SANTA CLARA, Calif. — Continuing its stretch of local midweek games, Santa Clara baseball hosts Stanford on April 22 for a 6 p.m. first pitch from Schott Stadium.
Last weekend, the Broncos went to San Diego for the second time this season, and swept the host San Diego Toreros at Fowler Park. Junior T.J. Braff led the Broncos by going 4-for-5 with a home run, four RBIs and two runs scored in an 8-5 victory April 17. On April 18, Peter Hendron pitched 7.0 shutout innings and allowed only five hits to the WCC's leader in batting average as part of a 2-1 win. On April 19, the Broncos came back from a three-run deficit to win 5-3 in 11 innings. With the three-game sweep, the Broncos matched their win total against San Diego from the previous 10 seasons (3-27 from 2003-13).
Tue., April 22, 6 p.m.
SCU: TBA vs. STAN: RHP Tyler Thorne (2-0, 3.52 ERA)
Live Stats and Internet Video
Click here to access live stats for Tuesday's game.
Click here to access a video feed (no audio commentary) for Tuesday's game.
Tuesday's Opponent: Stanford
Stanford enters the midweek game with an overall record of 15-17, including a 4-10 mark away from home. The Cardinal is coming off a two-games-to-one series victory at home against the Arizona State Sun Devils. Stanford is 4-1 in its last five games and has had four consecutive games decided by one run.
Mark Marquess is in his 38th season as head coach of Stanford baseball. He enters the weekend with a head coaching record of 1,478-776-7 (.654). Under his direction, the program won NCAA Championships in the 1987 and 1988 seasons.
West Coast Conference Standings (as of April 21, 2014)
In his third start of the season April 17 at San Diego, Braff went 4-for-5 with a home run, four RBIs and two runs scored in an 8-5 win for the Broncos. Braff's three-run homer in the second inning of that game gave Santa Clara a lead it held the rest of the way. His eighth-inning RBI single April 18 would go on to be the game-deciding hit in a 2-1 Santa Clara victory. The Palo Alto, Calif. native led the Broncos with five RBIs as they swept the Toreros on the road to improve to 8-7 in WCC play. He finished the weekend at 6-for-15 (.400) and made 25 putouts, 5 assists and no errors at first base.
Casey Munoz led the Broncos with a .500 batting average (7-for-14), two doubles, and a .643 slugging percentage last weekend at San Diego. Jose Vizcaino, Jr. reached base in five of six trips to the plate April 18, and scored a team-best four runs in the three-game set. Stevie Berman went 5-for-12 (.417) and scored three runs for Santa Clara.
Munoz's 17 RBIs are a team-best this season and he is tied with Greg Harisis for the team lead in doubles with nine in 2014. Berman tops the Broncos with 19 walks and Vizcaino, Jr. leads the Broncos with nine stolen bases.
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).
D.J. Zapata allowed four runs (three earned) on nine hits with one walk and one strikeout April 17 to pick up his third win of the season. He retired seven batters in a row from the final out of the fourth through the end of the sixth, and held the Toreros to two hits and three baserunners over his last four innings.
Peter Hendron allowed no runs on five hits with one walk and one strikeout in 7.0 innings for the Broncos to improve to 4-3 April 18. He retired the first eight San Diego batters and allowed only three runners into scoring position while giving up no extra-base hits to the Toreros. He outdueled San Diego starter Lucas Long, who threw 8.0 innings and allowed two unearned runs on seven hits with three walks and nine strikeouts.
Karalus made three relief appearances for Santa Clara April 17-19 at San Diego, finishing with two saves and a win in 4.2 innings as the Broncos swept the Toreros. The sophomore retired 14 of 16 batters he faced and did not allow a hit or a walk to a San Diego team that entered the weekend hitting .331 on the season. On April 17, he struck out the final two batters he faced to earn his seventh save of the season. One night later, Karalus entered a one-run game with runners on first and third and one out in the eighth, and retired all five batters he faced to pick up his second save in as many nights as the Broncos won 2-1. In the series finale April 19, Karalus entered a 3-3 game in the 10th and retired six of the seven batters he faced, once again ending the game with a strikeout.
Jacob Steffens also pitched in all three games at San Diego, allowing two earned runs on four hits with no walks and three strikeouts in 4.1 innings. In the series finale April 19, he retired all nine batters he faced with two strikeouts to carry the Broncos into extra innings tied at 3-3. Santa Clara went on to win 5-3 in 11 innings.
Alex Blandino is one of two Cardinal position players to start all 32 games this season. He leads Stanford in batting average (.299), hits (35), doubles (7), home runs (4) and total bases (54). Austin Slater is hitting .297 on the season and has a team best 19 RBIs, while Danny Diekroeger leads the team with 21 runs scored alongside a Cardinal-best 17 walks and three stolen bases.
Tyler Thorne makes his 13th appearance and fifth start of the season Tuesday night. The right-handed pitcher made his last start as part of a staff game April 15 vs. Saint Mary's. He allowed three earned runs on one hit with two walks and one strikeout in 2.0 innings. Thorne is 2-0 with two saves and boasts an opposing batting average of .200 this season.
AJ Vanegas has allowed two runs and no earned runs in 18.1 innings of work this season. He leads the Cardinal with four saves and has 12 walks against three strikeouts.
Welcome to the New Age
Several Santa Clara freshmen have seen a significant part of the action this season: Stevie Berman has made 38 appearances and 36 starts (38-36), Rory Graf-Brennen (23-8), Max Kuhns (18-14 in the field, five relief appearances), Kyle Czaplak (33-23) 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 Friday night 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.