April 17, 2002
Santa Clara vs. Portland
The Broncos and Pilots have met 30 times since the series inception in 1966, but 29 of the 30 games have been played since 1994. The Broncos hold the all-time series advantage over Portland with a 21-9 record, but are only 3-3 against the Pilots over the last two seasons. The last time that Portland visited the Mission Campus was during the 2000 season for a three-game series. The Pilots came away with two victories and outscored the Broncos by a 35-26 margin.
Sizing Up the Pilots
Portland enters the weekend series at Buck Shaw Stadium with a 14-19 overall record and a 7-8 mark in the WCC West Division. Last weekend the Pilots were swept by Saint Mary's in Portland by scores of 1-0, 11-2 and 8-1. Prior to that series though, Portland had run five wins off in their last six conference games, including two wins over Gonzaga and three over San Francisco. Travis Hanson leads the offensive charge for the Pilots, batting .325 with 14 doubles, five home runs and 31 RBI. As a team the Pilots are batting .276 and have amassed 56 doubles, 23 home runs and 165 runs batted in. The pitching staff is anchored by Steve Chamberlain who is 4-2 with a 3.32 ERA in 10 appearances on the mound, eight of which have been starts. The team ERA currently stands at 5.71 with opponents batting at a .297 clip against the Pilots. Eric Hull is the closer for Portland, notching six saves with an ERA of 5.11
Probable Starters by Position
Santa Clara Portland 26 Shawn Epidendio 1B 11 Matt Hollod 1B 4 A.J. LaBarbera 2B 7 Eric Hull 2B 15 Pat Peavey SS 20 Travis Hanson SS 7 Mark Folgner 3B 8 Cory Lunde 3B 8 Jim Wallace C 9 Brock Griffin C 35 Ryan Chiarelli LF 16 Matt Allen LF 3 Jack Headley CF 12 Trevor Hahn CF 21 Joey Gomes RF 6 Kory Casto RF 9 David Mandley DH 2 Joe Watson DH/C
Probable Starting Rotation
Santa Clara Portland 17 Chad Fillinger 3-3, 5.31 ERA 27 Steve Chamberlain 4-2, 3.32 ERA 18 Joe Diefenderfer 3-4, 4.08 ERA 24 Zach Yarbrough 3-4, 5.98 ERA 10 Matt Travis 4-1, 4.25 ERA 11 Matt Hollod 4-3, 6.39 ERA
Broncos Take One of Three from San Diego
Santa Clara traveled to the University of San Diego last weekend and took one of three games from the Toreros at Cunningham Baseball Stadium. The series began with USD defeating Santa Clara by a score of 13-5 in Friday's series opener. Saturday's game was a nip and tuck affair, with the Broncos leading most of the game, but a comeback by the Toreros was capped off in the 10th inning when San Diego took the lead and won the game by a score of 6-5. Santa Clara rallied and played well in Sunday's series finale, defeating the Toreros by a score of 7-2 behind a solid pitching performance from Matt Travis who went 8 1/3 innings in which he allowed only one earned run to improve to 4-1 on the season.
Log Jam in WCC's Coast Division
The West Coast Conference Coast Division is in the middle of quite the battle for division supremacy. Pepperdine sits atop the division but only by 1/2 game over Saint Mary's. The Gaels are 1/2 game ahead of Gonzaga who just happens to by 1/2 game ahead of Santa Clara. What that translates into is a division of four teams who are all within 1 1/2 games of each other.
Seeing Well From Behind the Plate
Bronco catcher Jim Wallace is having the best year of his collegiate career in 2002. The junior from Reno, Nev. collected his first-ever four hit game at the collegiate level over the weekend at San Diego. The day included a double, a home run and four runs batted in. Thus far this season Wallace is batting .316 with five home runs and 24 RBI, moving his career numbers on the Mission Campus to a .269 batting average with 12 home runs and 67 runs batted in.
Matt Travis turned in his best performance of the 2002 season last weekend against San Diego on Master's Sunday, a hallowed tradition in golf. With all do respect to Tiger Woods, Travis may have had the better day, throwing 8 1/3 innings of work in which he allowed only seven Torero hits and one earned run. Travis improved his season record to 4-1 and lowered his ERA by nearly a full point.