March 18, 2003

Baseball Travels to Gonzaga for Three-Game Series

March 18, 2003

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This Week
Santa Clara will continue West Coast Conference play this weekend in Spokane, Wash., with a three-game series against Gonzaga. The Broncos and Bulldogs will begin the series on Saturday, March 22 at 1 p.m. Sunday's game is also scheduled for 1 p.m. while Monday's series finale is slated for a 2 p.m. first pitch.

Last Year vs. Gonzaga
The Broncos and Bulldogs played six times in 2002 with each team winning two out of three games on their home field. Santa Clara took two of three from the Bulldogs in March of last year at Buck Shaw Stadium, sweeping a Sunday doubleheader by scores of 10-4 and 5-4 before dropping the series finale on Monday by a 17-2 count. At August/A.R.T. Stadium in Spokane, Gonzaga won the series opener and finale by scores of 2-1 and 15-4 while Santa Clara took the middle game by a 12-10 score in early May.

Scouting The Bulldogs
Gonzaga enters the weekend with a 8-10-1 overall record and a 0-3 mark in the WCC. Recently the Bulldogs have posted a 4-1-1 record over their last six games, defeating Bowling Green, UNC Asheville, Illinois State and Penn State at the Pepsi/Johnny Quik Baseball Classic hosted by Fresno State. Their only blemishes at the tournament were a 4-3 loss to Fresno State and an 8-8 tie with Cal Poly. Danny Evans leads the Bulldog offense with his .364 average, while Gordon Corder is tops on the team in power numbers with his four home runs and 22 RBI to go along with his .359 average. As a team they are batting .277 while their opponents are batting .271. Eric Dworkis has a 3-1 record with a 2.25 ERA in five starts for Gonzaga The team ERA is currently at 4.47 and they have struck out 71 more batters than they have walked.

Probable Starting Pitchers
Friday
Santa Clara: Joe Diefenderfer, LHP (3-3, 5.66 ERA)
Gonzaga: Eric Dworkis, RHP (3-1, 2.25 ERA)

Saturday
Santa Clara: Kellan McConnell, RHP (1-2, 5.79 ERA)
Gonzaga: Errol Simonitsch, LHP (3-2, 5.08 ERA)

Sunday
Santa Clara: Matt Travis, LHP (1-4, 3.13 ERA)
Gonzaga: Ed Clelland, RHP (1-0, 3.54 ERA)

Abnormal Schedule
This weekend's schedule is a little out of the ordinary as the Friday game was moved to Monday to accomodate for Santa Clara's final exams. The winter quarter final exams are being held all week long on the Mission Campus, forcing the series opener back a day, and moving the series finale to the first day of the Broncos' spring break.

Santa Clara vs. Saint Mary's - Series Recap
The Broncos and Gaels were slated to begin WCC play with a three-game weekend series, but rain washed away Sunday's series finale after both teams had won one game apiece. Santa Clara opened up league play with a 12-8 victory over Saint Mary's on Friday. Senior left fielder Scott Dierks went 5-for-6 in the game from the leadoff spot while sophomore first baseman Will Thompson went 3-for-6 with a pair of home runs and three RBI. Senior left hander Joe Diefenderfer improved to 3-3 on the season after throwing 6 2/3 innings on the mound. Freshman closer Patrick Overholt picked up his fourth save of the season after registering the final six outs in a row, three of which were strikeouts, to end the game. The Gaels bounced back in game two answering a Dierks lead-off home run in the first with a Tim Spooner two-run blast in the bottom of the first, taking a 2-1 lead and never looking back. Kellan McConnell took the loss despite giving up only one hit over his three innings of work in the 7-2 loss

Thompson Leads in Power Numbers
Transfer Will Thompson sits atop the Broncos' offensive power numbers ranking with his six home runs and .875 slugging percentage. His .375 average and 15 RBI ranks him second on the team while his four doubles and one triple are all the third highest total for the Broncos.

Dierks Leads-Off with Power
Senior Scott Dierks has started the last eight games in the leadoff spot for the Broncos and has posted a .424 average with three home runs, one double, seven runs batted in and a slugging percentage of .758 during that span. His .409 season average is tops on the team while his four home runs ranks second.

Matteucci Proving Consistent in First Season
Freshman Jason Matteucci has started all 25 games for the Broncos during his rookie campaign on the Mission Campus. The southpaw from nearby Archbishop Mitty High School currently leads the team with his 31 hits while his .307 average ranks this on the team. His seven doubles this year is a team best while his 11 RBI and .406 slugging percentage are also among the team leaders. He has gotten at least one hit in 19 of the team's 25 games, including eight games in which he had multiple hits.

Diefenderfer Has Strong Strikeout to Walk Ratio
Senior left hander Joe Diefenderfer evened up his record at 3-3 with a 12-8 win over Saint Mary's last Friday to begin WCC play. His 41 1/3 innings pitched this season ranks second on the team while his 6 to 1 strikeout to walk ratio leads the team (36 k's, 6 walks). Of his 10 appearances this season, four have come as a starter

Be Fruitful and Multiply
Nine Broncos currently have at least four games this season in which they have gotten multiple base hits. Seniors Jim Wallace and A.J. LaBarbera lead the team with nine multiple hit games. Both players have posted two hits in eight contests and three hits one time this season. Freshmen Jason Matteucci and Michael Thompson have each had eight games in which they have recorded multiple hits. Matteucci's four three-hit games is tops on the team, followed closely by Thompson who has three. Senior Jack Headley has had six games this season in which he has had two hits, while sophomore transfer Scott Shapiro has had five such games. Senior Joe Diefenderfer has had three two-hit and two three-hit games this season, followed by Will Thompson and Scott Dierks who each have four multi-hit games. Thompson is the only player on the team to have four hits in a game while Dierks is the only player to have reached five hits in a game.

Next Week: Broncos Return Home for WCC Home Opener
Santa Clara will return home next weekend for a three-game home series against WCC foe and current WCC Coast Division leader, Pepperdine. Friday's game will begin at 6 p.m. while Saturday and Sunday's contests are scheduled for 1 p.m. starts.