March 15, 2007
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Continuing its season-long 13 game road swing, the Santa Clara baseball team heads south to Riverside this weekend to do battle with the UC Riverside Highlanders. Following last weekend's series win at Fresno State, the Broncos will seek to capture their second road series of the year and build momentum heading into the West Coast Conference opener on March 30 at Portland.
About the Broncos
Santa Clara got its season-long 13-game road trip started on the right foot this past weekend, capturing two of three from the Fresno State Bulldogs. Combined with a mid-week 13-5 win over Stanford at home, the Broncos won three of four last week to gain some momentum in the latter half of its non-conference season. Matt Wickswat tossed his first collegiate complete game in Saturday's 4-1 win over Fresno State, striking out five and not allowing an earned run while scattering seven hits. Matt Long had a fantastic week as well, batting .571 (8-for-14) over the four games with his first collegiate home run, six RBIs, five runs scored, and drawing three walks. His on-base percentage for the weekend was also a sterling .647.
About UC Riverside
UC Riverside (13-9) continues its eight-game homestand this weekend, this time welcoming the Broncos to the Riverside Sports Complex. The Highlanders, though, have lost five of their past seven, and have dropped their past two weekend series, beign swept at Oklahoma and dropping two of three this past weekend to Portland. UCR is led offensively by Carl Uhl (.329, eight doubles, 25 runs scored, 9 SB) and Jaime Pedroza (.295, seven doubles, three home runs, 18 RBIs), while on the hill, Marc Rzepczynski (4-0, 2.52 ERA) and James Simmons (4-1, 2.66 ERA lead a Highlander pitching staff that boasts a combined ERA of 3.71.
Going the Distance
Sophomore lefty Matt Wickswat has bounced back nicely from a rocky start to the 2007 season, tossing his first collegiate complete game in Saturday's 4-1 win over Fresno State. Over the nine innings, Wickswat did not allow an earned run, scattered seven hits, and struck out five batters while walking only one. The win improved Wickswat's record this year to 4-2 and lowered his ERA to 3.99, further showing that he is getting back to the form that made him a Freshman All-American last season.
Another All-American Star
Sophomore center fielder Matt Long, also a 2006 Freshman All-American, put together a productive four games last week, batting .571 (8-for-14) with six RBIs, five runs scored, and hitting his first collegiate home run. Long began his week with a 2-for-4, two-RBI performance in SCU's 13-5 win last Tuesday over Stanford, and capped it with a three-hit, two-RBI performance on Saturday at Fresno State, and a two-hit showing on Sunday. On the year, Long is second on the team with a .356 average, 32 hits, 18 runs scored, and a .430 on-base percentage while also driving in 10 runs.
Having Career Years
24 games into the 2007 season, quite a few Broncos are having career-best seasons. Senior catcher/designated hitter Carl Bacon is batting .348 with 31 hits, five doubles, and 14 RBIs so far, while junior first baseman/third baseman Gabe Alcantar leads the team with a .398 average, 35 hits, 19 runs, and eight doubles. Alcantar is also slugging .545 to lead the team. First baseman/designated hitter Ryan Conan is also enjoying a fine season, batting .309 and establishing himself as the big bat in the SCU lineup, leading the team with eight doubles, two home runs, and 25 RBIs.
Back To the Backstop
Freshman standout catcher Tommy Medica returned to full-time catching duties this past weekend, after suffering a hand injury Feb. 9 at San Diego State. Prior to setting up behind the plate on Saturday, Medica had returned to action in a pinch-hitting role against Stanford on Tuesday, hitting a sacrifice fly. Medica caught the final two games of last weekend's series, and in 13 games is batting .282 with two RBIs.
Sunday starter Justin Kuehn put together a strong outing this past Sunday at Fresno State, helping the Broncos capture their second series of the season. Kuehn went six strong innings, allowing only three runs on eight hits and striking out three batters. The win improved Kuehn's record to 2-3 on the season, and lowered his ERA to 4.54. Last Tuesday, Kuehn also tossed an inning of scoreless releif in the 13-5 win over Stanford.
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.