April 24, 2008

Broncos Hosts Three In Non-Conference This Weekend

April 24, 2008

SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The Santa Clara baseball returns to Stephen Schott Stadium for five non-conference games in five days. The Broncos host the visiting Vulcans of Hawaii-Hilo for a three-game weekend series beginning at 7 p.m. on Friday, April 25.

The Broncos continue the non-conference stretch with their third Monday meeting with Bay Area rival No. 5 Stanford. First pitch is the nationally televised broadcast is scheduled for 5 p.m. on CBS College Sports. SCU then hosts Sacramento State in their lone contest of the season at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, April 29.

On The Season
The Broncos are 22-16 on the season and 7-5 in West Coast Conference play. Offensively, redshirt senior Nathan Faulkner and junior Evan LeBlanc leads the Broncos. Faulkner bats .381 with 12 runs, six home runs and 16 RBIs, while, LeBlanc is hitting .366 with 33 runs, four homers, 12 doubles and 27 RBIs. On the mound Thain Simon continues to own a team-best 1.98 ERA and 7-2 record. Sophomore Nate Garcia is second on the team, with a 3.22 ERA and a 4-2 overall record, while Mark Willinsky leads the Broncos with four saves.

Late Rally Gives SCU The Sweep Over Fresno State
The Santa Clara baseball team rebounded from an 8-3 deficit to defeat the Fresno State Bulldogs, 10-8, Tuesday night on the road. The win gave Santa Clara the series sweep, 2-0, as SCU defeated Fresno State, 6-5, in 10 innings on March 4. Offensively, designated hitter Geoff Klein went 3-for-4 with two runs and one RBI to lead the Broncos. Leftfielder LeBlanc and catcher Tommy Medica both went 2-for-5 with two runs each, while LeBlanc also drove in one run.

Fresno State registered a four-run second inning to take a 4-0 lead early in the contest. Despite Santa Clara getting on the scoreboard with three runs in the top of the third, the Bulldogs responded with four more runs in their half of the fourth inning to claim an 8-3 advantage. Santa Clara fought hard to narrow the gap, scoring runs in the fifth and sixth innings, while holding Fresno State scoreless. After two-straight up and down innings, Santa Clara rallied in the ninth to take the game, 10-8.

Simon Named To Stopper Midseason Watch List
Simon was named to the NCBWA's Midseason Stopper of the Year watch list. The freshman righty produced a 6-1 record in relief and a team-best 1.08 ERA in 14 appearances. Prior to Simon's first ever collegiate start, he tossed 25 innings, struck out 32 batters and of the 18 hits allow, only two were doubles and one a home run.

Garcia's First Goose Egg Earns WCC Pitcher of the Week Honors
RHP Garcia was named the WCC Pitcher of the Week for his performance in the Broncos 8-0 victory over the USF on April 18. Garcia threw a complete game shutout, scattering four hits over nine innings without walking a batter and striking out nine. It was Garcia's first shutout of his career and the first for the Broncos on the season. Garcia is 4-2 on the season and leads the team in strikeouts, innings pitched and complete games. His 3.22 ERA is second on the team.

SCU Takes USF 2-1
The Broncos moved into sole possession of third place in the West Coast Conference standings Sunday afternoon as they defeated the visiting Dons of San Francisco, 7-6, at Schott Stadium. For the series, Alex Rivers and Garcia earned wins, while Matt Long led the offense hitting .462 for the weekend with three runs, one home run and five RBIs.

Cardinal Take 2-0 Lead In Annual Monday Meetings
The Broncos lost their second straight Monday meeting with Bay Area rival No. 5 Stanford on April 21. The Cardinal now leads the series 2-0.

Willinsky & Lombard Tied In Record Books
Willinsky registered his fourth save of the season Tuesday night against Fresno State and is now tied with teammate Jeff Lombard for fifth overall on the all-time saves list. The redshirt sophomore tallied nine saves as a freshman. Both pitchers have 13 career saves.

Three more Broncos are waiting in the wings. Matt Wickswat is 36 strikes shy of entering the top-10 all-time and six wins away from the career victories list. Lombard, who is already in the career saves and relief appearances lists, is seven appearances shy of entering that career list. Lastly, Ryan Conan, who has been hit by a pitch 19 times, is two shy of joining assistant coach Shawn Epidendio in that all-time list.

Gone Streaking!
The most recent streak belongs to Medica, who is on a 12 game hitting streak, which is one shy of his career-high and his longest of the season. It began on April 5 against Portland and includes nine runs, one home run, three doubles and 10 RBIs. The season best was compiled by LeBlanc, who had a least one hit in 14 consecutive contests.

Scouting Hawaii-Hilo
The Vulcans enter the weekend with a 13-23 record. In its last outing, UHH was edged by the Spartans, 3-2, in extra innings. On the season, Michael Higa leads the Vulcans bats, hitting .407, while Ronel Trias has scored a team-high 30 runs. Dayne Ogawa is second on the squad batting .321 with 22 runs, 12 doubles and 26 RBIs. Brian Shannon (1-3, 8.88 ERA) will open the series for UHH. Kekoa Lee (1-3, 5.95 ERA) will start Saturday night and Clayton Uyechi (1-2, 3.16) will close out the weekend for the Vulcans.

Last Time Out vs. UHH
The two teams last met in the 2006 season when the Broncos swept the Vulcans, 2-0, in Hawai'i.

All-Time vs. UHH
Friday is the 11th meeting between the Broncos and Vulcans, with SCU claiming a 9-1-0 overall record.

Scouting Stanford
The Cardinal host USC in Pac-10 action before returning to Schott Stadium on Monday. Stanford enters the weekend with a 23-12-2 overall record. In its last outing, Stanford came from behind to defeat Saint Mary's 7-4. Randy Molina leads the Cardinal batting .378, with 20 runs, four home runs and 27 RBIs. Sean Ratliff has compiled a team-best 11 homers and 10 doubles for Stanford. It has not been announced who the Broncos will face on the mound, but Stanford has a team ERA of 4.26.

Last Time Out vs. Stanford
The Cardinal improved to a 2-0 record on in this year's Monday Meeting series with its 13-6 win on April 21.

All-Time vs. Stanford
Monday's contest marks the 347th meeting of the two teams in a series that dates back to the 1892 season. The Cardinal owns a 180-159-7 all-time record.

Scouting Sacramento State
The Bulldogs enter Tuesday's contests after facing New Mexico State in WAC action over the weekend. In the last outing, the USF Dons slipped past Sac State, 9-8, in the City. Gabe Jacobo went 4-for-5 with two runs scored and a RBI to pace the Hornets. On the season, the Hornets are 19-19 and 5-8 on the road. Jacobo leads the team batting .407 with 35 runs, 12 home runs, 12 doubles and 45 RBIs. It has not been announced yet who the Broncos will face on the mound, but Sac State has a team ERA of 5.88. Chris Baek (0-1) has a team-best 2.70 ERA, while Jose Ramirez has struck out a team-high 36 batters.

Last Time Out vs. Sac State
The Broncos and Hornets last met in the last two contests of the 2007 season. SCU swept the series against Sac State winning both games with a score of 5-3.

All-Time vs. Sac State
Tuesday's contest is the 69th meeting between the Broncos and Hornets. SCU leads the all-time series 45-23-0.

On Deck
The Broncos travel to Los Angeles to face the Lions of Loyola Marymount in West Coast Conference action next weekend. The three-game series begins on May 2 at 3 p.m., and continues on May 3 and 4 at 1 p.m.

Santa Clara remains on the road for game three against the Pacific Tigers. First pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m. on Wednesday, May 7.