April 8, 2009
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Santa Clara baseball continues its fight for West Coast Conference win No. 1 this weekend as the Broncos travel to the Pacific Northwest to battle the Pilots of Portland. The series begins on Thursday, Apr. 9 at 3 p.m. and concludes with a doubleheader on Saturday, Apr. 11 beginning at 9 a.m. All three games will be played at Joe Etzel Field.
Last Time Out
The Broncos lost its second straight WCC series as the Toreros swept the weekend. USD defeated SCU, 9-4, on Friday night and 22-10 on Saturday. Then in the nationally televised game on ESPNU, San Diego posted another 22 runs to take the game, 22-5. The 22 runs is the most the Broncos have given up to an opponent this year, while the 10 SCU runs in game two of the series is the most they have scored in a loss this season. In a midweek contest, the Broncos fell 8-4 to No. 23 Hawaii.
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All three games this weekend will feature live stats via www.PortlandPilots.com.
Battle on the Mound
Thursday Nate Garcia (4.01 ERA, 4-3, 53 K) vs. Mark Triolo (4.57, 3-4, 45 K)
Saturday Thain Simon (4.91 ERA, 2-3, 29 K) vs. Scott Burris (3.40, 4-1, 20 K)
Saturday TBA vs. Kyle Kraus (2.72 ERA, 3-2, 18 K)
Junior Geoff Klein continues to lead the Broncos with 36 RBIs and a .378 batting average. Senior Matt Long leads with 23 runs, four triples and three home runs. Klein also has three home runs. Senior Brady Fuerst leads with 15 doubles. On the mound, Nate Garcia owns a team-best 4.01 ERA and a 4-3 record. He has struck out 53 batters.
The Pilots enter the weekend series with a 17-13 overall record and a 2-4 WCC record. Portland lost the series to LMU last weekend, but prevented the sweep with a 7-3 victory in 11 innings. Riley Henricks leads the Pilots batting .388. Kris Kauppila has a team-best 30 runs and 13 doubles, while Bryant Kraus leads with 27 RBIs and seven home runs.
Last Time vs. Portland
Santa Clara and Portland last met on Apr. 4-6, 2008. The Pilots won the series, 2-1; taking games one and three. The Broncos prevented the sweep with a 14-4 triumph in game two.
All-Time vs. Portland
Thursday's game marks the 60th meeting of the two programs in a series that Santa Clara leads 39-20.
SCU will host two midweek non-conference games before visiting San Francisco over the weekend. The Broncos will battle the Mustangs of Cal Poly on Tuesday, Apr. 14 at 6 p.m., and then face the Cardinal of Stanford on Wednesday, Apr. 15 at 6 p.m.
In the WCC
As of games through the opening weekend of WCC action, the Broncos took over the No. 1 spot in doubles and are fourth in batting average. SCU is also tied for fourth in slugging percentage and triples. Individually, Klein is third in RBIs, while Fuerst is second in doubles and Long is tied for second in triples. Garcia is third in innings pitched and is third in batters struck out. See page 5 for the complete list.
On the National Stage
As a team, Santa Clara is ranked in the top 100 in doubles (No. 18), doubles per game (No. 8), hit by pitch (No. 77), strikeouts per nine innings (No. 50) and walks per nine innings (No. 84). Individually, the Broncos have eight different players ranked in 24 categories. Fuerst leads the way with a No. 8 ranking in doubles per game and No. 9 in doubles, while Long is No. 11 in sacrifice flies. See page 5 for the complete list.
SCU Record Books Watch List
Long Enters Another Career Category in SCU Record Books
Outfielder Long entered the Santa Clara all-time record books after the game against UC Davis and is now ranked in six career categories. After Tuesday's game against Hawaii, Long is now tied for 10th in career walks (93) and moved up to No. 4 in all-time in triples (12) and is in sole possession of the No. 10 spot with 140 runs. He climbed to No. 5 in career hits (240) and No. 7 in career at bats (764). He remains in seventh in total bases (350) and is not far out of entering another career category - extra base hits.