February 6, 2007

Baseball Looks To Continue Winning Streak

Feb. 6, 2007

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SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Riding a four-game winning streak and coming off of an impressive sweep of the Utah Utes last weekend, the Santa Clara baseball team concludes its season-opening homestand with a 6 p.m. contest Tuesday night against the UC Davis Aggies before traveling to San Diego State to battle the Aztecs in a weekend series.

The Santa Clara pitching was showcased against the Utes, as ace Matt Wickswat started things off Friday with a six and a third-inning outing of no runs and a career-high 10 strikeouts to pick up his first win of the season. Nate Garcia and Justin Kuehn followed up on Saturday and Sunday, respectively, with solid efforts to pick up their first wins as well. The bullpen, another of SCU's strongpoints this season, live dup to its billing by allowing only one run in 10 innings of work over the weekend, and striking out 15 batters. Closer Jeff Lombard picked up the save in the final two games by shutting the door on the Utah hopes.

About UC Davis
UC Davis (0-0) opens up the 2007 season at Schott Stadium with this Tuesday night's contest. In the fourth and final year of its reclassification to NCAA Division I, the Aggies are coming off of an 18-34 season and will play a full slate of games against the Big West Conference, which they will join full-time in 2007-08. UC Davis is led by junior third baseman Daniel Descalso (.284, 10 doubles, 17 RBIs), while on the mound, closer Nik Aurora (3-4, six saves) will lead the bullpen.

About San Diego State
San Diego State (1-2) opens its home season this weekend as they host the Broncos in a three-game weekend series. Last weekend, the Aztecs dropped two of three at Cal Poly, capturing the first game, 9-5, before dropping Saturday and Sunday's contests, 11-6 and 4-0, respectively. Tony Hanzawahad six hits over the weekend to lead the Aztecs, while Garett Green had five to go with four RBIs, and on the mound, Donnie Hume threw six innings of shutout ball, allowing only three hits and striking out two in getting the win Friday night.

Untouchable Bullpen
The Santa Clara bullpen proved its reliability once again this weekend against Utah. In 10 innings of work over the three games, the 'pen allowed only one run while striking out 15 batters. Saturday, Steve Kalush and Jeff Lombard worked the final four innings of SCU's 6-5 win, allowing no runs and combing for nine strikeouts. Lombard made a pair of appearances on the weekend, closing out Saturday and Sunday's victories to earn his first two saves of the season. On the season, the Santa Clara bullpen boasts a collective 2.05 earned-run average, having allowed only five earned runs in 22 innings of work over the first six games of the season.

Bouncing Back
Sophomore southpaw Matt Wickswat, after suffering a tough loss in his first start of the year two weeks ago in Hawaii, bounced back nicely last Friday, tossing six and a third scoreless innings to pick up his first win of the season, an 8-0 decision over Utah. In his outing, Wickswat scattered six hits and struck out a career-high 10 batters while showing a significant amount of poise in escaping a few jams early on as the result of defensive errors.

Production From the No. 9 Spot
Demonstrating the amount of depth the Broncos have throughout the lineup, the team's second-best hitter is number nine batter Gabe Alcantar, who is batting .435 (10-for-23) with four doubles and four RBIs so far in 2007. Alcantar was also a big part of the offensive success in the sweep of Utah, batting .333 (4-for-12) over the weekend, and driving in three runs with a bases-loaded double in Saturday's 6-5 win.

A "Kuehn" Sense
Sophomore starter Justin Kuehn turned in his second solid outing in a row this past Sunday, helping the Broncos to a 3-2 win which completed the team's sweep of Utah. Kuehn went five and two-thirds innings, allowing only four hits and one run while striking out four to pick up his first win of the season. It was his second straight one-run outing, as Kuehn also gave up only one run at Hawaii two weeks ago, but got a no-decision. Through his first two starts of the season, he boasts a 1.54 earned-run average and has struck out six in 11.2 innings of work.

SCU Offers Live Web Coverage of Home Games
When the Santa Clara baseball program moved into Stephen Schott Stadium, the multimedia coverage on www.santaclarabroncos.com increased. Bronco fans can listen to the WCC action live on Broncos All-Access, and as always, all Bronco baseball games will also be covered on Gametracker.

2007 Freshman Class Noted Among the Nation's Best
The Santa Clara University baseball program received an accolade from the Collegiate Baseball newspaper as the Broncos' 2006 recruiting class was named on of the Top-40 classes in the nation, coming in at No. 28, tops among West Coast Conference schools. The members of this class, who are currently in their first year on the Mission Campus, will look this spring to help lead the squad to its first WCC title since 1997.

Of the freshman class in 2007, Nathan Garcia (Bellarmine College Prep), Patrick Glenn (Amador Valley HS), Matthew Hiserman (Capistrano Valley HS), Steven Kalush (Aragon HS), Jon Karcich (Serra HS), Geoffrey Klein (Ocean View HS), Tommy Medica (Bellarmine College Prep), Alex Rivers (Tokay HS) and Dylan Slocum (Paloma Valley HS) make up the California contingent. Tayler Thomas (Salpointe Catholic HS) hails from Arizona and Jeremy Zink (Garfield HS) will come to the Mission Campus from the state of Washington.

Four Broncos Named to All-WCC 40th Anniversary Team
The West Coast Conference announced its 40th Anniversary Baseball Team in early January, and four Broncos were named to the 40-man squad. LHP Rich Troedson (1969-72), catcher Troy Buckley (1987-89), RHP Bob Pailthorpe (1992-95), and outfielder Mike Frank (1994-97) were all honored for their achievements on the diamond.

SCU Baseball Picked to Finish Sixth in WCC Preseason Poll
The Santa Clara baseball team was selected to finished sixth in the West Coast Conference in the 2007 WCC preseason poll, as selected by the conference coaches. The Broncos were picked to finished behind Pepperdine, San Diego, San Francisco, LMU and Gonzaga. Santa Clara claimed the sixth position with 18 total points.