Broncos Face Test In Visiting Cal Poly

Feb. 22, 2007

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Coming off of a weekend in which it split its four games, the Santa Clara baseball team looks to build some momentum this weekend, hosting the Cal Poly Mustangs in a three-game series. Friday night's contest is set for a 6 p.m. start while first pitch for Saturday and Sunday's games is set for 1 p.m.

About the Broncos
Santa Clara (7-7) split its four games last weekend to remain at the .500 mark for the season. The Broncos dropped two of three to the UC Davis Aggies before capturing a victory over Utah on President's Day Monday. After hammering the Aggies for an 11-3 win Friday afternoon in Davis, the Broncos dropped consecutive decisions to UC Davis, 7-5 and 3-2, respectively. In each setback, SCU was victimized by a late-inning push from the Aggies, as a two-run ninth on Saturday ended up being the difference, while another two-run inning on Sunday, this time in the seventh, spelled defeat for the Broncos. Monday, the bats came alive again as the Broncos fought their way to a 6-4 win to salvage the weekend split.

About Cal Poly
Cal Poly (8-6) opened up its 2007 season with five consecutive losses before bouncing back to go 8-1 in its last nine games. In that stretch, the Mustangs have captured series victories over San Diego State, Nevada, and Washington, most recently completing a three-game sweep of the Huskies this past weekend. Brent Morel and Grant Desme lead the Mustangs with batting averages of .447 and .408, respectively, as Desme's four homers and 15 RBis lead the team and Morel's six doubles, two triples, and two home runs add punch to the Cal Poly lineup. On the hill, Thomas Eager and Marc Nobriga boast mathcing 2-1 records to go with respective ERAs of 2.73 and 2.82.

Closing the Deal
Junior closer Jeff Lombard has wasted no time this season establishing himself as one of the West Coast Conference's top firemen. In 9.2 innings of work over seven appearances, Lombard has yet to allow an earned run, only suffering an unearned run Monday against Utah. He has tallied three saves already while striking out 11 batters. Lombard's consistency on the hill has given the SCU starters confidence that if they hold a lead into the late innings, Lombard will come on and nail it down.

Providing the Pop
Coming through with a big weekend for the Broncos was junior DH Ryan Conan, who batted .333 (5-for-15) with a triple, two doubles, and six RBIs over the four games. Conan's weekend of pop raised his season batting average to .273 on the year, and his production at the plate propelled him to the team lead in runs batted in with 10. The junior has also hit one of SCU's three home runs on the season.

Captain (All-) America
Outfielder Matt Long, a Freshman All-American in 2006, has continued his solid play well into the 2007 season, currently standing second on the team with a .327 batting average, 18 hits, and four doubles. The sophomore highlighted his contributions this past weekend, when he hit safely in all four games. Defensively, Long has been perfect in the outfield, handling all 29 chances and recording two assists.

Caribbean Speed
Sophomore centerfielder Juan Parra has played his way into the SCU starting lineup over the past week, starting all four of last weekend's games in center field. Parra, who went hitless in 10 at-bats as a freshman in 2006, is batting .333 (5-for-15) so far in 2007, and Monday against Utah, showed how dangerous he can be on the basepaths as he stole a base and scored twice in a 1-for-3 performance.

King Kalush
One of the stars of the SCU bullpen this season has been freshman righty Steve Kalush. In 14.2 innings of work over seven appearances, Kalush has racked up 12 strikeouts against only two earned runs for an ERA of 1.23. Monday against Utah, Kalush tossed 2.2 innings of scoreless relief to earn his first collegiate victory in Santa Clara's 6-4 win at home.

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.