SANTA CLARA, Calif. — Santa Clara baseball wraps up a nine-game road swing Tuesday with a trip to San Luis Obispo, Calif. to face Cal Poly (No. 11, Baseball America) ahead of the Jack Gifford Memorial Tournament this weekend. The second and final meeting of the season between the Broncos (6-6) and Mustangs (8-2) is scheduled for 6 p.m. PST.
Last weekend, the Broncos went 1-2 at the Sanderson Ford College Baseball Classic in Surprise, Ariz. Santa Clara fell to Arizona State 9-6 Feb. 27 and Oklahoma 8-4 Feb. 28 before rebounding for a 10-2 win over Manhattan March 2. The losing team in all three of those games scored at least one run in the first inning. Santa Clara had its March 1 matchup with Oklahoma State cancelled due to rain.
The Mustangs enter this game after a March 2 doubleheader against the USC Trojans. Cal Poly won the first game 5-1 before having its four-game winning streak snapped in a 16-0 nightcap loss.
In their first meeting of the season Feb. 18, Cal Poly defeated Santa Clara 8-0 at Schott Stadium behind five strong innings from right-handed pitcher Justin Calomeni. The Bellarmine Prep graduate struck out nine while allowing just one hit and one walk to the Broncos. Santa Clara did not bring across a run despite having two runners reach in the fifth, sixth and seventh innings as well as Luke Huerta making it to third with one out in the ninth.
Santa Clara: RHP Jacob Steffens (0-0, 3.75 ERA) at Cal Poly: RHP Justin Calomeni (2-0, 2.70 ERA)
Fresh off Irish Baseball Classic MVP and WCC Player of the Week Honors, Greg Harisis extended his multi-hit streak to six games and overall hitting streak to seven games at the Sanderson Ford Baseball Classic in Surprise, Ariz. last weekend. The senior from Yorba Linda, Calif. recorded two hits and scored two runs in all three games, with just one strikeout out of the leadoff position for the Broncos. He went 2-for-5 with two runs scored and two RBIs in a 10-2 win March 2 against Manhattan.
Zach Loooney and Max Kuhns lead the Broncos with eight RBIs each, while Stevie Berman tops the team with 10 walks and a .545 on-base percentage. Berman currently owns a six-game hitting streak while Harisis currently owns a team-best seven-game hitting streak.
Jacob Steffens makes his third start of the season Tuesday, after having his scheduled start over the weekend come in the cancelled matchup with Oklahoma State. In his last time out Feb. 23 against Notre Dame, the right-hander threw five innings and allowed five runs (four earned) on nine hits with two walks and no strikeouts in 5.0 innings.
Nick Torres and Brian Mundell have been the offensive leaders for Cal Poly through 10 games this season. Torres is 15-for-38 (.395) with team best marks in hits, RBIs (13), runs scored (11), total bases (25) and home runs (T-3, Mundell) while striking out just four times. Mundell is 12-for-33 (.364) with 12 RBIs, six runs scored, 23 total bases and a team-best 9 walks.
Justin Calomeni makes his third collegiate start Tuesday, and has earned the win in each of his first two starts with Cal Poly. In his last time out Feb. 25 at San Jose State, Calomeni threw 5.0 innings and allowed three earned runs on five hits with one walk and seven strikeouts. The freshman's first two collegiate starts have come less than three miles from where he played his high school baseball at Bellarmine Prep in San Jose.
The Mustangs are averaging one run against in their eight victories this season, and have pitched three shutouts in 2014.
Santa Clara Bests Manhattan 10-2, O'Brien Earns 500th Career Win (Click Here for the full game story)
Bronco head coach Dan O'Brien won his 500th career game as the Broncos defeated Manhattan 10-2 on March 2. The third-year Santa Clara head coach won 454 games with his alma mater, UC San Diego, and has 46 wins in his time with the Broncos.
"There's been a ton of great memories and some big team wins in there, but I don't do this for the wins," O'Brien said after Sunday's game. "I coach for the countless lifelong relationships I've developed over the years. Those mean the world to me."