Baseball Takes Momentum To Fresno This Weekend

March 8, 2007

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SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Following a 13-5 victory over Stanford this past Tuesday night at home, the Santa Clara baseball team begins a 13-game road trip this weekend with a three-game series against the Fresno State Bulldogs in Fresno. The Broncos (11-10) have won three of their last four games and already hold a win over the Bulldogs this season, a 3-2 victory on Feb. 28.

About the Broncos
Santa Clara has won three of its last four heading into this weekend, opening things up Feb. 28 with a 3-2 victory over the Fresno State Bulldogs. The Broncos then split a two-game series with San Jose State, dropping the first game, 7-5, in 11 innings, before claiming victory in the finale, 15-3. Gabe Alcantar raised his team-leading batting average to .452 by going 5-for-9 last week, and Ryan Conan added on to his team-leading RBI total, drivign in six runs over the three games to bring his total to 19. Evan LeBlanc also broke out of his recent slump by going 3-for-4 with four RBIs in Sunday's win over the Spartans. This past Tuesday night, the Broncos got a big 13-5 win over Stanford, as Carl Bacon and David Hoffmire each drove in three runs to propel the SCU offense.

About Fresno State
Fresno State (7-11) awaits another chance at the Broncos this weekend after dropping a 3-2 contest last Wednesday at Schott Stadium. Last weekend, the Bulldogs took two of three from No. 16 San Diego, creating some momentum for this weekend. Steve Susdorf (.349, three 2Bs, two HRs, 19 RBIs) and Erik Wetzel (.344, 22 hits, seven RBIs, .447 OBP) lead the Bulldogs at the plate, while Clayton Allison (2-1, 4.15) tops the starters on the Fresno State staff.

Punishing the Rawhide
First baseman Gabe Alcantar is enjoying a breakout season through the first 21 games, batting a career-best .453 with eight doubles, 15 RBIs, and 17 runs scored. IN the last four games, Alcantar batted .545 (6-for-11) and drove in three runs, including a 3-for-3, two-RBI performance Sunday at San Jose State. Alcantar is also currently the only Broncos player to have an on-base percentage of over .500 (.522).

Doing His Job
The No. 5 batter in the lineup has one main job duty: drive runners in. SCU's no. 5 batter in the order, designated hitter Ryan Conan, has been doing just that since returning to the lineup 12 games ago, as he has driven in a team-high 21 runs this season. Conan drove in eight runs over the past four games, knocking in two in each game, as well as scoring five runs of his own. On the year, he is also batting a career-best .333 and has hit a pair of home runs, the team high.

Punchin' 'Em Out
Freshman starter Nate Garcia is continuing to improve with each outing for the Broncos this season, as this past Sunday he cruised through the San Jose State lineup, giving up only an unearned run on three hits. Garcia, the San Jose Mercury News' 2006 Central Coast Section Player of the Year, also struck out a pair of abtters to bring his season total to 27, tied for the team lead with Matt Wickswat.

Breaking Out Of It
All it takes is a big day at the plate to break out of a slump, and left fielder Evan LeBlanc is ready to continue his hitting ways after snapping a cold spell at the plate last Sunday. After going 2-for-22 (.091) at the plate in his last seven games, LeBlanc bounced back against San Jose State with a 3-for-4, four-RBI effort with a double to set the stage for his second coming on offense and vault himself to second on the team with an updated average of .327.

Backstop Power
Another Bronco who is in the midst of a career-best season so far is senior catcher Carl Bacon. After starting the year as the team's designated hitter and backup catcher, Bacon has taken over fulltime backstop duties since Tommy Medica's injury on Feb. 9, and has continued to hit the ball well. Bacon went 6-for-14 (.429) over the past four games, raising his average to .316, and drove in five runs to bring his season total to 13.

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.