Baseball Continues WCC Campaign at San Diego

SANTA CLARA, Calif. — As it begins the second half of West Coast Conference games in 2014, the Santa Clara Broncos baseball team will play a Thursday-Saturday series against the San Diego Toreros April 17-19. First pitch will be at 6 p.m. April 17-18 and 1 p.m. April 19.

Last weekend, the Broncos played three one-run games in Spokane, Wash. against the Gonzaga Bulldogs. Santa Clara won 6-5 April 11 in 10 innings, thanks in part to a game-ending outfield assist from Kert Woods. The Broncos fell 2-1 in 10 innings on Saturday and 2-1 in the shortest game of the season — two hours, two minutes — on Sunday.

On Tuesday, April 15, the Broncos scored seven of the final 10 runs in a game against San Jose State, including two in the ninth, of a 10-7 loss at Schott Stadium.

Probable Starters

Thu., April 17, 6 p.m.

SCU: RHP D.J. Zapata (2-5, 4.26 ERA) vs. USD: LHP PJ Conlon (5-1, 4.18 ERA) 

Fri., April 18, 6 p.m.

SCU: RHP Peter Hendron (3-3, 3.59 ERA) vs. USD: RHP Lucas Long (3-1, 2.68 ERA) 

Sat., April 19, 1 p.m.

SCU: RHP Steven Wilson (1-3, 3.98 ERA) vs. USD: LHP Louie Lechich (7-1, 2.18 ERA) 

Live Stats and Internet Radio

David Gentile is slated to call all three games on Stretch Internet. Click here to access a radio feed for the weekend's games.

Click here to access live stats for the Thursday's game.

Click here to access live stats for the Friday's game.

Click here to access live stats for the Saturday's game.

This Weekend's Opponent: San Diego

San Diego enters the weekend with an overall record of 25-11, including an 11-4 mark in West Coast Conference play and a 14-6 mark at Fowler Park. Last weekend, the Toreros won two of three games on the road at Portland. San Diego fell 4-3 in a Monday game against the No. 23 ranked Oregon Ducks.

Rich Hill is in his 16th season as head coach of San Diego. He enters the weekend with a USD head coaching record of 543-367-3 (.595 winning percentage).

West Coast Conference Standings

 

Bronco Offense

Greg Harisis leads the Broncos in batting average (.314), hits (37), doubles (9), triples (2), home runs (3), total bases (59) and slugging percentage (.500). He has scored 32 runs on the season, 16 more than the next-highest Santa Clara batter.

Casey Munoz leads the team with 15 RBIs for the season, and Zach Looney has tallied 14 for Santa Clara. Quinton Perry and Jose Vizcaino, Jr. have each recorded 12 on the season, and Perry's seven RBIs in conference play are the most on the team. Vizcaino, Jr. leads the Broncos with a .378 batting average (14-for-37), four doubles, seven runs scored, a .541 slugging percentage and a .439 on-base percentage in conference play.

Stevie Berman's 18 walks and .420 on-base percentage both top Bronco batters in the 2014 campaign. He has more walks than strikeouts (17) this season.

Vizcaino, Jr. is 9-for-12 in stolen base attempts to lead the Broncos. Kert Woods has seven stolen bases on the season and his 11 hits in conference action are second-most on Santa Clara.

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

Thursday's probable D.J. Zapata threw 4.1 innings while allowing three earned runs on 11 hits with one walk and two strikeouts in his last start April 11 at Gonzaga. Zapata, the team's opening night and Friday night starter in 2014, is tied with Peter Hendron with the most strikeouts among the starting rotation (30), and has issued 12 walks in 57.0 innings. He has thrown two complete games this season.

Friday's probable Peter Hendron allowed one earned run in a co-career best 8.0 innings during his last start April 12 at Gonzaga. He left a 1-1 game with a no decision after issuing no walks and no strikeouts. The sophomore delievered 1-2-3 innings in the first, fourth and seventh and faced four batters or less in his last five innings. He has a starting rotation low .216 opposing batting average in four conference starts this season.

Saturday's probable Steven Wilson threw 8.0 innings for the second straight start in his last outing April 13 at Gonzaga. The redshirt freshman allowed two earned runs on nine hits with one walk and two strikeouts. He faced more than four batters in only one inning Sunday, giving up a two-out, two-RBI double to Gonzaga sophomore catcher Joey Harris in the second. The Littleton, Colo. native recorded strikeouts as part of 1-2-3 fourth and seventh innings, and issued inning-ending double plays in the fifth and sixth. His 19 strikeouts are the most on the team in WCC play.

Reece Karalus has picked up three wins and six saves out of the bullpen this season, including the winning decision April 11 at Gonzaga. He has struck out 27 batters in 27.0 innings and has an opposing batting average of .204 on the season.

Scouting San Diego

The Toreros have captured three consecutive West Coast Conference Rawlings Player of the Week Awards: March 31: Louie Lechich —
April 7: Jesse Jenner —— April 14: Andrew Daniel. Jenner leads the West Coast Conference with a .422 batting average as one of only three batters hitting better than .400 entering the weekend (Bradley Zimmer – USF .415, Dillon Robinson – BYU, .407). Jenner is hitting .425 in 13 conference appearances while Connor Joe leads the Toreros with a .431 average in WCC play.

San Diego boasts seven players with 22 or more RBIs, led by Louie Lechich with 38. Joe has 36 while Andrew Daniel has 34, including a co-team best 17 in conference play alongside Lechich. Daniel's 11 stolen bases are the most on the Toreros this season, and he leads the conference with 43 runs scored.

Thursday's probable PJ Conlon picked up his fifth win of the season by throwing 8.0 innings and allowing two earned runs on six hits with one walk and four strikeouts in his last start April 11 at Portland. Conlon and Friday's probable Lucas Long are tied with a team-high nine starts this season. Conlon leads the Toreros with 43 strikeouts and has walked 14.

Long has served as a starter and a reliever this season, making 12 appearances out of the bullpen and four starts for the Toreros. In his last start April 11 at Portland, Long threw 4.0 innings and allowed seven runs (four earned) on seven hits with one walk and seven strikeouts. San Diego committed five errors in a 10-9 loss that featured 26 combined hits. Long's .203 opposing batting average is the best among Torero starters in conference action.

Saturday's probable Louie Lechich is tied for the conference lead with seven wins alongside Pepperdine's Aaron Brown. In his last start April 13 at Portland, Lechich threw 8.0 innings and allowed two runs (one earned) on four hits with three walks and six strikeouts. He has the best ERA in the USD starting rotation at .218.

Five different Toreros have combined to record the team's eight saves this season, and they are led by Josh Goossen-Brown with three.

Welcome to the New Age

Several Santa Clara freshmen have seen a significant part of the action this season: Stevie Berman has made 35 appearances and 33 starts (35-33), Rory Graf-Brennen (21-8), Max Kuhns (18-14 in the field, five relief appearances), Seaver Whalen (9-6), Kyle Czaplak (30-20) and Tyler Meditz (21-5).

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. The lone upperclassman in the rotation is Thursday night's starter D.J. Zapata, who is in his second season of college baseball with the Broncos.

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.