April 24, 2002
Santa Clara vs. Loyola Marymount
The Broncos and Lions have met122 previous times entering this weekend's play dating back to the series inception in 1968. Santa Clara holds a narrow 64-58 advantage all-time over Loyola Marymount, including a six-game sweep of the Lions over the span of two series last season. The two series sweep over the Lions last year evened up the record between the two schools over the last four years at 14-14. Over the span of the last nine games however, the Broncos hold an 8-1 record including two wins in 2000 to end the season when the Lions were ranked No. 14 in the nation.
Sizing Up the Lions
Loyola Marymount enters the weekend series with a 16-25 overall record and a 9-8 mark in the West Coast Conference. The Lions entered last weekend's play sitting atop the WCC West Divison with a record of 9-5, but a three-game sweep in Spokane, Wash. against Gonzaga sent the Lions back to second place, just one game behind San Diego who has a 12-9 conference mark. The Lions' offense is led by Billy Lockin who is batting .361 with 10 doubles, one triple, one home run and 29 RBI. Kris Zacuto leads the team in doubles with 16 and is third on the team in RBI with 27, while Tommy Perez leads the team in both home runs with seven and RBI with 30. As a team the Lions are batting .295 while their opponents are batting at a .329 clip. The LMU pitching staff has been roughed up a bit, entering the weekend with a 6.87 team ERA. Vincent Cordova leads the staff in victories and ERA, posting a 5-3 record and a 5.43 ERA.
Broncos Take One of Three from Portland
Santa Clara hosted the University of Portland last weekend at Buck Shaw Stadium and took the middle game of the three-game series. The Pilots pounded out a 22-11 victory in the series opener before losing game two of the series by a score of 8-3. Joe Diefenderfer picked up his third complete game victory of the season to even his season mark at 4-4. Matt Travis threw eight innings of stellar baseball but could not close out the game as the Pilots rallied for five runs in the top of the ninth inning to pull out a 5-3 series finale win. The loss for the Broncos on Sunday was the 10th this season in which the opposing team won the game in their final at bat.
Broncos Take Out Frustration on Sacramento State
Santa Clara score a season-high 18 runs while belting a season-high 20 hits in Tuesday's 18-1 romp over Sacramento State in Sacramento, Calif. The Broncos were led by Jim Wallace who went 3-for-4 on the day with a home run, two doubles and four runs batted in. His home run tied him for the team lead with Joey Gomes at eight on the season. Gomes went 4-for-5 on the day to boost his average back above .400, with it now sitting at a team-leading .406 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 one game over Gonzaga. The Bulldogs are 1/2 game ahead of Saint Mary's who is two games ahead of Santa Clara. What that translates into is a division of four teams who are all within 3 1/2 games of each other.
Gomes Among National Leaders in Doubles
Entering the week, senior right fielder Joey Gomes was ranked No. 6 in the nation in doubles per game. He was averaging 0.53 per game before the Sacramento State game, but his 22nd double of the season against the Hornets pushed his average up a little to 0.54, which would tie him for No. 4 in the nation. The national leader in doubles is Jared Boyd of UMBC who is averaging 0.64 doubles per contest this season.
Peavey on Hitting Tear
Senior shortstop Pat Peavey has been tearing the cover off the ball as of late, raising his season average from below .270 on March 10 to above .300 as of April 24. Over the span of the last five games, Peavey has gone 11-for-22 with two doubles, one grand slam and 10 runs batted in. In last Saturday's 8-3 win over Portland, Peavey went 4-for-4 with a double and two RBI.
Pitching Staff Getting Solid Starts
Santa Clara's pitching staff has been getting quality starts week in and week out from Joe Diefenderfer and Matt Travis over the last six weeks. Since March 10, Diefenderfer has gone 3-1 with a 2.68 ERA. He has thrown 57innings in seven starts, with his shortest outing being seven innings against Hawaii-Hilo and San Diego. The Hawaii-Hilo game may have been his most impressive though as he struck out eight and allowed only two runs during the Broncos 7-2 win in game one of a doubleheader. He has also picked up his three complete game victories during that span. Travis has made five starts during that same time span, thowing 35 1/3 innings in which he has registered a 3-2 record with a 3.06 ERA. Travis had his most impressive outing ruined last Sunday against Portland, when the Pilots score five runs in the top of the ninth inning to defeat the Broncos 5-3. Prior to the ninth inning, Travis had allowed no runs on only five hits while striking out seven and walking none.