April 26, 2007

Santa Clara Baseball Hosts Loyola Marymount For Three-Game Series This Weekend

April 26, 2007

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SANTA CLARA, Calif. - After seizing the extra opportunities given them in Tuesday night's 9-1 win over Fresno State, the Santa Clara baseball team looks to continue it's advantageous ways this weekend, hosting the Loyola Marymount Lions in a three-game series beginning with Friday's 7 p.m. opener. The Broncos, currently in fourth place in the WCC standings at 6-6, sit four games back of the second slot with nine games remaining heading into the weekend.

About the Broncos
Santa Clara (21-21, 6-6 WCC) opened the week on a positive note, taking it to the WAC leading Fresno State Bulldogs, 9-1, Tuesday night. Freshman Tommy Medica went 3-for-4 with six RBIs and Sean O'Neill picked up his first win of the year with a solid six-inning outing. SCU split its four games on the road last week, winning its second straight game against Stanford this year with a 6-3 win Tuesday night, but then dropping two of three at Pepperdine in a WCC series. Sean O'Neill, Matt Wickswat, and Donald Brandt all turned in fine efforts on the mound over the weekend, although only Wickswat picked up a win, with O'Neill taking a no-decision at Stanford. Offensively, Ryan Conan hit his seventh homer of the season Friday at Pepperdine.

About Loyola Marymount
Loyola Marymount (18-26-1, 5-7) makes its way to Northern California on a four-game slide, having most recently fallen 14-8 to No. 16 UC Irvine on Tuesday. The Lions, who had won five straight heading into last weekend, suffered a weekend sweep at the hands of San Diego. The Lions dropped a doubleheader Saturday before falling 10-3 in Sunday's finale. LMU is led at the plate by Eric Farris' .351 average and 66 hits, while Sean Dovel provides the power with six home runs to go with his 28 RBIs and .277 average. Brad Meyers leads the rotation with a 3.54 ERA depsite a 3-4 record.

Doing The Job
In Santa Clara's four games last week, three of the team's starting pitchers turned in fine performances in checking some rather potent offenses. Tuesday, Sean O'Neill limited Stanford to only two runs, just one earned, on four hits over six innings, but unfortunately took a no-decision in SCU's 6-3 win. This past Tuesday night, against Fresno State, O'Neill picked up his first win of the year by holding the Bulldogs, the WAC leaders, to only one run on five hits while striking out six. Matt Wickswat, on Saturday, held No. 11 Pepperdine to only two runs on eight hits and struck out five in seven innings to pick up his sixth win, and on Sunday, Donald Brandt also allowed only two runs, this time on seven hits over six and a third innings, but the Bronco offense was shut out, and Brand suffered his second loss of the year.

Leaving a Vapor Trail
Freshman Tommy Medica has been steadily making his case for WCC Freshman of the Year, batting .398 this season with seven doubles and 13 RBIs, despite missing all or parts of 14 games due to a hand injury from February-March. With his 3-for-4, six-RBI performance Tuesday night against Fresno State, Medica raised his average to .398, bringing him closer to the .400 mark, aiming to become the first Bronco since Joey Gomes (.408) in 2002 to finish a season above the .400 mark.

Back In The Batting Order
Sophomore Brady Fuerst, a 2006 WCC All-Freshman team selection, returned to the starting lineup this week after a long hiatus and immediately made a difference. After an injury delayed his start this season, Fuerst switched positions, moving to the outfield, and started all four games last week in right field. He fared well, especially at the plate, where he went 2-for-4 at Stanford, then hit his first collegiate home run and doubled at Pepperdine over the weekend.

Mashin' Taters
Broncos first baseman Ryan Conan continued his power-hitting run this past weekend, hitting his seventh homer of the year Friday at Pepperdine. With seven homers and 41 RBIs on the season, Conan leads the Broncos in each category, and has also been a defensive boon to SCU at first base.

Saving Grace
Junior closer Jeff Lombard, who incresed his season saves total to nine with a pair of saves last week, is quickly closing in on the SCU single-season saves record of 13, held by Anthony Rea ('05). Currently, Lombard's nine saves are tied for fifth with three others, including sophomore Mark Willinsky. On the year, Lombard is one of the WCC's top closers, and also has a 2.61 ERA and 29 stirkeouts in 31.0 innings of work.

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.