Baseball Returns Home for Weekend Set Against Portland

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SANTA CLARA, Calif. — Fresh off a two games to one series victory at University of the Pacific, Santa Clara baseball returns to Schott Stadium to host the University of Portland April 4-6. The Broncos and Pilots meet for the series opener Fri., April 4 at 6 p.m. and will also play at 3 p.m. on April 5 and 1 p.m. on April 6.

Last weekend, the Broncos went to Stockton and took two of three games from the Pacific Tigers. Santa Clara won the series opener 6-2 on the strength of two-RBI nights from Greg Harisis and Mac Hess as well as 7.0 innings from D.J. Zapata in which the senior allowed two runs. After Saturday's game was postponed due to rain, the Tigers won game one of Sunday's doubleheader 7-0 and the Broncos won game two 7-6 by erasing a 4-0 deficit in the fifth. Stockton native Kyle Cortopassi came through with the game-winning RBI single in the ninth.

Probable Starters

Fri., April 4, 6 p.m.

SCU: RHP D.J. Zapata (2-4, 3.99 ERA) vs. UP: RHP Davis Tominaga (0-3, 4.71 ERA) 

Sat., April 5, 3 p.m.

SCU: RHP Peter Hendron (2-3, 4.22 ERA) vs. UP: RHP Kurt Yinger (0-3, 6.35 ERA)

Sun., April 6, 1 p.m.

SCU: RHP Steven Wilson (0-2, 4.93 ERA) vs. UP: RHP Colin Feldtman (1-4, 3.22 ERA)

Live Stats and Video/Internet Radio

John Nash is slated to call the April 4-5 games. All three games will feature live, streaming video on Stretch Internet.

Click here to access the radio/video feed for all games this weekend.

Click here to access live stats for all games this weekend.

West Coast Conference Standings as of April 3

This Weekend's Opponent: Portland

Portland enters the weekend with an overall record of 6-23, including a 0-9 mark in West Coast Conference play and a 3-13 mark on the road. The Pilots have been swept in their first three conference series against LMU, Saint Mary's and most recently Pepperdine last weekend. Portland scored one run in three games and did not lead at any point in that series, which featured scores of 6-0, 1-0, and 6-1. Five of the nine Pilot losses in conference have been decided by two runs or less.

On April 2, the Pilots snapped a 13-game losing streak with a 6-2 win at Seattle University.

Portland alumnus Chris Sperry is in his 17th season as head coach of the Pilots. He enters the weekend with an overall record of 330-541-1 (.378 winning percentage). Last year, the Pilots won three games — including two decided by a single run — against the Broncos at Joe Etzel Field. The teams last met at Schott Stadium in 2012, with the Broncos taking the last of that three-game set 5-4 on April 1.

Bronco Offense

Greg Harisis returned to the lineup against Pacific last weekend, recording a double, a triple and two RBIs in his first game since March 15 vs. Penn State. He leads the Broncos with 13 extra-base hits on the season.

Since making his first start of the season Feb. 28 vs. Oklahoma, Kert Woods has hit safely in 13 of 17 games and has not gone more than one consecutive game without a hit. He has reached base safely in six straight games entering the weekend, and has team-best marks with a .432 on-base percentage and six stolen bases.

Stevie Berman currently has a team-best four-game hitting streak. He has reached base multiple times in three straight games.

Casey Munoz enters the weekend with 11 RBIs, and is one of three Broncos with 10+ RBIs on the season. He is also one of three Broncos to make an appearance in all 28 games of the 2014 campaign.

Mac Hess currently ranks second on the Broncos with six doubles and fourth on the team with nine RBIs. His two-RBI double drove in the game-deciding run in a 6-2 victory over Pacific March 28.

Quinton Perry started all five games last week and went 6-for-16 with a pair of home runs, four RBIs, four runs scored and four walks for a .750 slugging percentage and a .500 on-base percentage (all team bests). His three-run homer in the nightcap March 30 broke a streak of 13 scoreless innings and began the comeback effort for the Broncos in a 7-6 victory.

Jose Vizcaino, Jr. went 4-for-10 with a double, two RBIs, two runs scored and three walks last weekend against Pacific. He was the only Bronco to pick up multiple hits with runners in scoring position.

Kyle Czaplak went 3-for-4 with a double, an RBI and a run scored in last weekend's series-opening game at Pacific March 28.

Kyle Cortopassi went 2-for-3 with a walk, two RBIs and the game-winning RBI single in the second game of a Sunday doubleheader March 30 at Pacific.

Zach Looney has a team-best 14 RBIs and is second on the Broncos with 11 walks this season.

The senior duo of Harisis and Munoz was among the most productive offensive players last season, as Munoz led the Broncos in batting average (.308), hits (64), doubles (10) and RBIs (31) while Harisis led the Broncos in on-base percentage (.399) and stolen bases (13-for-15).

Bronco Pitching

Friday's probable D.J. Zapata won his second game of the 2014 season after pitching 7.0 innings and giving up two earned runs on 10 hits with no walks and two strikeouts March 28 at Pacific. In his previous Friday start, Zapata threw a complete game and allowed just one earned run in a 1-0 loss to the Pepperdine Waves. In his last two Friday starts, Zapata has allowed three earned runs on 17 hits in 16.0 innings for a 1.69 ERA alongside two walks and five strikeouts.

Saturday's probable Peter Hendron leads all Bronco pitchers with 25 strikeouts in 42.2 innings. In his last start March 30 at Pacific (game one of a doubleheader), the sophomore threw 6.1 innings and allowed seven runs (six earned) on seven hits with two walks and four strikeouts in a 7-0 loss to Pacific.

Sunday's probable Steven Wilson went 4.0 innings in his last start March 30 at Pacific (game two of a doubleheader). He allowed four runs (three earned) on eight hits with one walk and two strikeouts, finishing with a no decision. His .245 opposing batting average is tops among Santa Clara starters.

Reece Karalus made three relief appearances for the Broncos last week, allowing no runs on three hits with no walks and six strikeouts. On March 28, the sophomore entered a 4-2 ballgame in the bottom of the eighth with one out and a runner on second, and recorded a pair of strikeouts to keep the Broncos in front. Santa Clara went on to win the game 6-2 and Karalus recorded the save in 1.2 innings. On March 30, he entered a 6-6 game with one out and a runner on first in the eighth, and was on the hill for the final five outs to improve to 2-1. The Broncos took a 7-6 lead in the ninth, and Karalus finished off the game to pick up the win and improve to 2-1, including two outs with a runner in scoring position.

Karalus leads active Bronco pitchers with a .194 opposing batting average in 21.1 innings. Kevin George has a team-low 2.45 ERA and 16 strikeouts against two walks in 18.1 innings this season. Jason Seever is tied for the second-most appearances this season with 13 out of the bullpen, and is holding opposing batters to a .200 batting average.

Scouting Portland

Caleb Whalen is one of two Pilots to start all 29 games this season, and leads the team with a .286 batting average, 30 hits, 15 runs scored, seven doubles (T-Bo Cornish), two triples, three home runs, a .476 slugging percentage and a .377 on-base percentage. Cody Lenahan has recorded the most RBIs this season with 15, Turner Gill has a team-best 14 walks and Chet Thompson is 4-for-5 in stolen base attempts.

Cornish leads the West Coast Conference with 13 runners caught stealing entering Friday's game, and has thrown out three more baserunners than the next-highest catcher. Opposing baserunners are 19-for-32 (.594) in stolen base attempts against the senior this season. He also ranks second among Pilot batters with a .262 batting average.

Whalen and Michael Lucarelli are tied for the second most double plays turned in the WCC this season with 22 each.

As a team, the Pilots have a .210 batting average — the lowest of all WCC teams — and their opponents have a .317 batting average — the highest opposing batting average of all WCC teams — on the season. The Portland pitching staff has allowed the second-fewest home runs this season among WCC teams with seven entering the weekend.

Friday's probable Davis Tominaga will be making his second start and ninth appearance of the season for the Pilots. He made his first start in his last appearance March 28 at Pepperdine, throwing seven innings and allowing six earned runs on eight hits with three walks and three strikeouts. The freshman struck out six batters in consecutive relief outings March 18 at Washington (5.2 innings) and March 23 at Saint Mary's (3.2 innings). The two-way player is also hitting .294 in nine starts and 13 overall appearances for Portland.

Saturday's probable Kurt Yinger is slated to make his team-high seventh start of the season for Portland this weekend. The junior has allowed at least six hits and at least three earned runs in five of his six starts this season. Yinger is coming off one of his toughest outings of the season after allowing five earned runs on nine hits in 2.1 innings March 22 vs. Saint Mary's. Against Cal State Bakersfield on March 8, he threw 8.0 shutout innings and struck out 11 while facing just two batters over the minimum.

Sunday's probable Colin Feldtman will be making his third start and 12th appearance of the season for the Pilots. In his second start of the season March 30 at Pepperdine, the redshirt senior allowed three earned runs on 10 hits with two walks and four strikeouts. Feldtman has given up 31 hits in 22.1 innings for a .341 opposing batting average, and has allowed just 11 runs (eight earned) for a 3.22 ERA. He has better than a 3:1 strikeout to walk ratio with a 19 strikeouts and six walks on the season.

Welcome to the New Age

Several Santa Clara freshmen have seen a significant part of the action this season: Stevie Berman has made 28 appearances and 26 starts (28-26), Rory Graf-Brennen (18-8), Max Kuhns (17-14 in the field, four relief appearances), Seaver Whalen (9-6), Kyle Czaplak (23-16) and Tyler Meditz (18-3).

Five of six Bronco pitchers to make a start this season are underclassmen: sophomore Reece Karalus, sophomore Peter Hendron, sophomore Jacob Steffens, redshirt-freshman Steven Wilson and freshman Kevin George. Friday night's starter and senior D.J. Zapata is the lone upperclassman in the current rotation.

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 collected his 46th win at Santa Clara in the victory over the Jaspers.

"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."

Peter Hendron Named College Sports Madness West Coast Player of the Week

Sophomore pitcher Peter Hendron was named the College Sports Madness West Coast Player of the Week for March 3, 2014. Hendron posted career high marks with 8.0 innings and seven strikeouts in a 10-2 win March 2 against Manhattan at the Sanderson Ford Baseball Classic in Surprise, Ariz. last weekend. He allowed two runs (one earned) on eight hits with two walks and held the Jaspers to 0-for-11 with runners in scoring position to earn the winning decision to improve to 2-1.

Greg Harisis Named Rawlings WCC Baseball Player of the Week

Greg Harisis won Irish Baseball Classic MVP honors with a stat line of 9-for-19, three RBIs, seven runs scored, two doubles, one home run and an outfield assist as the Broncos went 4-0 Feb. 20-23. He was named the WCC Rawlings Baseball Player of the Week, becoming the first Bronco to earn the honor since Patrick Terry on May 23, 2011.