Dons find right tonic for win 

Of the four wins the USF baseball team had previously registered this season against Sacramento State, three have come directly after a Dons loss.

Tuesday, the Hornets once again proved to be the cure for what ails USF. Getting a much-needed win before their weekend showdown with 10th-ranked Pepperdine, the Dons belted out 13 hits, had 21 players see action and dominated from the start in an 8-1 win over Sacramento State at Benedetti Diamond. The win capped off a five-game sweep of Sacramento State.

Eleven players collected at least one hit for the Dons (18-17), highlighted by Jon Norfolk’s three-run homer and Bobby Ethel’s solo shot.

Coming off a disappointing home series against Santa Clara in which USF dropped two of three, the Dons jumped all over the Hornets’ starting pitcher Paul Jinkens early.

Joey Railey started the contest with a single and was moved over to third on Jonnie Knoble’s one-out single. After Mitchell Bialosky was retired on an infield grounder, Norfolk followed with a blast to right field, clearing the fence easily. The three-run home run came after Norfolk fell behind 0-2 in the count.

"I think Jon’s home run was crucial and really set the tone for the game," Dons coach Nino Giarratano said. "If the pitcher gets out of that, the score stays tied and who knows what could happen. His home run gave us a cushion and really set the tone."

The Dons would tack on one more run in the fourth, which proved to be plenty of offense for pitchers Alex Kalogrides and Matt Baugh.

In his first career start, Kalogrides went four innings without allowing a run to pick up the win. Baugh was equally as impressive, striking out eight batters (out of the 13 he faced) over three innings, while giving up just a single run.

Ahead 5-1, USF added two runs in the fifth thanks to RBI singles by Bialosky and Zach Kim and finished the scoring on Ethel’s towering home run in the seventh inning that cleared the tall fence in left field.

The nonconference game served as a warm up for the Dons, who will face WCC-leading Pepperdine for a three-game series beginning Friday at Benedetti Diamond.

"You always want to get a win coming off a Sunday loss and with weekend games coming up," Dons junior second baseman Joey Railey said. "This gets our confidence going a bit and gets us in the right mind-set to take on Pepperdine."

USF 8, Sacramento State 1

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Will Reisman

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