned run.

For the duration of the four game set San Francisco was outscored 15-34. This is how San Francisco wanted to kick-off their season. USF will look to right the ship during a three-game set against the University of Hawaii.

Note: At time of print game scores against University of California, Berkeley and Utah Valley were unavailable.

Photo courtesy of Dons Atheltics

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