Thomas Ponticelli has recorded nine strikeouts in Friday's game against Portland. (Christina Leung/USF Athletics)

USF baseball leads West Coast Conference

The slow starts that have plagued USF baseball over the past few years are now just a distant memory. With this weekend’s road sweep over Portland, the Dons sit at 15-8 on the season and hold sole possession of first place in the West Coast Conference at 6-0.

On Sunday, Canadian junior Landen Bourassa put together his best start yet to power San Francisco to a 4-0 win at Portland. Having played the prior two years at Lane Community College in Eugene, Bourassa was no stranger to the Pacific Northwest and that familiarity seemed to help on Sunday. The right-hander scattered just five hits and a walk over seven shutout innings.

While the offense’s four-run output was the team’s lowest since starting WCC play, it was more than enough. Michael Perri’s fourth homer of the season, a two-run shot in the fourth, gave the Dons the lead, and insurance runs scored on Aaron Ping’s seventh-inning squeeze bunt and Ross Puskarich’s RBI single in the eighth.

The Dons will play a non-conference contest at Oregon on Monday before heading home for a weekend series with San Diego (12-12, 3-3). While most WCC series are Friday through Sunday showdowns, this week’s will be a Thursday through Saturday set to accommodate Easter.

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