February 1, 2005

Baseball Continues Homestand, Hosts Utah

Feb. 1, 2005

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -

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The Series
Game #4 • Fri., Feb. 4 • Buck Shaw Stadium Santa Clara, Calif. • 3:30 p.m.
Game #5 • Sat., Feb. 5 • Buck Shaw Stadium Santa Clara, Calif. • 1 p.m.
Game #6 • Sun., Feb. 6 • Buck Shaw Stadium Santa Clara, Calif. • 12 p.m.

Probable Pitching Matchups
2/4 - Santa Clara - RHP Kellan McConnell - Sr. (0-0, 7.71 ERA)
Utah - LHP Jason Price - Jr. (0-0, 0.00 ERA)
2/5 - Santa Clara - RHP Patrick Overholt - So. (0-0, 3.00 ERA)
Utah - RHP Chad Cullers - Jr. (0-0, 0.00 ERA)
2/6 - Santa Clara - RHP Mike Stutes - Fr. (0-1, 7.71 ERA)
Utah - LHP Matt Crockett - Sr. (0-0, 0.00 ERA)

This Weekend
The Santa Clara baseball team will host Utah in the second weekend of the 2005 season. The teams will meet for the first time since 1968 as the Broncos hold a 2-1 series advantage over the Utes. The series begins on Friday at 3:30 p.m. at Buck Shaw Stadium and will continue on Saturday as first pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m. On Sunday, the three-game set will conclude with a 12 p.m. contest.

Last season, the Utes posted a 22-36 record and 11-19 mark in the Mountain West Conference, which was good enough for fifth place in the conference. Utah welcomes a new head coach this season as Bill Kinneberg is at the helm of the program in 2005. Prior to this stint with the Utes, Kinneberg was the head coach at Wyoming, UTEP and at Utah during the 1996 season. He has posted a 275-209 record in nine years as a Division I head coach.

Adding Watt-age
Junior transfer Kris Watts made his presence known in the Bronco lineup immediately. In his first start behind the plate in the Bronco's season opener against UC Riverside, Watts went 3-for-5 with a team-high three runs scored and an RBI. The Fremont, Calif. native wasn't done there as he returned in the seccond game of the doubleheader to post another multiple hit performance. Watts was the only Bronco to record two hits in the game as he was 2-for-3 with another RBI and run scored. He also added his first extra-base hit with double.

Start It Up
After leading the Broncos with a .361 batting average a year ago, senior outfielder Ryan Chiarelli has started right where he left off. Once again in the leadoff spot for Santa Clara, Chiarelli has already posted two multiple hit contests and driven in three runs in only three games. In the season opener, he would score the winning run in the 14-9 come-from-behind win. He was 2-for-5 in the contest with three runs driven in. In Sunday's game against UC Riverside, Chiarelli paced the team with two hits and scored a run.

New Faces in the Dugout
In the offseason, the Santa Clara baseball coaching staff underwent some changes as former Director of Baseball Operationss Mike Zirelli became a full-time assistant coach and Matt Mueller joined the staff. Zirelli, who was a volunteer assistant coach with the Broncos prior to becoming the Director of Baseball Operations, oversees the Bronco pitchers. Mueller, a Cupertino, Calif. native, tutors the Bronco catchers and serves as the team's first base coach.

New Faces on the Mound
Five different pitchers made their Bronco debut in the opening series against UC Riverside, while freshman Mike Stutes recorded his first collegiate start. Dylan Hickey, who transferred from the University of Dayton and freshman Donald Brandt each appeared in the season opening contest. Brandt, a Santa Clara native, earned the win in the game as the Broncos scored nine runs in the eighth inning. In the second game, redshirt freshman Chris Stansbury and senior Adam Sanabria took the mound for the first time in their Santa Clara careers. Sanabria came to the Mission Campus from the University of Florida. In Sunday's series finale, Stutes got the start as he threw 4.2 innings and struck out four batters.

Up Next
Following this weekend's series with Utah, the Broncos will hit the road for the first time this season and the only time in the month of February. Santa Clara will head to San Diego State for a three-game series with the Aztecs from February 11-13. Friday night's game will start at 6 p.m., while the weekend contests will begin at 1 p.m.

2006 Recruiting Class Noted Among the Nation's Best
With a strong group of eight incoming players, the Santa Clara baseball team's fall recruiting class was listed as one of the nation's best by teamonebaseball.com. The class consists of five Californians, including three Saint Francis High School students, along with natives of Nevada, Arizona, Oregon and Washington. Mark Willinsky of Las Vegas, Nev., Justin Kuehn of Laguna Nigel, Calif., Sean O'Neill of Tucson, Ariz., Jared Lansford of Santa Clara, Brady Fuerst of Atherton, Calif., Matt Long of Los Altos, Calif., John Irby of San Jose, Calif., and Jeff Lombard of Woodinville, Wash. round out the SCU baseball recruiting class for 2006.

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.