Dons’ offenseis shut down 

With the USF baseball team’s home digs still being refit with new netting, the Dons held their home opener Tuesday at the College of San Mateo.

The Dons still managed an eventful first-pitch ceremony featuring a quartet of alums who have graduated to the pros — Tagg Bozied, Stefan Gartrell, Andrew Smith and Patrick McGuigan.

Dons coach Nino Giarratano probably wished he could have summoned one of his power hitters of yesteryear as USF managed just three hits in a 6-1 loss to San Jose State. Junior right-hander Mitch Bialosky made the first start of his collegiate career, holding the Spartans (2-2) to three hits over five innings while striking out seven in taking the loss.

"I thought [his effort] was great. I thought he pitched well enough into the fifth to give us a chance to win the game," Giarratano said after his team fell to 2-2.

The big right-hander allowed just one hit out of the infield, a two-out, two-run double by Spartans freshman Karson Klauer in the second inning.

"He actually had me out in front, but I ended up keeping my hands back," Klauer said.

Said Dons catcher Jon Norfolk: "Every single one of their guys was crowding the plate, so he dove out there and happened to get the barrel on it."

After that double off the left-field wall plated Sonny Garza and Aaron Loewenthal, Bialosky went on to retire nine of the final 10 batters he faced.

"I was excited that they let me have my first start," said Bialosky, who also starts at first base. "I think it’s a good thing this happening now rather than later. It’s a nice wakeup call at the beginning of the season."

The Spartans got two innings from senior starter Corey Cabral, who was making his first start since 2005 after arm troubles limited him to eight innings last season. Then, senior right-hander Steven Vidal emerged with 4¹/³ innings of near-flawless relief.

Junior Luke Sommer — who drilled a home run down the right-field line to lead off the seventh — was the only Dons batter to reach base after a leadoff single by Norfolk in the third. Vidal went on to set down the next 12 batters he faced, while the Spartans’ bullpen retired 21 of the final 22 Dons.

Serra High School and Skyline College alum Scott Sobczak closed the game for San Jose State, retiring the side in order.

San Jose State 6, USF 1

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A daily newspaper covering San Francisco, San Mateo County and serving Alameda, Marin and Santa Clara counties.
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