February 28, 2002

Baseball Begins Season-Long Eight-Game Road Trip

Feb. 28, 2002

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Santa Clara vs. Nevada
The Broncos and Wolf Pack have met 116 previous times dating back to the series inception in 1962. Santa Clara holds the all-time series advantage over Nevada with a 72-42-2 record. Over the last decade the two schools have met 32 times with the Broncos winning 18 of those contests. The last time these two teams met was in 2000 at Buck Shaw Stadium when the Broncos took two of three from the Wolf Pack. Santa Clara's last win against the Wolf Pack came on February 5, 2000, with the Broncos claiming a 3-1 victory, giving Joe Diefenderfer his first collegiate victory. Diefenderfer, now a junior on the Mission Campus, is scheduled to be Sunday's starting pitcher for the Broncos.

Sizing Up the Wolf Pack
Nevada enters the weekend with a 5-7 record, all of which have come on the road. The Wolf Pack are coming off a three-game series with San Diego State in Yuma, Ariz., where they took one of the three games from the Aztecs. Senior Mike Gillies leads the Wolf Pack offensive attack with his 20 hits and .435 batting average in 11 contests. Fellow senior Jeff Tolotti has provided the pop in the lineup for Nevada, leading the team with four home runs, 12 runs batted in and a .686 slugging percentage to go along with his .353 batting average. Junior Darrell Rasner has an anemic 0.96 ERA despite his 2-2 record for the Wolf Pack, and has accumulated 24 wins in his career at Nevada, tying a school record.

Probable Starting Rotation
Santa Clara
17 Chad Fillinger (RHP, 0-1, 1.27 ERA)
22 John Redmond (LHP, 3-1, 3.60 ERA)
18 Joe Diefenderfer (LHP, 1-3, 6.43 ERA)

Nevada
27 Darrell Rasner (RHP, 2-2, 0.96 ERA)
33 Mateo Miramontes (RHP, 1-2, 7.00 ERA)
32 Craig Norris (LHP, 0-0, 0.69 ERA)

On the Road Again
The Broncos begin a season-long eight-game road trip at the University of Nevada, marking the team's second road trip of the season. Santa Clara came out even in its first road trip at UC Irvine, losing the first game but rebounding to win the second before having the third game of the series rained out. Following the three-game set in Reno, the Broncos will take on local rival San Jose State Tuesday night at 6 p.m. The Broncos will then head to the University of Hawaii-Hilo for a four-game series beginning Friday, March 8, at 6 p.m. Santa Clara and the Vulcuns will play a double-header on Saturday and wrap-up the series on Sunday at 1 p.m. The Broncos will return to the mainland following the series with Hawaii-Hilo to begin WCC play at home against Saint Mary's on March 15-17.

Measuring Up
Santa Clara entered last weekend's series with top-ranked Stanford looking to find out just how they measure up to the standard in college baseball. Despite losing two of the three games, the Broncos proved they belong, winning game two by a score of 13-9 and dropping the other two games by only one run, each time in Stanford's last at-bat. Santa Clara hit .318 as a team against the Cardinal, including Jim Wallace who batted .455 over the three games. Jack Headley and Pat Peavey provided much of the offensive pop as Headley knocked in seven runs, including five on Saturday, while Peavey knocked in four. Joey Gomes knocked in three runs and scored four runs, while A.J. LaBarbera and Ryan Chiarelli each scored five times.

Pair of Aces
One of the year's biggest surprises to date has been the play of sophomores Chad Fillinger and John Redmond. During Fillinger's freshman season he posted an impressive 6-1 record to go along with two saves, but nobody expected him to do what he has done this year as a starter. To date, Fillinger has thrown 21 1/3 innings of work in which he has allowed only three earned runs on 19 hits, striking out 15 and walking only three. Opponents are batting a mere .226 against the right-hander who has posted a 1.27 ERA. Like Fillinger, Redmond has been equally dominant, throwing a team-high 25 innings of work in which he has allowed 10 earned runs on 25 hits. He has accumulated a 3-1 record to go along with a 3.60 ERA in his first four starts of the year.

Coming Home
Freshman infielder Mark Folgner and junior catcher Jim Wallace are both returning home to Reno, Nev., this week when the Broncos face the Wolf Pack. Folgner is a product of Galena High School where he led his team to a state runner-up finish in 2001 after being ranked 18th in the preseason by Baseball America. He was a two-time all-conference selection while maintaining a 4.0 GPA en route to earning the Hawkins Foundation Scholarship. Wallace is a product of Reno High School where he played for head coach Pete Savage. He racked up some impressive numbers as a senior, batting .450 with 11 home runs and 45 runs batted in during his team's fourth-straight year as NIAA Champions. He currently holds the Reno High School records for career home runs and doubles. Like Folgner, Wallace also excelled off the diamond, graduating with a 3.60 cumulative GPA.

Pitcher of the Week
Sophomore Chad Fillinger was selected as the WCC Pitcher of the Week Tuesday afternoon for his six inning performance against No. 1 Stanford. He allowed no earned runs on only five hits while striking out a season-high seven batters in the no-decision. The seven strikeouts nearly doubled his season total, which now stands at 15, and he has limited his opponents to an anemic .226 batting average thus far this season. The honor is the first of his career in a Bronco uniform.