Click Here to watch Bronco baseball in action during practice last week.
Ahead of the Bronco Baseball Fall Classic World Series Game 7 this Saturday, Santa Clara baseball released its 2014 schedule Thursday.
The Broncos begin their 2014 campaign at home on Fri., Feb. 14 against Nevada-Reno. Following a home-opening stretch of five games in five days against Nevada-Reno, Boston College and Cal Poly, the team hits the road for a four-game tournament at Texas-San Antonio Feb. 20-23 and a four-game tournament Feb. 27-Mar. 2 in Surprise, Ariz. at the Spring Training home of the Kansas City Royals and Texas Rangers.
The non-conference slate includes home and away matchups with Nevada-Reno, Cal Poly, San Jose State and Stanford. Cal Poly and Santa Clara's March 25-26 opponent, San Diego State, each competed against last year's national champion UCLA in the road to the College World Series.
"This is the toughest schedule this program has played in years, and that's by design," head coach Dan O'Brien said. "Playing the best is the only true way to elevate the mindset and the level of play needed to build a championship program."
The Broncos return home March 6-9 to host the Jack Gifford Memorial Tournament and take on Penn State at home Mar. 13-15 prior to opening West Coast Conference play. Their first conference series is a home tilt with Pepperdine March 21-23 and the Broncos play their first WCC road series March 28-30 at Pacific.
Santa Clara plays 15 of its first 23 games at home in Stephen Schott Stadium.
"A game in Omaha is a road game, so I'm a big believer in having a great road game mentality," O'Brien said. "That being said, we need to do a better job of making our awesome stadium a brutal place to play for our opponents. We have a lot to do with that, but our fans do as well. The more support we get on game day in the stands, the tougher we'll be to beat at home."
Santa Clara will host Portland, Loyola Marymount and Saint Mary's and travel for road conference matchups against Gonzaga, San Francisco, San Diego and BYU. The Broncos and Gaels will meet for the final series of the regular season May 16-18.
The first time fans can see the Broncos in action is Sat., Nov. 16 at Stephen Schott Stadium. The team will be playing the seventh and final game of its Bronco Baseball Fall Classic World Series split-squad scrimmage. First pitch is scheduled for 12:00 p.m. and the event features free admission for the public.
"This is one of the best falls I have experienced as a coach in the last 10 years because of their level of commitment, intensity, excitement and energy," O'Brien said. "Even though they are competing against one another, there will be two different color uniforms and the team is going to have fun that day playing in front of the fans. They deserve it."