January 25, 2005

Baseball Hosts UC Riverside in Season Opening Series

Jan. 25, 2005

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -

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Santa Clara vs. UC Riverside
Game #1 • Fri., Jan. 28 • Buck Shaw Stadium Santa Clara, Calif. • 3:30 p.m.
Game #2 • Sat., Jan. 29 • Buck Shaw Stadium Santa Clara, Calif. • 1 p.m.
Game #3 • Sun., Jan. 30 • Buck Shaw Stadium Santa Clara, Calif. • 1 p.m.

Probable Pitching Matchups
1/28 - Santa Clara - RHP Kellan McConnell - Sr., 0-0, 0.00 ERA
UC Riverside - RHP James Simmons - Fr., 0-0, 0.00 ERA
1/29 - Santa Clara - RHP Patrick Overholt - So., 0-0, 0.00 ERA
UC Riverside - RHP Taylor Bills - So., 0-0, 0.00 ERA
1/30 - Santa Clara -RHP Mike Stutes - Fr., 0-0, 0.00 ERA
UC Riverside - TBA

The Series
Series Began: 1972
Series Record: Santa Clara leads 4-3-0
Last Meeting: February 1, 2004, a 12-6 Santa Clara win in Riverside

This Weekend
For the second straight year, the Santa Clara baseball team will open its season with a three-game series against UC Riverside. This season, the Highlanders will travel north to face the Broncos as the series begins on Friday at 3:30 p.m. at Buck Shaw Stadium. The series will continue on Saturday as first pitch is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. On Sunday, the three-game set will conclude with a 1:00 p.m. contest.

Senior right-handed pitcher Kellan McConnell, who posted 84 strikeouts in 15 starts last season, will take the mound for the Broncos in the opening day contest. The game will mark the final opening day for Santa Clara baseball in Buck Shaw Stadium, its home since 1962. In the spring of 2005, Santa Clara will open Stephen Schott Stadium, which will become the full-time home of the SCU baseball program.

Rea Earns Preseason Honors
After setting a Santa Clara record with 13 saves last season, senior right-handed pitcher Anthony Rea picked up numerous honors heading into the 2005 season. The National College Baseball Writers Association named Rea to its preseason All-America Second Team, while Collegiate Baseball named him to its third team. These awards follow 2004 second team All-America honors from the NCBWA. The Palo Alto native was also named to the Brooks Wallace Award Preseason Watch List. The award, which was given to Cal State Fullerton's Kurt Suzuki in its inagural season a year ago, is awarded to the nation's top collegiate player by the College Baseball Foundation.

SCU Baseball Picked to Finish Fourth in WCC Preseason Poll
The Santa Clara baseball team was selected to finished fourth in the West Coast Conference in the 2005 WCC preseason poll, as selected by the conference coaches. The Broncos were picked to finished behind Loyola Marymount, Pepperdine and San Diego. Santa Clara claimed the fourth position in the poll with 32 total points. Tabbed to finish second in the WCC's West Division this season behind Pepperdine, the Broncos will return seven players who hit over .300 in 2004. Gonzaga, San Francisco, Saint Mary's and Portland rounded out the remainder of the preseason poll.

Crosta, Perry, Rea Recognized by Baseball America
Three Broncos were recognized by Baseball America in its preseason conference breakdowns in early January. Senior outfielder Nic Crosta was the publication's pick to be named West Coast Conference Player of the Year at the conclusion of the season. The Seattle, Wash. native was also selected as the WCC's player with the best raw power, the outfielder with the best arm and the best athlete among the eight teams. Senior right-handed pitcher Anthony Rea was tabbed to have the conference's best breaking ball, while sophomore outfielder Robert Perry had the best strike-zone discipline.

Probable Lineup Notes
1B - Nathan Faulkner - (Sophomore - Temecula, Calif.)
Appeared in 39 games in his freshman campaign. Ranked sixth on the team with a .316 batting average. Led Santa Clara with nine stolen bases in 2004.

2B - Dustin Realini (Junior - Cupertino, Calif.)
One of the team's captains. Appeared in 44 games a year ago, while making 39 starts. One of eight Broncos to hit over .300 in 2004 as he hit .314 in his first season at Santa Clara.

2B - David Hoffmire (Junior - Novato, Calif.)
Appeared in 34 games a season ago, starting 12 for the Broncos. Posted 14 hits in 54 at-bats to hit .259 in 2004.

SS - Michael Lange (Junior - West Covina, Calif.)
Started 37 games at shortstop in 2004 as hand injury kept him out of the lineup in the middle of the season. Named team's Best Defensive Player by his teammates.

3B - Michael Thompson (Junior - Mission Viejo, Calif.)
Started all 51 games in which he appeared. Hit .321 on the season. Second on the team with 16 doubles in 2004. Drove in 33 runs and scored 39 during the season.

C - Kris Watts (Junior - Fremont, Calif.)
Transferred to Santa Clara from Ohlone College in Fremont, Calif. Led Ohlone to an appearance in the Junior College Final Four in 2004. Two-time All-conference honoree.

LF - Ryan Chiarelli - (Senior - San Ramon, Calif.)
A First Team All-West Coast Conference selection in 2004 after leading the Broncos with a .361 batting average. Scored 31 runs and posted 48 hits in only 133 at-bats a year ago. Also voted the team's Most Improved Player.

CF - Robert Perry (Sophomore - Sunnyvale, Calif.)
A West Coast Conference Honorable Mention selection a year ago. Voted Rookie of the Year by teammates. One of eight Broncos to hit .300 or better in 2004, as he hit .300 with 13 doubles and eight home runs. Scored a team-high 46 runs in freshman season.

RF - Jason Matteucci (Junior - San Jose, Calif.)
Appeared in 49 games last season, starting 39 in the outfield. Also made Bronco pitching debut in 2004. Hit .290 with 48 hits. Fourth on the team with 15 walks.

DH - Nic Crosta (Senior - Seattle, Wash.)
A Second Team All-West Coast Conference selection in 2004. Led SCU with 11 home runs over last season to go along with a team-high 46 RBI and .566 slugging percentage. Named WCC Player of the Month for February and earned NCBWA Co-Hitter of the Week and WCC Player of the Week on April 26.