Broncos And Mustangs Battle In Saturday Doubleheader Action

March 19, 2008

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SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The Santa Clara baseball team travels back to San Luis Obispo to face Cal Poly in a Saturday doubleheader on March 22. First pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m. at Baggett Stadium. Sophomore righties Nate Garcia and Alex Rivers will take the mound for Santa Clara with Garcia opening the double header and Rivers pitching the nightcap.

On Air
Fans can watch the Broncos take on the Mustangs Wednesday evening via the Internet. Live audio, video and GameTracker links are available through the Cal Poly website (www.gopoly.com).

Last Time Out For The Broncos
The Broncos posted a 1-4 week as they defeated the Mustangs in a midweek contest and then lost a four-game series to the Aggies of UC Davis over the weekend.

On The Season
The Broncos own a 10-7 record going into this weekend's contests. SCU opened the season with a five-game win streak, defeating Utah Valley, Kansas State, Pacific and San Jose State (Feb. 22-Feb. 29). On the mound, Garcia and Donald Brandt have earned wins as starting pitchers, while Thain Simon leads the Broncos with a 4-0 record in relief. Rivers has compiled 3 saves thus far for the Broncos in six appearances.

Going, Going, Gone!
Thus far eight different Broncos have registered at least one home run, while six having hit multiple homers. Evan LeBlanc, Jon Karcich and Gabe Alcantar lead the way with three each. LeBlanc's list includes a Grand Slam against San Jose State on March 1. Last week alone six Broncos tabbed homers with Alcantar hitting two.

Career Marks
Several Broncos posted personal-bests last week. Rivers pitched a career-high 7.1 innings and struck out a career-high six batters in game two against UC Davis on March 15. James Heintz registered his first collegiate stolen base as well on Saturday against the Aggies. Then on Sunday, Patrick Glenn tabbed a personal-best three runs against the Aggies.

Broncos Hold Steady In Power Rankings
Senior first baseman Ryan Conan and sophomore catcher Tommy Medica held onto to their respective power rankings this week it was announced by Rivals.com. Both players have been instrumental in the Broncos early season success. Medica ranks fifth in the catchers category, while Conan is 12th on the first base list.

Broncos Head Back To Zirelli's Alma Mater
SCU leads the 2008 series against Cal Poly with a 1-0 record after last Wednesday's 8-5 victory. The Mustang's enter the weekend with a 7-9 overall record and posted also posted a 1-4 week after losing the series to then-No. 11 UCLA 1-2. The Mustang's opened the weekend edging the Bruins 9-8. Cal Poly rallied for two runs in the bottom of the ninth to win the contest. Brent Morel and Logan Schafer continue to lead the Mustangs offensively. Morel hits .394 on the season with 13 runs, 15 RBIs and nine doubles, while Schafer bats .382 with 11 runs, 16 RBIs and six doubles.

The Broncos will face righties Eric Massingham and Steven Fischback on the mound Saturday. Massingham is 1-2 on the season with a 5.13 ERA. Fischback owns a 4.18 ERA and a 2-1 overall record. He leads the Mustangs with 29 batters struck out.

Assistant coach Mike Zirelli played for the Mustangs from 1996-99, establishing himself as one of the best collegiate pitchers ever to put on a Cal Poly uniform. He was an All-Big West performer and a freshman All-American. He also earned Player of the Decade honors from the University in 1999. Zirelli ranks second all-time in innings pitched, second in strikeouts, fourth in total appearances, sixth in complete games, and seventh in wins. He also holds the record for most strikeouts in a single game since the Mustangs moved over to DI play in 1995.

All-Time vs. Cal Poly
After Wednesday's contest, the Broncos lead the all-time series 37-32. Last season, the Broncos lost the three game series, 1-2, as they were shutout in the final contest 8-0.

On Deck
The Broncos return to action Tuesday, March 25 against the Golden Bears of Cal. First pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m. at Stephen Schott Stadium.