February 15, 2006

Santa Clara Looks to Continue Rolling This Weekend

Feb. 15, 2006

SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Coming off of their first series win of the young season, the Santa Clara baseball team continues their seven-game homestand this weekend as they will welcome the UC Riverside Highlanders to Stephen Schott Stadium.

The Broncos (3-4) gained some momentum this past weekend as they captured two of three against the San Diego State Aztecs. Friday night, backed by another strong effort from freshman ace Sean O'Neill (0-0, 1.38 ERA) and a late double from Eric Newton that drove in the eventual game-winner, SCU took the opening game 4-3. After dropping Saturday's contest, the Bronco offense came alive in the rubber game, led by a two-hit effort from Dustin Realini SCU held off a late Aztec rally for the 10-6 win.

Matt Wickswat won his second-straight decision Sunday afternoon with a solid five-inning outing, while on Friday night freshman Mark Willinsky earned his first collegiate save with a 1-2-3 ninth to close things out.

Offensively, catcher Kris Watts reached base 12 times in 19 plate appearances last week, raising his on-base percentage to .576 to go along with his .381 average this season. Freshman Matt Long has been another major contributor in 2006, hitting a team-leading .389 while Kyle Hartz continues his mashing at the plate, hitting .370 in his first campaign on the Mission Campus.

UC Riverside (5-3) opened the 2006 season with a sweep of the WCC's San Francisco Dons, but have dropped three of their last five since. After a 13-10 loss to USC, the Highlanders dropped two of three in a weekend series against the Arizona Wildcats. UCR is led offensively by Aaron Grant (.385, double) and OF D.J. Hollingsworth (.321, three doubles) while on the hill pitcher James Simmons is 2-0 with a 2.70 ERA.

First pitch is set for 6 p.m. Friday night, while Saturday and Sunday's contests are each set to begin at 1 p.m. Tickets for all games are available by calling (408) 554-4660.