by Brandon Rebboah
SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Santa Clara will look to end the year on high note, when the Broncos travel to Portland for its final three games of the year. The Broncos will take on the Pilots in a three-game West Coast Conference bout starting Fri., May 27 at 3 p.m.
Fans should keep an eye on SantaClaraBroncos.com, @SCUBroncos on Twitter or the athletics Facebook fan page for in-game updates.
Game Notes Week # 13 Apr. 12- Apr. 16, 2011
Santa Clara @ Portland
Fri., May 27, 2011 3 p.m. Joe Etzel Field (Portland, Ore.)
Probable Starters: Cory Hall (4-6; 3.12 ERA) vs. RHP Kyle Kraus (5-5; 4.23 ERA)
Santa Clara @ Portland
Sat., May 28, 2011 1 p.m. Joe Etzel Field (Portland, Ore.)
Probable Starters: TBD vs. RHP Owen Jones (5-6; 4.96 ERA)
Santa Clara @ Portland
Sun., May 27, 2011 1 p.m. Joe Etzel Field (Portland, Ore.)
Probable Starters: TBD vs. RHP Chris Johnson (2-5; 3.36 ERA)
Pat Terry Wins WCC Player of the Week
Senior C/DH Patrick Terry was named the West Coast Conference Player of the Week on May 23 for his explosive offensive performances over the weekend. Terry's three-game performance came in his last home series as a member of the Broncos baseball squad. On Senior Day, May 22, Terry hit a two-run homer and had a two-RBI double in his final two plate appearances at Stephen Schott Stadium. He batted .667 on the weekend (8-12). Terry finished the weekend with eight hits, four runs scored, five RBI, a double and a homerun. Terry had a hit in every game last weekend, including a four-RBI performance on Sunday. His offensive performance over the weekend pushed his batting average to a team-high .312 on the year. Additionally, he now leads the team in RBI (30), total bases (73), hits (54) and doubles (10). His final game at Stephen Schott Stadium was his 101st appearance in the Bronco lineup.
J.R. Graham Among the Country's Top Prospects
RHP J.R. Graham was named one of the top 100 prospects according to ESPN's Keith Law in mid-May. In Law's recent Top 100: Draft rankings v. 4.0, the hard-throwing righty ranked No. 72. Graham is expected to be drafted in the early rounds of this year's MLB draft. The hard-nosed junior was drafted out of high school in the 46th round by the Oakland Athletics, but chose to attend Santa Clara. After three years, Graham has matured into a dominant closer and has significantly helped his draft stock. He is currently ranked fourth nationally, averaging just 0.68 walks per nine innings. Graham (3-4; 3.54 ERA) has hit 90-plus on the radar gun all season. As the team's closer he has proven his versatility by starting four WCC games. Before the series against San Diego, Graham was boasting a six-inning perfect streak over his last three appearances, tossing five perfect innings againstPepperdine in two appearances and another 1-2-3 inning at UC Davis. During the Bronco road series with Pepperdine, Graham was lights-out. He was flawless all weekend, picking up the win with a perfect two innings in a 3-2 victory on May 6. On May 7., Graham assumed the starting role, pitching three perfect innings before leaving with a lead in the fourth inning. Graham hurled 7.0 innings of scoreless baseball, scattering three hits at SMC, a game the Broncos won in extra innings. Before moving into the rotation, Graham posted a 1.59 ERA in 22 innings of work. From Mar. 1 to Apr. 3 Graham posted a 0.60 ERA. He currently leads the teams in saves (4) and appearances (22).
Band of Brothers
The Broncos boast two tandems of brothers on the 2011 roster … redshirt junior RHP Thain Simon and sophomore RHP Brock Simon are two years apart and both are on the roster. Thain, a 2008 Freshman All-American, has yet to pitch this season as he recovers from offseason surgery. Brock (3-7; 6.50 ERA) is a versatile pitcher who has started games and come out of the bullpen this season….Twin brothers OF Matt Ozanne and 3B/DH Drew Ozanne both continue to produce offensively for the Broncos. Matt has started 30 games this season. He leads the team with nine stolen bases and has knocked in 22 runners this season. Drew has started 26 games, appearing in 34. He has 14 RBI on the season, including a walk-off RBI single against Bakersfield. The brothers have batted back-to-back in the lineup three times this season.
DeMerritt's Freshman Success
Freshman 3B Kyle DeMerritt is having a stellar rookie campaign He is second on the team with a .297 batting average. He is second on the team in at bats (175), hits (52) and RBI (27) amd leads the team in runs (29) and on-base percentage (.383). DeMerritt takes advantage of his opportunities, hitting .367 with runners in scoring position. He has six multi-RBI games, including a 4 RBI game against Pacific on Apr. 26. With eight games left his 25 RBI tops former Santa Clara Freshmen All-Americans Matt Long and Tommy Medica. They both knocked in 23 runners during their rookie campaign. DeMerritt made an immediate impact, picking up his first collegiate RBI in the Broncos first game of the season against No. 2 South Carolina. He currently sits in the top 20 in the West Coast Conference in batting average, in on-base percentage, runs scored and hits. Defensively, he is a key piece to the Santa Clara infield. He has started all but two games this season, playing three different positions in the infield.
Wagner Excels In The Classroom And On The Diamond
Senior 1B Curtis Wagner was one just two WCC named to the 2010 and 2011Capital One Academic-All District Team when he was named first team on May 5. Wagner, an economics major who carries a 3.84 grade point average, has been honored throughout his career for his strong academics. He will now be nominated for Academic All-American honors. Last season, he was an ESPN The Magazine/CoSIDA Academic All-American and WCC All-Academic selection. He also was named Santa Clara's winner of the Lloyd Christopher award, which is annually given to three current Bay Area collegiate players for their play during the previous season. In addition to his success in the classroom, Wagner has been a key member in the Bronco lineup. Wagner was selected as a unanimous selection the preseason All-WCC team after hitting .404 in his junior season. He has played in 48 straight games before suffering an injury.
Santa Clara Pitching
Santa Clara senior RHP Cory Hall (4-6; 3.12 ERA) continues to pitch well as the Broncos' ace. He will be pitching in his final collegiate game against Portland. He currently leads the Broncos in innings pitched (98.0) and strikeouts (77). In his last outing on May 20, the righty pitched seven innings, allowing three runs on nine hits in a no-decision against San Diego. Hall tossed his second complete game at St. Mary's, Apr. 15. Hall pitched nine innings, allowing just two runs on five hits. He tallied a season-high 11 strikeouts in his Mar. 26 complete game against Brown… Junior RHP J.R. Graham (3-3; 3.54 ERA) is a legit pro prospect, hitting 90-plus on the radar gun all season. Graham, the team's closer, has proven his versatility by starting four WCC games. Entering the series with San Diego, Graham was boasting a six-inning perfect streak over his last three appearances, tossing five perfect innings against Pepperdine in two appearances and another 1-2-3 inning at UC Davis … Look for RHP Brock Simon (3-7; 6.09 ERA) to appear in mid-inning relief. After beginning the season as the team's Friday starter, Simon has moved to the bullpen and become an asset for Santa Clara's relief corps. Simon picked up the win pitching three scoreless innings, while allowing just four hits at Saint Mary's on Apr. 16. Simon is also capable of starting for the Broncos. He started his ninth game of the year against San Diego, fairing four innings….RHP Chris Mendoza (3-5; 5.24) can eat up innings for the Broncos. Mendoza has made 19 appearances, starting nine games. He picked up his first career save in a 5-4 win against Pepperdine on May 8.
Senior C/DH Patrick Terry continues to impress in his senior campaign. Terry is the reigning WCC Player of the week. He is hitting .312 on the year. Terry has three homers on the year, his most recent was a two-run HR against San Diego on Sun., May 22. After his monster series against San Diego, Terry now leads the team in six offensive categories including average (.312), hits (54), doubles (10), RBI (30), total bases (73) and slugging percentage (.422) … Freshman 3B Kyle DeMerritt is having a stellar rookie campaign He is second on the team in at bats (175), hits (52) and RBI (27) and leads the team in runs (29) and on-base percentage (.383). DeMerritt takes advantage of his opportunities, hitting .367 with runners in scoring position. In a mid-week win against Pacific, DeMerritt tallied four RBI. Defensively, DeMerritt has been spectacular. He has seen time at three different infield positions. He has started a majority of the games at third before moving to second. After Wagner suffered an injury against USD, DeMerritt stepped up to play first… All-WCC preseason selection, senior 1B Curtis Wagner has hit .260 with 23 RBI before suffering an injury against San Diego … OF Lucas Herbst goes unnoticed for the Broncos. He has the third-highest batting average on the team (.282) and is third on the team with 26 RBI… Sophomore OF Matt Ozanne has provided the Broncos with speed and power. He is tied for a team-high three homers while leading the Broncos in stolen bases (9)… His twin brother, 3B/DH Drew Ozanne has seen more playing time since his walkoff single against Bakersfield on Apr. 1. He is hitting .275 on the year with 14 RBI. He made his first start as a defensive player on Sat., Apr. 23, playing the entire game at 2B. He picked his second defensive start, this time playing third base on May 1 against Gonzaga… OF Stephen Takahashi has taken advantage of his opportunities. He has started the last ten games in centerfield, hitting .224 with five stolen bases.
Portland (21-30; 8-10 WCC) comes into the series with Santa Clara after dropping a mid-week game against Oregon. As of Mon., 23 the Pilots are led offensively by Turner Gill and Matt Mardesich. Gill leads the team in batting average (.322), hits (55) and doubles. Matt Mardesich is hitting .279, but has plenty of power. He has a WCC-high nine homers and has a team-high in RBI (37). On the mound, Chris Johnson (2-5; 3.36 ERA) has the lowest ERA of any Portland starter. He is allowing batters just a .244 average. Owen Jones (5-6; 4.96 ERA) has pitched struck out a team-best 57 batters in 81.2 innings this season.