Santa Clara Baseball Opens WCC Play Friday At San Diego; Returns Home To Host Washington State Monday

March 27, 2008

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SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The Santa Clara baseball team opens West Coast Conference play on Friday as the Broncos travel back to San Diego to face the Toreros. The three-game series begins on Friday, March 28 at 2 p.m. at Cunningham Stadium. First pitch for Saturday and Sunday's contests is slated for 1 p.m.

The Broncos return home for an afternoon game on Monday, March 31 against the Cougars of Washington State. First pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m. at Stephen Schott Stadium.

On Air
Every live moment of home Santa Clara baseball games will be covered live via the official athletic website at www.SantaClaraBroncos.com. Along with live audio broadcasts featuring play-by-play from Will Peregrine, a live GameTracker with statistical and play-by-play coverage will be available to fans.

GameTracker links for this weekend's contests against San Diego can be accessed via the baseball schedule on both www.SantaClaraBroncos.com and www.USDToreros.com.

Long's Two-Run Home Run Lifts SCU Over No. 11 Cal 7-5
Junior Matt Long's two-run home run to right field in the tenth inning gave the Santa Clara baseball team a 7-5 victory over 11th-ranked California in 10 innings Tuesday night at Schott Stadium.

Freshman Thain Simon (6-0) earned his sixth win of the season after pitching 2.0 innings, striking out four batters and allowing not hits or runs. The Broncos had five players register doubles, with Ryan Conan notching two. All of Santa Clara's hits prior to ninth inning were doubles. Conan was 2-for-4 Tuesday night, scoring two runs, while Long also went 2-for-4 with three RBIs and two runs.

On The Season
The Broncos own a 12-8 record going into WCC play this weekend. 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, Nate Garcia, Alex Rivers and Donald Brandt have earned wins as starting pitchers, while Simon leads the Broncos with a 6-0 record in relief. Rivers has also compiled 3 saves thus far for the Broncos in four relief appearances.

Gone Streaking
Sophomore Geoff Klein's current hitting streak of five games leads the Broncos. It began with single in game one of the doubleheader against UC Davis on Mar. 16 and is highlighted by a solo home run and a three RBI performance in game one against Cal Poly on Mar. 22. The current season-best hitting streak for the Broncos is held by Evan LeBlanc, who opened the season with an 11-game hitting streak. The streak was unfortunately brought to an end on March 9 against then-No. 20 Oklahoma State.

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

The most recent was by Long in Tuesday night's extra inning contest against No. 11 Cal. His two-run homer to right field bounced off the exterior of one of the apartment buildings in right field to give SCU the 7-5 win.

Extra Fun
After Tuesday's night's win, the Broncos improved to 2-0 this season in extra inning games. Their first win was a 6-5 decision against Fresno State three weeks prior that also went to 10 innings. The final run came on a bases loaded walk that brought home Tommy Medica. Last season, the Broncos went 1-5 in extra inning games.

Scouting San Diego
The Toreros have a busy week before hosting the Broncos over the weekend. USD enters Friday's contest with a 17-8 overall record and will host Harvard for the final game of that series Thursday night. Most recently, No. 21 Fullerton snapped USD's 10-game win streak with a 6-3 win Tuesday night at Cunningham Stadium. Prior to that, the Toreros had won 12 of their last 14 contests with their two losses coming to the Broncos and the Lions of LMU at the SDSU Aztec Invite.

Josh Romanski and Victor Sanchez lead USD batting .337, with Sanchez registering nine home runs and 28 RBIs. Romanski has a runs tally of 19 with four homers and has drove in 23 runs. On the mound, Santa Clara will face Brian Matusz (LHP, 4-1, 2.27 ERA) on Friday, Kyle Blair (RHP, 2-3, 2.51 ERA) on Saturday and Josh Romanski (LHP, 4-0, 4.37 ERA) on Sunday.

Last Time Out vs. San Diego
The Broncos and Toreros met earlier this month at the SDSU Aztec Invitational. SCU edged then-No. 11 USD, 7-6. The contest was called after the eighth inning due to darkness and was ruled a complete game. The Broncos' winning run was scored by Patrick Glenn who advanced home on a Toreros throwing error.

All-Time vs. San Diego
Santa Clara owns a 50-43-0 all-time record against San Diego. The Broncos registered their 50th win over the Toreros in game one of the SDSU Aztec Invitational on March 6.

Scouting Washington State
The Cougars travel to the Bay Area with a 15-7 overall record and will face Stanford in Pac-10 action before visiting SCU on Monday. In their last outing, WSU defeated Gonzaga, 6-2, in Spokane. On the season, Shea Vucinich bats a team-best .385 with 18 runs and 12 RBIs, while Travis Coutler is second on the team hitting .365 with 20 run and three triples. Jim Murphy has hit a team-best seven home runs thus far. It has not been announced who the Broncos will face on the mound on Monday.

Last Time Out vs. Washington State
The two teams last met on Feb. 20, 2004 in the opening round of the River City Classic. WSU topped SCU, 5-3.

All-Time vs. WSU
Monday's game marks the 15th meeting between SCU and WSU with the Cougars leading the series 11-3-0.

On Deck
The Broncos remain at home to host the Tigers of Pacific on Wednesday, April 2 at 6 p.m. SCU will then host a three-game series against Portland on April 4-6.