USF Dons Open NCAA Regionals Against Rice


June 3, 2011; Los Angeles, CA, USA; San Francisco State Dons Stephen Yarrow (12) fields a bunt and throws for the out against the UCLA Bruins in the 5th inning of the Los Angeles regional of the 2011 NCAA baseball tournament at Jackie Robinson Stadium. San Francisco won 3-0. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

The University of San Francisco Dons baseball team received an at-large berth into the NCAA playoffs, and will open against the Rice Owls in the Eugene, OR Regionals Friday.   The second-seeded Owls (41-17) were regular season and Conference USA Tournament champions, while the third-seeded Dons (34-22) finished tied for second during the WCC regular season and second in the WCC tournament.

The Owls hit .282 as a team, and their pitching staff allowed opponents to bat .223.  The Owls had a .373 slugging percentage (opponents had a .286 slugging percentage), and a .374 on-base percentage (opponents had a .309 on-base percentage).

The Dons batted .267, while opponents batted .258.  The Dons had a slugging percentage of .371 (opponents had a .342 slugging percentage), and a .348 on-base percentage (opponents had a .327 on-base percentage).

On defense, the Owls had a .973 fielding percentage, and opponents had a .973 fielding percentage.

The Dons had a .973 fielding percentage, while opponents had a .973 fielding percentage.

The Owls’ pitching staff had an ERA of 2.72, with opponents posting a 4.60 ERA.  The pitching staff struck out 453 batters and walked 193.  Owls hitters struck out 305 times and walked 254.

The Dons’ pitching staff had a 3.46 ERA, and opponents allowed an ERA of 4.03.  Dons pitchers struck out 368 and walked 142.  Dons batters struck out 352 times and walked 183 times.

Top Owls hitters include Shane Hoelscher (.339 BA), Michael Aquino (.323), Keenan Cook (.309), and Christian Stringer (.302).  Michael Ratterree leads with nine home runs, with Aquino adding eight.  Aquino has knocked in 42 runs, while Ratteree has 41 RBI’s.

Likely starters for the Owls are Austin Kubitza (8-4, 2.03 ERA), John Simms (8-3, 2.36 ERA), and Jordan Stephens (7-4, 2.70 ERA).  Their closer is Zech Lemond (5-1, 14 saves, 1.19 ERA).

Top Dons hitters include Bradley Zimmer (.335), Zachary Turner (.335), Derek Atkinson (.333), and Justin Maffei (.293).  Turner leads with eight home runs, followed by Zimmer with seven.  Turner also leads the Dons in RBI’s (62), followed by Zimmer with 36.

Likely starters for the Dons are Haden Hinkle (9-1, 1.83 ERA) and Alex Balog (3-3, 3.69 ERA).  Closer Adam Cimber has a record of 6-3, nine saves, and a 3.81 ERA.

The Owls have a stellar corp of starting pitchers, and if they take a lead in the late innings, their closer Lemond is almost unhittable, so the Dons will need to jump out to an early lead if they hope to pull the upset.  Ratterree and Aquino bring the long ball to the Owls, while USF counters with Zimmer and Turner who can also go deep.

Because the Owls do have a dominant pitching staff, the Dons may need to manufacture some runs with small ball, with Zimmer and Maffei getting on base and using their speed on the base paths.

The Dons pitching staff will have to navigate around the big bats of Ratterree and Aquino.

Game time at PK Park is 2 pm Pacific time on Friday.