Baseball: Dominant Starting Pitching Pushes USF Past Saint Mary’s

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Merrick Belding
Staff Writer

An incredible starting staff led by senior Christian Cecilio and junior Anthony Shew helped San Francisco win the rivalry series against Saint Mary’s at home this past weekend. Cecilio and Shew have a combined 2.70 ERA, but possibly more impressive is the fact they combined to give up only one run over 17 innings this weekend.

Shew started out the home series dominance by allowing only one run over eight innings. An early RBI off the bat of Brendan Hendricks gave USF a 1-0 lead. Saint Mary’s was able to tie the game in the second, but USF battled back and took the lead when Matt Sinatra stole second and scored on an overthrow from the Saint Mary’s catcher. That gave USF a 2-1 lead, and in the eighth Hendricks added an insurance run by drilling a sacrifice fly to center, scoring Connor Hoffman.

“Our starter again gave up one run over eight innings. We keep pitching like that, we don’t need a whole lot of offense but we got enough offense today and from the right people again,” San Francisco head coach Nino Giarratano said. “We did what we needed to do to get a win on Friday. It wasn’t pretty but it wasn’t pretty for them either. We were pretty fortunate.”

Cecilio put on a special performance at AT&T Park on Saturday as he threw a complete game shutout in the 2-0 win in the Dante Benedetti Classic. Although his record does not define his season, this marks the third time Celilio has thrown a complete game. Cecilio is atop of the WCC in earned run average with a conference average of 0.34 ERA.

“He’s just been spectacular,” San Francisco head coach Nino Giarratano said. “He’s been able to locate, he’s been able to get out of trouble, he’s been able to get outs. He’s worked hard, prepared well. He deserves the opportunity to have this success.”

San Francisco scored their runs off the bat of Derek Atkinson who singled in the first scoring Hoffman, and later in the game Atkinson doubled in the eighth allowing Hoffman to come around and score again.

“I’m really happy for the kids to get on this field and build a memory. Ten years, 15 years down the road, they’ll always remember the Dante Benedetti Classic, whether they played in year one or year 10 or anywhere in between that, they’ll always remember it.”

Saint Mary’s managed to take one game of the three game series on Sunday in a 9-5 victory over USF. Although San Francisco had already won the series the day before, they were unable to complete the sweep as Saint Mary’s got off to an early 7-0 lead.

“The six walks, the two hit by pitch, the three errors in the outfield just didn’t help us be successful,” San Francisco head coach Nino Giarratano said. “We didn’t do a very good job of scoring runners from third base with less than two outs. We had plenty of opportunities. We just fumbled around again.”

USF’s next conference game will be at Santa Clara on Thursday to kick off a three game series against the Broncos.

Photo Credits: Dons Athletics

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