Six Bronco Baseball Players Receive Conference Honors: Karalus, Vizcaino, Jr. Named to First Team, Berman Named to All-Freshman Team
SANTA CLARA, Calif. — The West Coast Conference announced its 2014 Baseball All-Conference teams and individual awards Tuesday, and six Santa Clara Broncos have been recognized as part of the honors. Sophomores Reece Karalus and Jose Vizcaino, Jr. were named First Team All-Conference and Stevie Berman was named to the All-Freshman Team. Berman also received an Honorable Mention alongside seniors Casey Munoz and Quinton Perry, as well as sophomore Jacob Steffens.
"It's great that our guys have been honored," head coach Dan O'Brien said. "They've all been working very hard this season and have overcome quite a bit. At the end of the day, the individual awards aren't our focus right now. We're excited to stay tight as a team and continue to play great team baseball. We'll celebrate these individual accolades at the end of the year."
All five individual awards — along with the All-West Coast Conference First and Freshman Teams — were voted on solely by the league's 10 head coaches. Of the 25-member All-West Coast Conference First Team, 10 are underclassmen and four are freshmen.
Karalus took the mound more than any WCC pitcher in the 2014 regular season with 33 appearances, and tied for a conference high with 11 saves. He posted a team-low 2.30 ERA with a 6-2 record and struck out 46 batters in 47.0 innings while holding opposing hitters to a .202 average. The sophomore did not allow a run in 23 of his 32 relief outings, and struck out multiple batters 16 times on the season.
Vizcaino, Jr. finished in the top 20 of the WCC with a .321 batting average and topped the Broncos in that category as he took the field for all of Santa Clara's 54 regular season games. He led the Broncos with 62 hits, tied for the team lead with three triples, finished second with 26 RBIs and stole a Santa Clara best 11 bases. His conference marks of a .368 batting average, 39 hits, 22 runs scored and seven stolen bases were all team highs. He led the Broncos with 21 multiple-hit games — including six three-hit games — and recorded the longest Bronco hitting streak at 12 games from April 8-27.
Berman finished the season at fifth in the conference with a .438 on-base percentage and fourth with 29 walks in 2014. He ranks second on the Broncos with a .316 batting average, four home runs and 34 runs scored. The freshman hit safely in 15 of his last 20 games and struck out only six times in his last 29 games for the Broncos. Berman was named WCC Rawlings Player of the Week April 28 by going 5-for-11 (.455) with a double, two home runs, four RBIs, four runs scored and three walks as the Broncos defeated LMU two games to one.
Munoz ranked seventh in the WCC with 16 doubles this season and led the Broncos with 27 RBIs. He hit 11 doubles in 27 conference starts and finished second on Santa Clara with 36 hits and a .343 batting average in 2014 conference action. The senior either scored or drove in a run in 15 of his last 19 games in the regular season as he drove in 15 runs and scored 11 while hitting .390 (32-for-82) during that stretch. Munoz tied fellow senior Quinton Perry with a team-high six three-hit games.
Perry leads the Broncos in home runs for the second straight year after rounding out the regular season with five long balls. The senior tied for second on the team with a .452 slugging percentage as he posted 16 extra-base hits in 2014, including nine doubles and two triples. He led the Broncos with four home runs and a .541 slugging percentage in 25 conference appearances, while recording the second-most walks on the team with 16 in WCC play. He has a team-best 17 two-out RBIs and recorded three RBIs in five games this season.
Steffens worked as both a starter and a relief pitcher for Santa Clara in the regular season, making eight starts and seven trips out of the bullpen. He led the Broncos with 31 strikeouts in conference play and posted a 2-1 record alongside a 3.44 ERA. The sophomore was named WCC Rawlings Pitcher of the Week on May 5 after he struck out a career-high nine batters in 7.0 shutout innings against San Francisco May 4. The following Saturday, Steffens pitched a career-high 8.0 innings at BYU to earn his second straight win. The Broncos are 7-0 the last seven times Steffens has taken the mound.
2014 West Coast Conference Baseball Individual Honors
Player of the Year: Connor Joe, San Diego
Pitcher of the Year: Aaron Brown, Pepperdine
Freshman of the Year: Austin Miller, Loyola Marymount
Defensive Player of the Year: David Fletcher, Loyola Marymount
Coach of the Year: Steve Rodriguez, Pepperdine
2014 ALL-WEST COAST CONFERENCE BASEBALL FIRST TEAM
|Derek Atkinson||Jr.||OF||San Francisco|
|DonAndre Clark||Jr.||OF||Saint Mary's|
|Andrew Daniel||Jr.||IF||San Diego|
|Bret Dahlson||Sr.||RHP||Loyola Marymount|
|David Fletcher||Fr.||IF||Loyola Marymount|
|Jesse Jenner||Jr.||C||San Diego|
|Connor Joe||Jr.||IF||San Diego|
|Reece Karalus||So.||RHP||Santa Clara|
|Louie Lechich||Sr.||UT||San Diego|
|Austin Miller||Fr.||OF||Loyola Marymount|
|Jose Vizcaino Jr.||So.||IF||Santa Clara|
|Colin Welmon||Jr.||RHP||Loyola Marymount|
|Bradley Zimmer||Jr.||OF||San Francisco|
2014 WEST COAST CONFERENCE BASEBALL HONORABLE MENTION
Jeff Barker, BYU; Aaron Barnett, Pepperdine; Stevie Berman, Santa Clara; Ted Boecke, Loyola Marymount; Ryan Brockett, Saint Mary's; Josh Goossen-Brown, San Diego; Brendan Hendriks, San Francisco; Kyle Holder, San Diego; Jarrett Jarvis, BYU; Chad Kjemhus, Portland; Erik Lockwood, Pacific; Lucas Long, San Diego; Ian McLoughlin, Saint Mary's; Matt Maurer, Pepperdine; Casey Munoz, Santa Clara; Taylor Murphy, Pacific; Quinton Perry, Santa Clara; Jimmy Sinatro, Gonzaga; Jake Steffens, Santa Clara; Brock Whitney, BYU
2014 WEST COAST CONFERENCE BASEBALL ALL-FRESHMAN TEAM
|Stevie Berman||C||Santa Clara|
|Ted Boecke||IF||Loyola Marymount|
|David Fletcher||IF||Loyola Marymount|
|Nico Giarratano||IF||San Francisco|
|Austin Miller||OF||Loyola Marymount|