March 9, 2006
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Winners of seven of their last nine ballgames, the Santa Clara University baseball team embarks on another important road trip as this time their travels take them to Seattle this weekend for a three-game set against the Washington Huskies.
First pitch for Friday's series opener is set for 3 p.m., having been changed yesterday from the original 6:30 p.m. start due to forecasts of rain Friday evening in the Pacific Northwest. Saturday's game is still set to begin at 2 p.m. while Sunday's contest will begin at 1 p.m. Bronco fans can follow the contests live on Gametracker.
The Broncos (10-7) head into the weekend fresh off of an encouraging 6-1 victory over the Sacramento State Hornets Wednesday afternoon in the state's capital. Donald Brandt made his return to the mound after a year's layoff due to Tommy John surgery and earned the win with four innings of shutout, two-hit ball while striking out a pair of batters.
The Santa Clara rotation of Sean O'Neill (1-1, 3.23), Justin Kuehn (1-3, 6.21) and Matt Wickswat (3-0, 1.90) is set to oppose Washington's Kyle Parker (2-0, 6.75), Tyler Cheney (1-1, 4.37) and Tim Lincecum (3-1, 3.72) this weekend at Husky Ballpark.
On the season, the Broncos are hitting a combined .301, led by Gabriel Alcantar's .485 average. Watts paces the team with 20 hits and eight doubles, while also hitting .313. Matt Long (.328) and Dustin Realini (.284) are right behind Watts with 19 hits apiece, Nava (.300) leads the team with a pair of triples and 13 RBIs while Fuerst continues his phenomenal rookie campaign hitting .382 with a pair of doubles and 12 runs batted in.
Closer Mark Willinsky has ably provided the heat out of the bullpen, having already notched four saves to go along with a 1-0 record and 1.84 ERA.
The Huskies (12-5) come into the series having dropped an 8-4 home decision to the San Diego Toreros on Tuesday. UW is led offensively by a trio of big bats in the forms of Matt Hague (.450, 27 hits, 13 RBIs), Matt Lane (.390, six doubles, three HRs, 19 RBIs) and Zach Clem (six HRs, 15 RBIs).
Following this weekend's action, the Broncos will return home to Stephen Schott Stadium to host a Wednesday afternoon contest at 2 p.m. on March 15 against the Aggies of UC Davis. That game will be followed by a weekend series against the Northwestern Wildcats on Saturday, March 18 and a doubleheader on Sunday, March 19. Tickets are available by calling (408) 554-4660 or by visiting the Leavey Center ticket office.