Bronco Baseball Set for First-Ever Trip to BYU

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SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Looking to bounce back after a tough weekend in San Francisco, Santa Clara baseball will travel to Pacific for a game Tue., May 15 at 6 p.m. before heading to Utah to take on the newest member of the WCC, BYU from May 17-19. It will be the Broncos first-ever visit to Provo.

The Broncos are 23-23 overall with a 3-15 mark in WCC play. Santa Clara won a thrilling game vs. San Francisco State behind a walk-off home run by Evan Peters on May 8 before getting swept at San Francisco over the weekend.

Pacific has had a tough season, posting a record of 12-37. The Tigers lost the first eight games of their season before getting a 13-10 win vs. Sacramento State on Feb. 28. Pacific swept Brown in a four-game series from Mar. 24-26 and outscored the Bears 42-14. Its only win in the last 14 games came on May 12 vs. UC Riverside.

BYU is 19-24 overall with a 7-11 mark in the WCC. The Cougars have taken on two ranked teams and went 0-5. They took on then-No. 4 Arkansas Feb. 28-29 in Arkansas and host then-No. 19 San Diego May 3-5. After a four-game winning streak from April 7-13, BYU has hit on hard times and is just 2-12 in its last 14 games.

Fans should keep an eye on SantaClaraBroncos.com, @SCUBroncos and @SCU_Baseball on Twitter or the athletics Facebook fan page for in game updates.

BRONCO PITCHING
Junior RHP Tommy Nance (4-4; 3.73) has lived up to the title of Friday night starter for the Broncos in 2012. He has made 12 starts while also appearing in relief once. Nance leads the team with 82.0 innings pitched, including two complete games, and 42 strikeouts. He has walked 26 while allowing a .277 batting average against. He is second on the team in wins, behind RHP Paul Twining and WCC Pitcher of the Month for February LHP Powell Fansler

Fansler has been very good as Santa Clara's mid-week starter. He has a team-high five wins and an ERA of 3.82. In 17 appearances, including 10 starts, he has tossed 66.0 innings while striking out 26 and walking 14. Fansler was named WCC Pitcher of the Month for February when he picked up four wins while making two starts and appearing twice in relief.

RHP Mike Couch (1-5; 4.08) threw his first complete game and first career shutout vs. San Jose State on Mar. 4. He allowed six hits and one walk while striking out seven. Converting from a bullpen role in 2011, Couch has made nine starts and thrown 57.1 innings. His 39 strikeouts is second on the team and he has only allowed 14 walks.

Twining (5-5; 2.59) has been one of the top bullpen arms thus far for Coach O'Brien. Twining has made 27 appearances, including two starts, to lead the team. He has struck out 7 batters in 41.2 innings. He also leads the team with seven saves. He pitched the ninth inning in each of the four Santa Clara games in the third annual Jack Gifford Memorial Tournament from Mar. 8-11, picking up three saves.

BRONCO OFFENSE
INF/OF Greg Harisis has started 23 games while making 32 appearances overall and leads the team with a .396 (36-91) batting average. He has scored 22 runs to go with eight RBI and six doubles. Harisis blasted his first career home run on April 28 vs. Saint Mary's over the right field wall at Schott Stadium. He has a terrific .450 on-base percentage that is helped by is eight walks. 

OF Matt Ozanne has shown that he is a power and speed threat. He is tied for third on the team with three home runs, including a no-doubt shot over the batting cages in left field vs. Pepperdine on April 22, and leads the team with 13 steals. He is hitting .269 (39-145) with a .348 on-base percentage while playing stellar defense in center field.

OF Lucas Herbst and OF Pat Stover have been very good for the Broncos in 2012. Herbst is second on the team with .383 batting average (46-120). He is second on the team with 24 runs scored and has added 23 RBI while hitting six doubles and four triples. Herbst has blasted two home runs, including going back-to-back with Harisis on April 28 vs. Saint Mary's. With seven walks and eight HBP, his on-base percentage stands at a terrific .442 which has helped him steal six bases. Stover is hitting .285 (49-172). Stover leads the team with 31 RBI and has also scored 25 runs. He has nine doubles and five home runs. His 11 steals in 14 attempts are second on the team.

SCOUTING PACIFIC
1B Erik Lockwood has been far and away the best hitter for the Tigers this season. He is leading the team with a .371 (52-140) batting average, 74 points higher than the next closest qualifying hitter. Lockwood has one home run and 11 doubles to go along with his 20 runs scored and team-high 24 RBI. 

OF Allen Riley has been the biggest power threat for Pacific as he leads the team with five bombs. He is hitting just .234 (41-175) but with his home runs, 10 doubles and one triple he has shown the ability to get extra-base hits. He has scored 20 runs and knocked in 24.

INF/OF Josh Simms has stolen a team-best 10 bases while hitting .292 (54-185). He has 10 doubles, two triples and a home run to go along with 25 runs scored and 19 RBI.

Despite pitching well, RHP Michael Benson has a 2-8 record to go with his 3.25 ERA. In a team-leading 80.1 innings pitched he has fanned 41 batters while walking 24 and allowing 83 hits. He has tossed two complete games, including a shutout.

RHP John Prato Matthews has appeared in 20 games, which leads the team. He has thrown 36.0 innings and struck out 23 while walking just six. He has a record of 2-5 and has the Tigers' only three saves.

SCOUTING BYU
INF Tanner Chauncey has been the best Cougar hitter in 2012, with a batting average of .321 (35-109). He has hit five doubles and one trip while posting a .373 on-base percentage. He has scored 16 runs and knocked in 15. 

INF Austin Hall leads the team with a .408 slugging percentage that is boosted 12 doubles and two triples despite not hitting a home run. Hall has scored 19 runs and knocked in 15.

OF Jaycob Brugman leads BYU with 24 RBI. He has also scored 22 runs to go along with a .281 (45-160) batting average. He has hit four doubles and five triples.

BYU has hit only four home runs all season. OF Kelton Caldwell, C Alex Wolfe, OF Christian Mua and 3B Dillon Robinson each have one home run to tie for the team lead.

RHP Chris Capper has made a team-high 10 starts and pitched 66.2 innings. He has a 3-6 record despite posting a very good 2.97 ERA. He has 50 strike outs against 21 walks and has thrown the only complete game of the year to the Cougars.

RHP Mason Marshall leads the team with a 2.41 ERA in 33.2 innings pitched. He has made 21 appearances, all out of the bullpen, and has picked up nine saves. He has allowed just 25 hits while striking out 29 versus six walks.

A NEW RIVARLY
With the addition of BYU to the West Coast Conference in 2011-12 Santa Clara has a new rival. This season will mark the first trip to Provo, Utah for Santa Clara. The two teams have only played three times in the past with the Cougars taking two of three from the Broncos. 

The first meeting came in 2002 when Santa Clara hosted BYU and 15-5. The teams met again in Santa Clara in 2004 for a two-game series with Santa Clara taking the opener 9-3 before falling 11-10 in the second game of the series.

BYU has only played 10 home games this season, compared to 31 on the road and two at neutral sites. The Cougars are 4-6 at home this year and 2-4 when hosting WCC opponents. Both conference home wins came vs. LMU and were sandwiched around a loss. The Cougars won the games by scores of 7-2 and 8-6.

EXTRA INNINGS
You don't want to go to extra innings with the 2012 Santa Clara baseball team. With its 7-5 walk-off victory over San Francisco State on May 8, Santa Clara is now a perfect 5-0 in extra innings this season. 

The Broncos kicked off the season with back-to-back extra inning games at the Bobcat Invitational. On opening day, Santa Clara topped then-No. 37 Texas State by a final of 5-4 in 13 innings. Santa Clara took advantage of a dropped third strike with two outs in the 13th and loaded the bases before an error on the shortstop let the winning run come across.

In game two of the double header, Santa Clara took down Wichita State 7-1 in 12 innings. This time the Broncos took advantage of sloppy defense and put up six runs in the 12th to move to 2-0 on the season.

In game two of a doubleheader with Brown on Mar. 27, Santa Clara battled through 12 innings to get a 2-1 win and sweep the series. In the bottom of the 12th Santa Clara loaded the bases with one out and 1B Andrew Biancardi legged out the back end of a double play to seal the win.

The Broncos took11 innings at Seattle University that featured a ninth inning comeback. Down one in the top of the ninth the Broncos knotted the game with a double and a single. In the 11th the Broncos loaded the bases and knocked in the winning run with a fielder's choice by LF Pat Stover.

The most recent extra inning contest was an 11-inning contest vs. San Francisco State. Santa Clara scored one run in the bottom of the ninth to extend the game. Evan Peters came up with one on in the bottom of the 11th and crushed a home run to left field for the win.

GOING, GOING, GONE
The 2012 edition of Bronco baseball is showing a lot more power than their 2011 counterparts. In 46 games Santa Clara has smacked 22 home runs, with nine players having at least one home run and five players have at least two. In 51 games in 2011 Santa Clara hit only 11 home runs. C/DH Pat Terry and CF Matt Ozanne tied for the team lead with three each. No one else had more than one big fly. 

LF Pat Stover and 1B Andrew Biancardi lead the team with five apiece. Stover hit a deep bomb to left vs. Illinois-Chicago to help the Broncos win their home-opener 9-3 on Feb. 24. Ozanne has already tied his total from last year with three. INF/OF Greg Harisis hit his first collegiate home run vs. Saint Mary's on April 28, an opposite field shot far over the right field wall at Schott Stadium.

The increase in power has helped put the Broncos on pace to beat their total runs from 2011 of 226. Through 46 games Santa Clara has scored 221 runs. If the Broncos continue at the 4.8 runs per game pace they have been on, the team will finish with 259 runs, 33 more than last year.

SHAVE FOR CHANGE
After the game vs. Pepperdine at Schott Stadium on April 21 Santa Clara players and coaches shaved their heads in support of St. Baldrick's "Base Bald" program. The volunteer-driven charity funds research to find cures for childhood cancers and to let survivors long and healthy lives. St. Baldrick's funds more childhood cancer research than any organization besides the U.S. government. 

Even though the team raised its goal of $9,000, the event was about more than just money. The Broncos wanted to bring awareness to the public about children with cancer and show their support for the kids that are fighting every day.

Salon Blu and Art of Shaving, both Santa Clara businesses, sponsored the event and did the shavings.

O'Brien and his coaching staff have made reaching out to the community an emphasis in their first year on the Mission campus. When the players heard about the program, they all were eager to participate.

"In a pre-practice meeting earlier this season we were asked to raise our hands if any of us have been affected by cancer and it blew my mind to see almost every hand go up," said sophomore pitcher Max Deering. "It put into perspective just how devastating cancer has become to our society. It motivated me to do everything in my power to raise as much money as I possibly can."

"For our guys to be this excited to shave their heads for a good cause says everything you need to know about them as a group," said O'Brien before the event. "We're honored to be associated with St. Baldrick's for such a worthy event and to do what we can for children fighting this disease."

To find out more about St. Baldrick's, visit www.stbaldricks.org

IRON BRONCO
Only one Bronco has started all 46 games in 2012 and he plays one of the most demanding positions on the diamond. Shortstop Justin Viele has flashed the leather all season while anchoring Santa Clara's infield defense by making only seven errors in 203 chances. 

The junior is hitting .241 (32-133) but has a solid .370 on-base percentage which is helped by his team-leading 18 walks and 10 hit-by-pitch. Viele has added one triple and seven doubles while scoring 23 runs and knocking in nine RBI. He has also swiped five bases.

Durability is nothing new for Viele, as he was the only player to start every game for Santa Clara in 2011 as a sophomore. He hit .237 (44-186) while scoring 26 runs and knocking in 12. He had six doubles and one of 11 Santa Clara home runs. He drew 17 walks, just one more than he has so far in 2012, and was hit by a pitch 10 times. He committed just seven errors in 224 chances.

As a freshman Viele started 28 of Santa Clara's 54 games. He hit .310 (27-87) with 10 doubles, 12 RBI and 23 runs scored while walking 10 times and stealing two bases.

BEATING QUALITY OPPONENTS
Santa Clara came out of the gates in 2012 ready to play. Thus far they have defeated then-No. 35 Texas State, then-No. 37 Wichita State and a Cal Poly team who swept Oklahoma State in three games and the Broncos WCC rival LMU in a four game series. The Broncos also beat 2011 College World Series participant Cal on April 11. Santa Clara has taken down seven teams with a winning record. 

Below are the teams with winning records the Broncos have beaten in 2012 and their current records.

Team

Wins 

Losses 

Outcomes 

Texas State

29 

20 

Won 5-4 (13) 

Wichita State

32 

22 

Won 8-5 

Cal Poly

29 

20 

Won 5-2 and 11-6 

Nevada

30 

21 

Won 8-4 

Portland

25 

18 

Won 5-4 

Cal

25 

22 

Won 8-5 

Pepperdine

29 

19 

Won 6-2 

POWELL FANSLER NAMED WCC PITCHER OF THE MONTH FOR FEBRUARY
Santa Clara baseball went 7-2 in new head coach Dan O'Brien's first month on the Mission Campus and LHP Powell Fansler was named the West Coast Conference Pitcher of the Month for February. He picked up four of the seven Bronco wins while making two starts and appearing twice in relief. 

Fansler was dazzling for the month, making two starts and two relief appearances. He posted a 2.65 ERA to go along with his four wins. In 17.0 innings pitched he allowed 16 hits and struck out nine against only two walks.

LISTEN UP
Eight select Bronco baseball games, four non-conference and four conference, in 2012 will be called on the Broncos' online Game Central via Stretch internet, for the first time since 2010. All eight broadcast will be done by a two-man student broadcast affiliated with Santa Clara's athletic department. The crew includes John Nash , a junior on the Santa Clara men's water polo team and an Athletic Department student employee, and Brandon Rebboah, also an Athletic Department student employee. In addition to the eight broadcasted games, all home games will have free video streaming via Game Central. The remaining games to be aired will be May 22 vs. Stanford, May 25 vs. LMU and May 27 vs. LMU. 

"We're excited to have two passionate and talented Santa Clara students broadcast our games once again. We want people to fall in love with Bronco baseball and who better to help us do that than these two outstanding young men," said O'Brien about the radio broadcasts.