March 28, 2010

Broncos Cruise to 14-5 Win, WCC Opener is Thursday Night

March 28, 2010

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SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Santa Clara's relentless offense overpowered Princeton in Sunday's series finale, as the Broncos won 14-5. SCU took 3-of-4 from the Tigers during the weekend set.

Tommy Medica hit two homeruns and tripled to extend his hitting streak to 15 games - best in the West Coast Conference this season. As they have done all season, the Broncos put up big offensive numbers, scoring 53 runs on 60 hits in four games against the Tigers - hitting 20 doubles and five triples.

"The middle of the lineup came up big for us today," said Santa Clara head coach Mark O'Brien who is armed with six players hitting above .350. "(Tommy) Medica had a huge game. Geoff Klein had some big hits and Pat Stover hit well all weekend."

Santa Clara (11-11) evened its record heading into Tuesday night's midweek game with the University of Albany. SCU is in the midst of playing 13-straight at home. The team's WCC opener is set for 7 p.m. Thursday night, April 1 against the University of Portland.

Princeton (5-13) - who has yet to play a home game season - was able to win Game Three of the series 16-8, the second half of Saturday's double-header. Jon Broscious hit his third homerun of the series, a two-run shot in the eighth.

Not only was the Broncos' offense impressive Sunday, but freshman starter Chris Mendoza won his second consecutive start, fanning seven and allowing just two runs in seven innings. Mendoza (2-0) owns a 2.01 ERA in his three career starts, averaging 7-plus innings per outing.

"I thought we played better defense today," said O'Brien. "Chris (Mendoza) pitched really well, ate up some innings for us."

SCU greeted Princeton starter Zak Hermans with four straight hits in the second inning, which included a two-RBI double by Blake Leyva. The Broncos would pour on the offense, scoring seven times to take a 7-2 lead, helped along by two Princeton errors and a wild pitch by Hermans (0-2).

Geoff Klein had a two-RBI single in SCU's seven-run second inning and scored when Pat Stover drove a Hermans' offering off the wall in centerfield for his second triple in the series.

Medica's two-run drive to dead-centerfield ended Hermans' afternoon in the sixth and gave SCU a 10-2 lead. Medica added a solo homer in the eighth, which easily cleared the leftfield fence and gave SCU a 14-5 lead heading into the ninth.

SERIES NOTES: SCU pitchers registered 41 K's compared to Princeton's 14 during the four-game series... UT Tommy Medica (.408 BA) hit a two-out triple in the first inning and his second homer in the eighth was his team-leading fifth of the year... Senior RH Nate Garcia (2-4; 6.69 ERA) matched a career-high by striking out 13 batters in SCU's 19-4 win Friday night...The front end of Santa Clara's rotation looked sharp, with Garcia and RH Alex Rivers (2-3; 4.79 ERA) winning Game's One and Two... 2B Evan Peters led all SCU players by going 8-for-15 (.533 BA) during the series... Medica and Geoff Klein (.356 BA) each drove in eight runs, 3B Blake Leyva (.325 BA) and 1B Curtis Wagner (.459 BA) finished the series with six RBI apiece.

WCC STANDINGS:
Portland (15-6)
San Diego (14-11)
LMU (13-11)
Santa Clara (11-11)
San Francisco (12-13)
Gonzaga (10-12)
Pepperdine (8-14)
Saint Mary's (7-12)

WCC WEEKEND WRAP:
San Diego def. #14 COASTAL CAROLINA 2-of-3
LOYOLA MARYMONT sweeps Albany 3-0
SANTA CLARA def. Princeton 3-of-4
UC SANTA BARBARA def. San Francisco 2-of-3
PEPPERDINE def. Stony Brook 2-of-3
UC Riverside def. ST. MARY'S 3-of-4
PORTLAND sweeps Southern Utah 3-0

NEXT WEEKEND:
St. Mary's @ SOUTHERN MISS (3)
Gonzaga @ HAWAII (3)
Portland @ SANTA CLARA (3)
Cal State Northridge @ PEPPERDINE (2)
San Diego @ #1 ARIZONA STATE (2)
BYU @ SAN FRANCISCO (1)
Loyola Marymount - off