May 17, 2010

Santa Clara Baseball Hits Road for Final Seven Games

SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Santa Clara University's baseball team hits the road for its final seven games of 2010. The Broncos will play at UC Davis on Wednesday, May 19th before facing nationally-ranked Cal State Fullerton Friday through Sunday, May 21-23.

Santa Clara (21-26; 6-12 WCC) @ UC Davis (21-26; 5-13 Big West)*
May 19 | Dobbins Stadium | Davis, Calif.
Wednesday 2:30 p.m.
GAMETRACKER

Santa Clara @ #9 Cal State Fullerton (34-14; 18-3 Big West)**
May 21-23 | Goodwin Field | Fullerton, Calif.
Friday 7 p.m. | Saturday 6 p.m. | Sunday 1 p.m.
LIVE VIDEO & GAMETRACKER

*UC Davis will play at Nevada Tuesday, May 18
**CS Fullerton will host LMU Tuesday, May 18

SANTA CLARA (21-26) | Stats
The Broncos have rebounded from a seven-game April losing streak to play much better in May and have won 7-of-11 heading into Wednesday's game at UC Davis. Santa Clara remains the top-hitting team in the West Coast Conference, batting .320 as a team and scoring nearly seven runs per game.

Proven offensive stars UT Tommy Medica (.386 BA) and C Geoff Klein (.339 BA) have combined to drive in 96 of SCU's 297 runs. Both are expected to be selected in the upcoming MLB Draft. 1B Curtis Wagner (.404 BA) is on pace to join Medica and Klein as recent Broncos to win the WCC batting title. However, Wagner - a Los Angeles native - is doubtful to play again this season due to an injured wrist. Wagner's .505 on-base percentage is one of the best among all D-1 players and has been a big reason the SCU offense consistently allows the Broncos a chance to win each time out.

Senior starters RH Nate Garcia (3-8; 6.31 ERA) and RH Alex Rivers (5-7; 4.43 ERA) have pitched every Friday and Saturday and true freshman RH Chris Mendoza (4-4; 4.67 ERA) has been a quality addition to the back end of the rotation. As of last week, Garcia ranked No. 10 nationally in strikeouts with 98. Fifteen of SCU's 21 wins have come on its home field at Schott Stadium. The Broncos will look to improve on a 6-11 road record down the stretch.

UC DAVIS (21-26) | Stats
The Aggies are 3-7 in their last 10, looking up at the rest of the Big West Conference with a 5-13 league record. The Aggie pitching staff has been scuffling as of late, allowing 7.7 runs per game during a seven-game span prior to beating Cal Poly SLO 8-2 Sunday. That recent stretch included an 8-6 loss at Santa Clara on Wednesday, May 5. This week's meeting between SCU and UC Davis will be the final game of a three-game mid-week series this year. UC Davis held on to beat SCU 8-7 back on March 13 as part of the Jack Gifford Memorial Tournament. Like the Broncos, the Aggies will play their final seven games away from home (at UCSB, Stanford and UC Riverside). Wednesday's game is the home finale for UCD. The Aggies celebrated `Senior Day' this past Sunday versus Cal Poly SLO. UCD was 13-42 last season with a 5-19 record against the Big West.

CS FULLERTON (34-14) | Stats
The Titans have been terrific in 2010 and have legitimate aspirations of reaching the College World Series and winning their fifth national title. Having won 16-of-17 and coming off a sweep at Long Beach State, the Titans have climbed into the nation's top 10 according to the latest polls by Baseball America and Collegiate Baseball. Led by centerfielder Gary Brown (.438 BA), Cal State Fullerton entered last week ranking No. 16 nationally with a .342 team batting average. Brown is one of the national leaders in hits (92), runs (62), triples (8), stolen bases (31) and slugging percentage (.695). The Titans' roster boasts six preseason All-America players and three potential 2010 Team USA players - DH Tyler Pill (.343 BA), two-way star 1B/LH Nick Ramirez (7 saves; 3.86 ERA) and RH Noe Ramirez (7-1; 3.15 ERA).

RECENT RESULTS/UPCOMING GAMES
W, 8-6 vs. UC DAVIS (5/5)
W, 16-7 vs. PEPPERDINE (5/6)
L, 13-5 vs. SAN FRANCISCO (5/7)
L, 11-5 vs. SAN FRANCISCO (5/8)
W, 12-6 vs. SAN FRANCISCO (5/9)
@ Stanford PPD
------------------
@ UC Davis (5/19)
@ #9 CS Fullerton (5/21)
@ #9 CS Fullerton (5/22)
@ #9 CS Fullerton (5/23)
@ LMU (5/28)
@ LMU (5/29)
@ LMU (5/30)

SCU HEAD COACH Mark O'Brien
Santa Clara University head baseball coach and Bay Area native Mark O'Brien, entered the year owning 218 career victories, just the third coach in SCU's 125-year baseball history to reach the 200-win milestone. O'Brien has served as an assistant at Stanford and Cal Poly SLO and played his collegiate baseball at San Jose State. He signed a multi-year contract extension at Santa Clara in 2008 after leading the Broncos to their best season in more than a decade. O'Brien's 2008 squad twice beat NCAA Champion Fresno State University en route to posting a 33-22 overall record. 2008 highlights included: 10 All-WCC selections, an All-America honoree and six players signing professional contracts.

O'BRIEN NOTES: 22 MLB Draft picks in eight seasons at Santa Clara... 26 future MLB players coached by O'Brien... 28 All-Americans... 9 Bronco All-Americans... 43 All-WCC Selections... 3rd coach in Santa Clara's 125-year baseball history to... reach 200+ wins... 3 College World Series... 3-straight top-40 recruiting classes at Cal Poly... 2 WCC Batting Champs... 1 WCC MVP... 1 WCC `Freshman of the Year'... 1 ESPN The Magazine Academic All-American.

WCC STANDINGS | League Leaders
San Diego 15-0/31-17
Portland 11-7/31-16
San Francisco 10-8/27-25
Pepperdine 8-7/20-26
Saint Mary's 7-11/16-28
Santa Clara 6-12/21-26
Gonzaga 5-10/17-32
Loyola Marymount 4-11/21-26

SENIORS MAKE MOST OF FINAL HOME GAME
Geoff Klein and Tommy Medica celebrated Senior Day by hitting homeruns to help Santa Clara University beat rival University of San Francisco 12-6 Sunday afternoon at Stephen Schott Stadium. Klein's opposite-field drive scored Medica in the sixth. Medica then added a three-run shot to seal the win during a five-run eighth. The two former WCC batting champs were playing their final home game at SCU.

"In my last game here at Schott Stadium it was great to go deep," said All-America senior catcher Geoff Klein. "It was awesome that Tommy (Medica) and I both hit homers. We came in as catchers together and we're so close, it's like we're brothers."

FINAL-YEAR BRONCOS
Ian O'Connor (INF/San Luis Obispo): ... has started in 2009 and 2010... graduating with a Finance degree
Tommy Medica (UT/San Jose) ... All-America catcher and two-time First Team All-WCC ... won 2007 WCC batting crown, .365 career hitter
Geoff Klein (C/Huntington Beach) ... won 2009 WCC batting title/.340 career hitter ... graduating with a degree in Combined Sciences
Alex Rivers (RHP/Lodi) ... one of SCU's all-time strikeout leaders ... graduating with a Communications degree
Steve Kalush (RHP/San Mateo) ... ranks among SCU's top 10 in career saves ... graduating with a Finance degree
Nate Garcia (RHP/San Jose) ... No. 3 all-time at SCU in K's (343) ...graduating with a Marketing degree

HOME SCHEDULE COMPLETED AT 15-15
Counting two `neutral site' games as part of the Jack Gifford Memorial Tournament, Santa Clara finished its 2010 home schedule 15-15. The Broncos claimed 2-of-3 against WCC rival Pepperdine, upset No. 18 Stanford and topped rival USF 12-6 on `Senior Day.'

GARCIA TOP 10 NATIONALLY IN STRIKEOUTS
RH Nate Garcia (3-8; 6.31 ERA) needs just two K's to reach 100 on the year, putting him among the nation's top 10 in that category as of last week. Garcia is vying to lead the WCC in K's for the second-straight season. He has been SCU's `Opening Day' starter the past three years and is a two-time First Team All-WCC pitcher.

WAGNER 11TH IN ON-BASE PERCENTAGE
1B Curtis Wagner (.404 BA) ranked No. 11 in on-base percentage (.505) among all D-1 players in last week's NCAA rankings. Wagner - who is expected to miss the rest of the season with injury - enjoyed a break out 2010 season. Not only is he the WCC's top hitter, he played and started in 44 games at first base - committing just one error.

WAGNER NAMED ESPN/COSIDA ACADEMIC ALL-DISTRICT VIII
Santa Clara University junior first baseman Curtis Wagner - the West Coast Conference batting leader (.404 BA) - was named to the ESPN The Magazine/CoSIDA Academic All-District VIII baseball team. Wagner has earned a 3.8 cumulative GPA studying in the Leavey School of Business, majoring in Economics.

"Making sure you manage your time is key," said Wagner about being able to balance baseball and his studies. "I learned that early on in high school. Here at Santa Clara it becomes even more important with increased emphasis and time put into baseball."

TWIN EMERGENCE
Paternal twins OF Matt Ozanne (.396 BA) and INF Drew Ozanne (.333 BA) have been terrific since becoming everyday players in late April. In Santa Clara's last 10 games, the true freshman brothers have combined for 24 hits and 23 RBI. Matt - leading off and playing centerfield - is 14 for his last 31 (.452 BA) with two homers a triple and three doubles, slugging .806

SCU BEATS NO. 18 STANFORD - THIRD STRAIGHT YEAR DEFEATING CARDINAL
Santa Clara's offense exploded for seven late runs en route to a 9-3 upset win over No. 18 Stanford April 26 at Stephen Schott Stadium. All-AmericansTommy Medica and Geoff Klein hit back-to-back homeruns in the seventh to ensure the Broncos of victory. It marks the third straight year SCU has beaten Stanford.

"Obviously when you beat a team like Stanford it feels good. They've been one of the top two or three programs nationally in the last 25 years," said Santa Clara Head CoachMark O'Brien. "We played good baseball and we got rewarded for it. I'm happy for our players."

MEDICA NAMED WCC PLAYER OF THE MONTH (MARCH)
Santa Clara's redshirt junior Tommy Medica was named a West Coast Conference `Player of the Month' for March as announced by the league office. The preseason All-American and former USA National Team player - had a terrific month, hitting .403 (31-for-77) reaching safely in all 17 games, part of a 21-game hitting streak which extended into April.

Medica helped SCU to 10 wins in March, hitting third in a lineup that boasts the WCC's best offensive numbers. He finished the month with 12 extra-base hits, including five homers and six doubles. Medica is the WCC-leader in RBI this season - 19 coming in March. He scored 23 runs during the month, slugged .701 and totaled 54 bases.

He concluded the month hitting three homers in two games and driving-in runs in seven straight. Medica doubled in three consecutive games March 23-26, had four hits at Fresno State March 9 and homered twice March 28 vs. Princeton.

SANTA CLARA'S KLEIN - CANDIDATE FOR JOHNNY BENCH AWARD
The Greater Wichita Area Sports Commission has added ten catchers to the official watch list for the 2010 Coleman Company-Johnny Bench Award delivered by Papa John's Pizza, including Santa Clara University senior catcherGeoff Klein. The award - given the nation's top collegiate catcher - will be announced after the season.

TWO BATTING CHAMPS IN LINEUP
Santa Clara catchers Geoff Klein and Tommy Medica have both won West Coast Conference batting titles - Klein doing so as a junior in 2009, hitting .379 with 21 doubles. Medica won the WCC batting crown during a phenomenal freshman season in 2007 when he hit .373 and earned Collegiate Baseball `Louisville Slugger' Freshman All-America honors.

PRESEASON ALL-AMERICANS
Santa Clara University baseball upperclassmen Tommy Medica and Geoff Klein were named honorable mention preseason All-America catchers by Ping!Baseball, the online publication announced today. Medica - who has fully recovered from a shoulder injury which kept him sidelined in 2009 - returns for his redshirt junior season as one of the nation's most accomplished collegiate catchers. The San Jose native and Bellarmine College Preparatory alumnus played for the USA National Team in 2007 following an All- America season as a true freshman. Klein took over the catching duties for Medica last season and turned in one of the best offensive seasons in Santa Clara's 125-year baseball history. Klein won the 2009 West Coast Conference batting crown, hitting .379 with 21 doubles. Klein owns a .343 career batting average, which ranks 8th all-time in the SCU record books. Another WCC standout was tabbed for 2010 preseason All-American honors. After winning the Triple Crown last year, Saint Mary's Troy Channing was tabbed a Louisville Slugger preseason second team All-American and was ranked No. 6 on the Rivals.com power rankings for third basemen.