March 15, 2005

Baseball to Open West Coast Conference Play Against Pepperdine

March 15, 2005

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -

Complete Release in PDF Format
Download Free Acrobat Reader

Santa Clara (13-8) vs. Pepperdine (11-8)

Game #22 • Sat., March 19 • Buck Shaw Stadium - Santa Clara, Calif. • 12 p.m.
Game #23 • Sat., March 19 • Buck Shaw Stadium - Santa Clara, Calif. • 30 minutes after Game 1
Game #24 • Sun., March 20 • Buck Shaw Stadium - Santa Clara, Calif. • 1 p.m.

Probable Pitching Matchups
3/19 - Santa Clara - RHP Kellan McConnell - Sr. (2-2, 5.35 ERA)
Pepperdine - RHP Kea Kometani - Sr. (3-2, 2.76 ERA)
3/19 - Santa Clara - RHP Patrick Overholt - So. (0-2, 4.56 ERA)
Pepperdine - LHP Paul Coleman - Jr. (3-0, 2.72 ERA)
3/20 - Santa Clara - RHP Mike Stutes - Fr. (4-2, 3.99 ERA)
Pepperdine - RHP Barry Enright - Fr. (1-1, 6.35 ERA)

This Weekend
The Santa Clara baseball team will open West Coast Conference play against Pepperdine this week. Currently one of the leaders of the WCC's West Division with a 13-8 record, the Broncos are followed closely by the Waves, who have an 11-8 mark on the season. Picked to win the division in the preseason coaches poll, Pepperdine has beaten two top-5 teams this season in Tulane and South Carolina.

The trio of Pepperdine starters have had a strong start to their 2005 season. Both Kea Kometani and Paul Coleman have posted three wins this season, while each having ERA's under 3.00. Steve Kleen was named the WCC Player of the Month for February while leading the team with a .388 batting average and recording two saves on the mound.

Broncos Best Brown in Three-Game Series
Santa Clara claimed its third straight series victory last weekend as it won two out of three games against Brown at Buck Shaw Stadium. SCU posted a pair of come-from-behind wins on Friday and Sunday and dropped a close 7-5 contest on Saturday.

On Friday night, the Broncos scored seven runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to take a 8-6 victory in the series opener. Carl Bacon capped the inning with a three-run home run to drive in the game-winning run. Anthony Rea earned his fifth save of the season on the night by closing out the ninth inning.

After a late rally fell short on Saturday, the Broncos used another big inning on Sunday to claim an 8-4 win in the game and take the overall series. Another home run for SCU would provide the difference as a two-run shot from Robert Perry brought the eventual winning run across the plate in the sixth inning. The Broncos scored six runs in the sixth to come back from a 3-0 deficit earlier in the contest. Freshman right-hander Mike Stutes earned his team-high fourth win in the game after posting a season-high 11 strikeouts in seven innings.

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. With 20 starts at second base, Realini paces the team, hitting .351. Batting either third or fourth in the lineup, Realini has become the Bronco's best run producer, driving in a team-high 18 runs. His four home runs are tied for the team lead, while his .608 slugging percentage is a Bronco best.

Consistent in Center
Center fielder Robert Perry has been the anchor of the Bronco outfield this season, starting all 21 games in the same position. A leader on the offensive end as well, Perry paces the team with 21 runs scored this season. Currently hitting in the lead-off spot, Perry also brings power to the plate with four home runs this season, which is tied for the team lead. He is also second on the squad with 16 RBI and eight doubles. A threat on the base paths as well, he is 4-for-5 in stolen base attempts.

Lange Returns to the Lineup
Sophomore shortstop Michael Lange had a rocky start to his 2005 season, but is back in the Bronco lineup in a big way. After going hitless in the first SCU series of the season, Lange was hampered with an injury which kept him off the field for the next 16 games. On Sunday, the West Covina native made his fourth start of the year at shortstop and made his presence known right off the bat. He was 2-for-2 in the game with a walk and a run scored.

O'Brien Closing in on 100 Wins
Bronco skipper Mark O'Brien is nearing a milestone 100th win as his current record stands at 96-93. In only his fourth year at the helm, he has posted an impressive 52-37 mark in West Coast Conference play. When O'Brien does reach his 100th win, he will become only the fifth coach in Santa Clara baseball history to reach the milestone. He will join former Bronco coaches John Oldham, Jerry McClain, Sal Taormina and John Cotrell in the esteemed group.

Up Next
Santa Clara will play a road series for the first time since February 13 next week when it travels to San Francisco. Due to the Easter holiday, the series will begin on Thursday at Benedetti Diamond at 2 p.m. Friday's contest will also begin at 2 p.m. with Saturday's starting at 1 p.m