April 3, 2003
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Because of a West Coast Conference rule, the Santa Clara University baseball team will begin its three-game series with San Francisco one hour earlier than originally scheduled, as the series opener on Friday afternoon was moved up to 2 p.m. at Benedetti Diamond.
The WCC rulebook states clearly that no afternoon weekday league game played on a field without lights prior to daylight saving time can start later than 2 p.m. With daylight savings not taking effect until early Sunday morning, the series opener was moved up the hour to accomodate the rule and give the teams a better chance of completing the game prior to darkness falling.
The two teams enter the series with an identical 13-19 overall record, but the Broncos hold the WCC advantage over the Dons with their 5-4 league mark while USF's conference record stands at 6-6. Santa Clara is currently just one game behind Coast Division leader Pepperdine, while USF is two games behind West Divsion leader San Diego. Coincidentally enough, the two division leaders will meet this week for a three-game series at Cunningham Stadium on the USD campus.
Santa Clara currently holds a commanding 143-50-1 all-time series advantage over San Francisco, including an 11-4 mark over the last three seasons. Since 1997, the Broncos have a 15-10 record against the Dons, but it is USF who holds the advantage at Benedetti Diamond with their 8-5 record against the Broncos since '97.
Last year at Buck Shaw Stadium, the Broncos swept the three-game series from the Dons, winning by scores of 7-6, 12-1 and 4-0. SCU has been almost unbeatable by USF at "The Shaw" since 1997, holding a 10-2 advantage, with the only two losses coming during the 1998 season.
Matt Travis will get the start in game one, throwing against Kevin Rose. Both pitchers enter the series having two wins on the season, but it is Travis who holds the advantage in ERA with his 3.60 mark, nearly five runs per game better than Rose.
Travis will also have the luxury of having the league's leading hitter on his team as Scott Dierks enters the series leading the WCC in batting average (.444), home runs (10), slugging percentage (.944) and on base percentage (.540).
Saturday and Sunday's games in San Francisco remain unchanged as Joe Diefenderfer will take to the hill on Saturday for the Broncos, while Kellan McConnell will get the start on Sunday. Both games are slated for 1 p.m. starts.