February 22, 2005

Baseball Wraps Up Homestand, Hosts Cal Poly

Feb. 22, 2005

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -

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Santa Clara vs. Cal Poly

Game #13 • Fri., Feb. 25 • Buck Shaw Stadium - Santa Clara, Calif. • 6 p.m.
Game #14 • Sat., Feb. 26 • Buck Shaw Stadium - Santa Clara, Calif. • 1 p.m.
Game #15 • Sun., Feb. 27 • Buck Shaw Stadium - Santa Clara, Calif. • 1 p.m.

Probable Pitching Matchups
2/25 - Santa Clara - RHP Kellan McConnell - Sr. (1-1, 5.66 ERA)
Cal Poly - RHP Garrett Olson - Jr. (3-0, 3.24 ERA)
2/26 - Santa Clara - RHP Patrick Overholt - So. (0-1, 2.77 ERA)
Cal Poly - RHP Gary Daley - So. (0-0, 7.24 ERA)
2/27 - Santa Clara - RHP Mike Stutes - Fr. (2-1, 5.40 ERA)
Cal Poly - RHP Jimmy Shull - Sr. (1-2, 4.88 ERA)

This Weekend
The Santa Clara baseball team will hope for weather to be a non-factor in its second three-game series of its seven-game homestand this weekend. After rain and field conditions forced last weekend's set with Washington to be moved back to Sunday, the forecasts for the upcoming weekend look to be rain-free.

Cal Poly will come to Buck Shaw Stadium on Friday night to begin the series with a 6 p.m. contest. Saturday and Sunday's games will both begin at 1 p.m.

The Mustangs enter the week with a 9-6 mark after being one of the first teams in the country to open their schedule. Last weekend, Cal Poly claimed a 2-1 series victory over West Coast Conference foe San Francisco.

Pitching ace Garrett Olson leads the Mustangs as he has been slated for the Friday night start. He is currently 3-0 on the season with a 3.24 ERA. Offensively, Kyle Blumenthal is pacing Cal Poly with a .357 batting average. Brett Berglund has also been a standout at the plate with 17 RBI and 18 hits.

There are many connection between the two programs as assistant coaches Mike Oakland and Mike Zirelli each played at Cal Poly. Oakland graduated in 1996, while Zirelli earned a degree in Kinesiology in 2002.

McConnell and Watts Sweep WCC Honors
Kellan McConnell was named the West Coast Conference's Pitcher of the Week, while Kris Watts earned the conference's player of the week award this week as SCU swept the weekly honors for this first time this season.

A senior right-handed pitcher, McConnell earned his first win of the season on Sunday as Santa Clara posted a 5-2 victory over then 12th-ranked Washington. The San Juan Capistrano, Calif. native threw a season-high 7.2 innings and allowed only one run on eight hits. He also tallied a season-high 10 strikeouts without issuing a single walk.

Watts was also an instrumental part of two Bronco wins over last week as he led the team with a .556 batting average. The junior catcher paced SCU with 10 total bases, four RBI and a slugging percentage of 1.111. He also hit his first home run as a Bronco when his three-run round tripper provided the needed edge in a 7-4 victory over Sacramento State.

On February 7, fellow Bronco Michael Thompson earned the conference's player of the week award as SCU has won three weekly honors only three weeks into the season.

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 inaugural season a year ago, is awarded to the nation's top collegiate player by the College Baseball Foundation. On February 11, Rea was also named to the Roger Clemens Award Watch List, which is awarded to the nation's top collegiate pitcher each year.

The Real-ini Deal
Second baseman Dustin Realini has proven to be one of the Bronco's biggest offensive weapons in the early part of the 2005 season. The only infielder to start every game this season, Realini paces the team, hitting .395. His 10 RBI and 10 runs scored are also tops on the team. Against Washington, Realini moved into the cleanup spot in the Bronco lineup and did not disappoint. In the final game of the series, Realini drove in both Bronco runs, including one on a solo home run. His two home runs are tied with Michael Thompson for the team lead.

A Steady Outfield
Outfielders Ryan Chiarelli, Jason Matteucci and Robert Perry have provided a consistent look to the Santa Clara outfield this season as the trio have started every game of 2005. With Chiarelli in left, Matteucci in right and Perry anchoring the group in center, the trio has combined to hit .293 over the first 12 games of the season and drive in 20 of the Bronco's 62 runs. Also gifted on the base paths, the three outfielders also account for seven of Santa Clara's 10 stolen bases in 2005.

Up Next
The Broncos will take on crosstown rival San Jose State in a three-game set that will take place at both Buck Shaw Stadium and Municipal Stadium. The series will be part of the annual Rivalry Series between the schools that Santa Clara is currently leading, 19-4. Saturday's game will be played at Buck Shaw Stadium at 1 p.m., while Friday's 6 p.m. and Sunday's 1 p.m. contests will take place at Municipal Stadium.