May 14, 2002
Santa Clara vs. Saint Mary's
In a series that dates back to 1930, the Santa Clara Broncos hold the all-time series advantage over the Saint Mary's Gaels with a record of 123-74-4. Over the last decade the Broncos have won 33 of the two team's 53 meetings. Earlier this season, SCU took the series opener at Buck Shaw Stadium by a score of 6-4 but dropped game two of the series, 5-3. After game three was originally rained-out, the two schools made up the date on April 30th with the Gaels coming away victorious by a score of 8-3.
Sizing Up the Gaels
Saint Mary's enters the final weekend of regular season play having been eliminated from any postseason chances. Even if the Gaels swept Santa Clara and Gonzaga swept Pepperdine, the Bulldogs hold the tiebreaker advantage over both teams. Saint Mary's is currently 21-26 overall and 13-14 in the West Coast Conference following a five game skid, all of which came at the hands of Pepperdine. Mark Teahen leads the Gaels offensively with his .403 batting average. He has 15 doubles, four triples, six home runs and 34 RBI. As a team the Gaels are batting .292 while their opponents are hitting at a .319 clip. Mike Byer leads the pitching staff into the weekend with his 7-6 record and 4.73 ERA. He has made 15 appearances on the mount, 14 of which have been for starts including four of them in which he went the distance. As a staff, Saint Mary's has a 6.03 team ERA, allowing 270 earned runs in 403 innings pitched. Head coach John Baptista is in his fourth year at SMC, posting a 81-128 record during that time span.
Broncos Take One of Three from Gonzaga in Spokane
Santa Clara took the middle game of a three-game series with Gonzaga last weekend in Spokane, Wash. The Broncos dropped the series opener by a score of 2-1. The Bulldogs scored with one out in the ninth inning to take game one. Santa Clara rebounded in game two to win a wild one by a score of 12-10. Freshman Mark Folgner went 4-for-5 on the day with two RBI a double and his first collegiate home run. Grant Feichtmeir improved to 2-4 on the season after throwing 3 1/3 innings of relief in which he gave up only one run on one hit. Chad Fillinger picked up his third save of the season after throwing the final inning. Sunday's series finale was all Gonzaga as the Bulldogs built up an early 11-3 lead after the fourth inning, of which seven of the runs scored were unearned. The final score on Sunday was 15-4, pushing the Broncos a full two games behind Pepperdine for the division lead.
WCC Coast Division Comes Down to Final Weekend
The WCC Coast Division is still very much up for grabs for three teams, Santa Clara, Pepperdine and Gonzaga. The Broncos must sweep the Gaels and have Gonzaga take at least two of three games from Pepperdine in order to qualify for the WCC Championship series. All Pepperdine has to do is win two of three from Gonzaga, or win just one and have the Broncos lose one in order to win the Coast Division Championship. The Bulldogs must sweep Pepperdine and have the Broncos lose at least once to claim the title. Saint Mary's can still end up tied for the title with either Gonzaga or Pepperdine, but would lose to either team bases on WCC tiebreaker rules.
Gomes Among National Leaders in Doubles
Entering the week, senior right fielder Joey Gomes was ranked No. 2 in the nation in doubles per game in 2002. He is averaging 0.57 per game entering the Saint Mary's series having belted 30 two-baggers in only 53 contests. James Boyd from UMBC ranks first in the nation with his 0.62 per game average. After stroking his 25th double of the year against Loyola Marymount on April 28, Gomes tied the all-time single season mark in Santa Clara history that was originally set by Mike Frank during the 1997 season. He collected his 26th double of the season, to set a new all-time single season mark at Santa Clara, on May 3rd in the series opener against Pepperdine at Buck Shaw Stadium.
Probable Starters by Position
Santa Clara Saint Mary's 18 Joe Diefenderfer 1B 18 Brian Houle 1B 4 A.J. LaBarbera 2B 15 Mike Harris 2B 15 Pat Peavey SS 7 Brett Wayne SS 7 Mark Folgner 3B 10 Mark Teahen 3B 8 Jim Wallace C 4 Nick Conte C 35 Ryan Chiarelli LF 14 Jeff Cunningham LF 3 Jack Headley CF 8 Jason Waugh CF 21 Joey Gomes RF 37 Adam Thompson RF 5 Scott Dierks DH 22 Tim Spooner DH
Probable Starting Rotation
Santa Clara Saint Mary's 10 Matt Travis 5-3, 4.20 ERA 27 Kevin Trochez 5-5, 5.34 ERA 22 John Redmond 5-6, 4.62 ERA 11 Eric Bowden 5-5, 4.98 ERA 18 Joe Diefenderfer 4-6, 4.77 ERA 19 Mike Byer 7-6, 4.73 ERA
WCC Baseball Standings (as of May 14, 2002)
WCC Overall Coast Division Team W L Pct. GB W L Pct. Pepperdine 16 11 .593 - 28 27 .509 Santa Clara 14 13 .542 2.0 24 29 .453 Gonzaga 13 14 .481 3.0 25 26 .490 Saint Mary's 13 14 .481 3.0 21 26 .447
West Division Team W L Pct. GB W L Pct. San Diego 18 12 .600 - 36 20 .643 Portland 15 12 .555 1.5 23 24 .489 LMU 14 13 .519 2.5 21 30 .412 USF 8 22 .267 10.0 16 39 .291