Broncos Return Home This Weekend To Host Bulldogs

April 11, 2007

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SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The Santa Clara baseball team, in a three-way tie for second place in the West Coast Conference standings, returns home for the first time in nearly six weeks to host the Gonzaga Bulldogs. Friday's opener is set for a 7 p.m. start, while Saturday and Sunday's contests are scheduled for a 1 p.m. first pitch at Stephen Schott Stadium.

About the Broncos
Santa Clara (17-17, 4-2) continued its solid West Coast Conference play this past weekend, taking two of three games on the road against the San Francisco Dons to remain in second place in the WCC at 4-2. Freshman catcher Tommy Medica was named the WCC Player of the Week after batting an eye-popping .706 (12-for-17) last week, with a double, two triples, and four runs scored. Medica also batted .769 (10-for-13) in the series against the Dons, helping SCU to wins of 4-3 and 10-6 on Friday and Sunday. Ryan Conan also hit his fourth home run of the season Sunday, a ninth-inning grand slam that provided the winning margin of the 10-6 victory.

About Gonzaga
Gonzaga (21-16, 4-2) comes to Santa Clara as the second of three teams tied for second in the WCC at 4-2. The Bulldogs captured two of three from Portland last weekend, including a doubleheader sweep on Easter, to retain their spot in second place along with Santa Clara and San Diego. They are also coming most recently off of a 12-6 win over Washington State Tuesday afternoon. Gonzaga is led offensively by Bryan Winston's .364 average and eight doubles while Darin Holcomb is batting .338 with four homers and 28 RBIs, and Dustin Colclough also has four homers on the year. On the mound, Brandon Harmon leads the staff with a 5-4 record and 3.70 ERA.

WCC Player of the Week
Freshman catcher Tommy Medica was named the West Coast Conference Player of the Week on Monday after turning in a performance that included a .706 average (12-for-17) with a double, two triples, and four runs scored over four games last week. In the three-game series at San Francisco, Medica batted .769 (10-for-13) from the leadoff spot, a chief reason that the Broncos were able to get on the board early and often while capturing two of the three games.

Shouldering the Load
Starting pitcher Nate Garcia turned in a fine workhorse performance for the Broncos Thursday, pitching well into the ninth inning while helping SCU to a 4-3 win in the series opener at USF. Garcia tossed 8.1 innings of six-hit, three-run ball, and struck out five batters to earn the win and even his record for the season at 3-3.

The Run Producer
Junior first baseman Ryan Conan added to his team-leading RBI total in San Francisco last weekend, hitting two homers and driving in eight runs over the three games to help the Broncos to a pair of wins. In Thursday night's 4-3 win, Conan hit a three-run bomb in the sixth that gave SCU the 3-1 lead, while on Saturday, his ninth-inning grand slam provided the winning runs in SCU's 10-6 victory in the rubber game.

Protection In the 'Pen
Jeff Lombard, Santa Clara's junior closer, put in a full weekend of work in San Francisco, coming away with his sixth save of the year in Thursday's 4-3 victory, and picking up his third win in Saturday's 10-6 decision. With a team-leading 19 appearances on the year, Lombard has proven himself as one of SCU's most reliable relievers, leading all with a 2.42 ERA.

Keeping Up the Bats
Another junior transfer, third baseman Gabe Alcantar, has shown himself to be a dependable bat in the lineup, batting .381 with a team-leading 12 doubles on the year. He went 4-for-12 (.333) with a double and three RBIs last weekend against San Francisco, and throughout the year has given SCU the consistent production they need from the No. 3 spot in the lineup, driving in 21 runs and slugging .524 this season.

Taking the Long Way
Sophomore outfielder Matt Long, a 2006 Freshman All-American, has continued his solid play this year with a .341 average and 43 hits to his name. He also hit his first home run of this collegiate career in 2007, and boosts the Bronco lineup as a strong five-tool player, able to hit consistently and for power, while using his speed to aid the team both on the basepaths and out in the field.

SCU Offers Live Web Coverage of Home Games
When the Santa Clara baseball program moved into Stephen Schott Stadium, the multimedia coverage on www.santaclarabroncos.com increased. Bronco fans can listen to the WCC action live on Broncos All-Access, and as always, all Bronco baseball games will also be covered on Gametracker.

2007 Freshman Class Noted Among the Nation's Best
The Santa Clara University baseball program received an accolade from the Collegiate Baseball newspaper as the Broncos' 2006 recruiting class was named on of the Top-40 classes in the nation, coming in at No. 28, tops among West Coast Conference schools. The members of this class, who are currently in their first year on the Mission Campus, will look this spring to help lead the squad to its first WCC title since 1997.

Of the freshman class in 2007, Nathan Garcia (Bellarmine College Prep), Patrick Glenn (Amador Valley HS), Matthew Hiserman (Capistrano Valley HS), Steven Kalush (Aragon HS), Jon Karcich (Serra HS), Geoffrey Klein (Ocean View HS), Tommy Medica (Bellarmine College Prep), Alex Rivers (Tokay HS) and Dylan Slocum (Paloma Valley HS) make up the California contingent. Tayler Thomas (Salpointe Catholic HS) hails from Arizona and Jeremy Zink (Garfield HS) will come to the Mission Campus from the state of Washington.

Four Broncos Named to All-WCC 40th Anniversary Team
The West Coast Conference announced its 40th Anniversary Baseball Team in early January, and four Broncos were named to the 40-man squad. LHP Rich Troedson (1969-72), catcher Troy Buckley (1987-89), RHP Bob Pailthorpe (1992-95), and outfielder Mike Frank (1994-97) were all honored for their achievements on the diamond.

SCU Baseball Picked to Finish Sixth in WCC Preseason Poll
The Santa Clara baseball team was selected to finished sixth in the West Coast Conference in the 2007 WCC preseason poll, as selected by the conference coaches. The Broncos were picked to finished behind Pepperdine, San Diego, San Francisco, LMU and Gonzaga. Santa Clara claimed the sixth position with 18 total points.