Dons swept in tragic fashion by conference opponent

Redshirt senior Nick Yovetich (#5) became the fifth Don this year to hit at least five home runs in the season due to his performance in the second game of the series against the Gaels. PHOTO COURTESY OF CHRIS M. LEUNG/DONS ATHLETICS

Last week, the men’s baseball team lost three straight in Moraga against the Saint Mary’s College of California. The series was tight for USF as they lost each game by only a one run deficit. The sweep puts the Dons at seventh in the conference standings, one rank below a chance to play in the West Coast Conference (WCC) tournament.  

The first game against the Gaels ended with a 3-2 loss for USF. Saint Mary’s was able to gain a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the sixth inning with back to back home runs by sophomore Trey Winget and sophomore Seth Nager. The Dons did their best to get back into the game, recording runs off a wild pitch in the seventh inning and a home run from senior Harris WIlliams III in the ninth. Despite their effort, the Gaels were able to prevent the Dons from rallying, due to a collective effort on the mound. 

The Dons followed with a second 3-2 loss in game two of the series. The Gaels scored the first run in the second inning with a RBI double by sophomore Gavin Napier. After four quiet innings, the Dons stole the lead off of a two run home run by senior Jordan Vujovich. Unfortunately for the Dons, their lead did not last long, as the Gaels were able to score two runs in the bottom of the eighth inning thanks to a two RBI double by freshman Dalton Mashore. Graduate student Nathan Schnieder sealed the win for the Gaels, recording a save with two strikeouts in the ninth inning.  

The deficit continued for USF, falling 4-3 in game three of the series. The Gaels started the game by scoring a run off a groundout in the first. Sophomore Nick Mistone then scored another run in the third off of a sacrifice fly by junior Blake McDonald. The Dons were able to take the lead in the fourth inning with a series of hits. Starting with sophomore Mario Demera who hit an RBI triple that drove in Vujovich. Demera then scored a run of his own off of a double from red shirt senior Nick Yovetich. Junior Michael Campagna’s single then drove in Yovetich for the third run of the inning. The Gaels quickly responded, taking a 4-3 lead in the fifth inning with a RBI single by junior Kyle Valazquez and a RBI triple from junior Blake Mann. The score remained the same throughout the rest of the game due to great pitching on both sides. Both teams did not give up a single hit for the remainder of the game, allowing the Gaels to win and sweep the series.  

With their tournament chances at risk, the Dons hope to bounce back for the final series of the season against University of the Pacific starting May 20. Until then, they will face Stanford University May 10 and the University of California, Davis May 17. 

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