Baseball Faces Big Test in USD

April 9, 2002

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Santa Clara vs. San Diego
The Broncos and Toreros have met 74 times since the series inception in 1962. The Broncos hold the all-time series advantage over San Diego with a 45-29 record. Over the last five years however, the Toreros have taken nine of the 16 contests, including two of three in each of the last four seasons. The last time the Broncos defeated San Diego in a series was in 1997 when Santa Clara took three of four games from USD, back when the WCC played four-games in a series.

Sizing Up the Toreros
San Diego enters the week with a 27-10 record and will face Cal State Northridge on Tuesday before its weekend series with Santa Clara. The Toreros are led offensively by David Bagley who leads in the Triple Crown categories, batting .490 with eight home runs and 33 runs driven in. All in all the Toreros have nine batters, who meet the statistical minimums, that are batting above .300 right now, and as a team, USD is batting .319 and has an on base percentage of .471. Defensively, San Diego is fielding at a .969 clip while its opponents' fielding percentage is at .955 with 64 errors in 37 games. Mike Oseguerra has appeared in 16 games for USD, all out of the bullpen, and has put together a 5-1 record to go along with his 1.61 ERA. Tom Caple leads the Torero rotation, posting a 7-1 record with a 3.16 ERA in eight starts and 12 total appearances. The staff ERA is at 4.05 with 269 strikeouts to only 120 walks on the season.

Probable Starting Rotation
Santa Clara
17 Chad Fillinger (3-2, 4.37 ERA)
18 Joe Diefenderfer (3-4, 3.97 ERA)
10 Matt Travis (3-1, 5.03 ERA)

San Diego
26 Ricky Barrett (5-1, 3.82 ERA)
35 Tom Caple (7-1, 3.16 ERA)
18 Aaron Wilson (5-2, 3.79 ERA)

Broncos Sweep San Francisco
Santa Clara snapped its season long five-game losing streak last weekend with a narrow 7-6 victory over the University of San Francisco in the series opener Friday night at Buck Shaw Stadium. The Broncos continued their winning ways the next two afternoons at "The Shaw" with convincing wins of 12-1 on Saturday and a 4-0 blanking on the Dons on Sunday. The series sweep was the first of the year for Santa Clara, vaulting the Broncos back above the .500 mark in the West Coast Conference, and only 1 1/2 games behind WCC Coast Division leader Pepperdine.

Completely "Red"
Santa Clara junior Joe Diefenderfer threw his second straight game in which he threw nine full innings in Saturday's 12-1 victory over the Dons. Diefenderfer, who is called "Red" by his teammates and coaches, got his second complete game victory of the year when he allowed only one run while scattering 13 hits. In addition to his two complete game victories on the season, Diefenderfer threw nine full innings against Pepperdine in Malibu, Calif. where he got a no decision as he was pulled after nine and the Waves went on to defeat Santa Clara in the 10th inning. Over his last two starts, Diefenderfer is 1-0 with a 1.50 ERA. He has allowed only three earned runs on 22 hits while striking out 11 and walking only two. In his last five starts Diefenderfer is averaging 8 1/3 innings per start and is 2-1 with a 2.20 ERA.

Not Your Ordinary Joe
Joey Gomes went 7-for-13 over the weekend against the Dons, knocking in six runs and roping three doubles. On the year, the senior right fielder has put together some remarkable numbers. He is currently batting .418 with 17 doubles, six home runs, 30 RBI and a slugging percentage of .667. He has hit safely in 30 of 34 games this year, recording multiple hits in 21 of those games. He has had 14 two-hit games, six three-hit games and even one four-hit game this season. Pretty remarkable numbers for a player who batted .223 last year with only three doubles, two home runs and 15 RBI.

First Half Overview
Santa Clara completed a weekend series sweep of San Francisco with a 4-0 victory over the Dons Sunday afternoon at Buck Shaw Stadium. The sweep was the first of the year for the Broncos and first under new head coach Mark O'Brien. In his first season at the helm of a Divison I program, O'Brien had guided the Broncos to a 15-19 overall record and a 6-5 mark in the West Coast Conference through April 7. Santa Clara recorded wins in February over 11th-ranked Fresno State (8-4 and 2-1) and top-ranked Stanford (13-9), which also happened to be O'Brien's previous employer. What might be more remarkable is the competitiveness that the Broncos have shown throughout the year. Of the 19 losses this year for the Broncos, seven have come in the opposing team's final at-bat, including the two losses at Stanford. 10 times this year the Broncos have lost by 2 runs or less, including three that came at the expense of walk-off home runs (Stanford, Nevada and Pepperdine).