The Dons took control early on Saturday in Santa Clara to complete the weekend sweep of the Broncos. Led by the Redshirt Freshman Sam Granoffs five hit complete game shutout, the Dons won 6-0 and were able to improve to 14-18 on the season and 8-4 in the West Coast Conference.
The Dons kept the offense rolling Saturday after scoring 13 runs the night before. No. 26 Dominic Miroglio started the scoring with an RBI single to bring home Connor Hoffman in the first inning. In the second inning it was the Sophomore infielder Nico Giarratano who brought home Zack McCoy with an RBI single up the middle to secure a two run lead.
Even though the Dons scored early Santa Clara was looking threatening in the first two innings. In the first inning the Broncos were able to get a man on third but Granoff managed to strike out their cleanup hitter to end the inning. In the second, Santa Clara was able to get a man on third with one out but Granoff and the Dons worked their way out of the jam. After the second inning Granoff found his rhythm and only gave up three hits for the rest of the game.
Nino Giarratano was proud of his pitcher, telling usfdons.com “He threw pitches he needed to throw, got out of some trouble, got out of some two-out situations. It’s a wonderful thing to see a guy like that come in, master his craft, throw strikes, change speeds, and put up nine zeroes.” In his 5 starts this season Granoff has had an ERA of 1.13 and has only given up 4 runs.
In the fifth inning the Dons improved on their two run lead. With two outs, USF rallied to load the bases and Zack Mccoy singled to bring in two. Eaton followed Mccoy with another two out RBI single to extend the Dons lead to five. The Dons finished the game with another run in the eighth inning to bring the final tally to six.
Thursday and Fridays games were also controlled by consistent pitching and solid hitting performances from the entire team. In Thursdays game in Santa Clara, Junior Pitcher Anthony Shew gave up only one run and six hits to improve to 4-3 on the season. Senior outfielder Derek Atkinson led the hitting for USF going three for four, with an RBI. Fridays game was led by senior Christian Cecilio’s strong late inning pitching after giving up three runs early. “He’s been cruising all year long and I knew that there would come a time when he wouldn’t be as sharp and I wanted to see how he would react and he reacted just like a champion tonight.” Giarratano told usfdons.com. The Dons scoring came on strong in the latter half of the game with nine runs in the eighth inning alone. USF ended up cruising to a 13-4 win but the game was much closer than the score.
After this weekend USF has moved into a tie with Loyola Marymount in the WCC and is now only a game behind the University of San Diego. The Dons will host their next WCC opponent this coming Friday against Portland.
Photo Credits: Dons Athletics