February 16, 2007

Broncos Begin Weekend Series Friday In Davis

Feb. 16, 2007

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SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The Santa Clara baseball team hits I-80 this weekend looking to bounce back from last weekend's three-game sweep suffered at San Diego State. The Broncos (5-5) will battle the UC Davis Aggies in a three-game set, beginning Friday afternoon at 2 p.m. in Davis. Saturday's contest will be at Schott Stadium at 1 p.m., while the teams will conclude the series at 1 p.m. Sunday in Davis.

About the Broncos
Santa Clara had its five-game winning streak snapped this past weekend, suffering a three-game sweep on the road at the hands of the San Diego State Aztecs. The Broncos dropped the opener, 7-4, Friday night, fell 2-1 in Saturday's nail-biter, and finally, could not avert the sweep in a 6-2 loss Sunday afternoon in the series finale. SCU did get some good performances though, as Carl Bacon batted .400 (4-for-10) on the weekend, and Nathan Faulkner went 5-for-12 (.417) from the plate. On the mound, Nate Garcia got a no-decision on Saturday despite allowing only three hits and a run in seven innings.

About UC Davis
UC Davis (0-4) meets up with the Broncos once again this season, this time for a three-game series. The two teams played a single contest on Feb. 6, with the Broncos prevailing 7-6 on a run in the ninth inning. The Aggies suffered a three-game sweep this past weekend at the hands of No. 19 Pepperdine, falling 6-2, 5-4, and 11-3 in the three contests. Jacob Jefferies leads the Aggie full-timers with a .455 average and a double, while Aaron hanke bats .313 with a pair of doubles and three runs scored.

About Utah
Utah (2-4) has won its past two games after dropping its first four of the season, including a three-game sweep suffered against the Broncos from Feb. 2-4. After dropping the first game of its series last weekend at New Mexico, the Utes bounced back with wins of 7-4 and 18-1 to capture the series. This weekend the Utes will battle San Jose State before coming to Schott Stadium for Monday's game. Erich Kemp is batting .429 with two doubles to lead the Ute offense, while Jay Brossman is hitting .391 with a pair of doubles, a triple, and a home run.

Good To Be Back
After missing the entire 2006 baseball season following Tommy John surgery, right fielder Nathan Faulkner is enjoying a productive first three weeks at the plate, batting .263 with five RBIs. This past weekend in San Diego, Faulkner was one of the Broncos' best at the dish, batting .417 (5-for-12), including a 2-for-4, three-RBI performance Friday night against the Aztecs. He has also solidified his spot in right field, forming a potent outfield combination with fellow outfielders Evan LeBlanc and Matt Long.

Confidence On the Hill
Freshman Nate Garcia, a local prospect out of Bellarmine College Prep, showed what he is capable of on the mound in Saturday's game against San Diego State. The righty went seven strong innings, striking out eight Aztec batters while allowing only one run on three hits. Unfortunately, Garcia left with a no-decision, but his outing lowered his ERA to 4.96 and kept his record at 1-1 on the season.

Returning In Style
After being out of the starting lineup for the past four games prior to Sunday afternoon's contest against San Diego State, 1B/DH Ryan Conan amde a splashy return to the SCU Nine, crushing his first home run of the season and driving in both SCU runs in the team's 6-2 loss. Conan's 2-for-4 performance was one of the bright spots for the Broncos despite suffering a sweep on the weekend.

Both Sides Of the Plate
Senior catcher Carl Bacon continued his solid start to his senior season, going 4-for-10 (.400) from the dish while also starring on the defensive side of the plate. After Tommy Medica's injury early in Friday's game, Bacon took over duties behind the plate and handled freshman Nate Garcia's strong outing Saturday before going 1-for-4 and scoring a run on Sunday afternoon. On the year, Bacon is batting a career-best .289 and is tied with Nathan Faulkner for the team lead in RBIs with five.

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.