3-Minute Interview: Joey Railey

University of San Francisco’s spark plug of a second baseman was leading the team in at-bats (99) and hits (33) as the Dons entered West Coast Conference play Friday. Railey and USF play a three-game series at St. Mary’s this weekend before facing Cal on Tuesday at AT&T Park in the Dante Benedetti Classic at 6 p.m.

You guys started off 3-6 but have now won six straight. What’s changed? We were all just trying to do too much, trying too hard. It was a tough start, but we’ve gotten more and more confidence each day, and this is a great time to be rolling.

Was there one turning point? Yeah, I think it was our weekend in Las Vegas [March 7-9 against UNLV]. We beat them 8-7 in 13 innings on Friday night and then came back from four runs down in the ninth to win that Sunday and take our first series of the year. That was huge.

Your shortstop, Tavo Hall, had gone 131 games between home runs before hitting one last week against UC Davis. Did you give him a hard time in the dugout? Nah, we were just happy for him [laughs]. I was on deck and totally not expecting it, and when he hit it, I knew. I was just like “Wow.”

The team was predicted to finish sixth in the WCC by Baseball America. What are your expectations? I think if we do what we can and don’t put too much pressure on ourselves, we have the talent to play for a conference championship. I was on the team that did that [two years] ago, and I know we have the potential to do it again.

melliser@examiner.com

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