Broncos Baseball Returns To WCC Action Against LMU This Weekend

May 1, 2008

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SANTA CLARA, Calif. - After a week of non-conference action, the Santa Clara baseball team travels to Los Angeles to take on Loyola Marymount in West Coast Conference play. The three-game series begins on Friday, May 2 at 3 p.m. at George C. Page Stadium on the campus of LMU. Both Saturday and Sunday's games will have a start time of 1 p.m.

On The Season
The Broncos compiled the longest win streak of the season Tuesday night with a narrow 7-6 win over the Hornets of Sacramento State. Santa Clara is now 27-16 on the season and riding a six-game high, which includes a 10-9 triumph over No. 3 Stanford on national television.

Offensively, sophomore Jon Karcich and junior Evan LeBlanc switch spots this week on top SCU's stats. Karcich leads the Broncos hitting .375 with a team-best 10 home runs and 41 RBIs. LeBlanc is batting .370 on the season with 41 runs, four homers and 32 RBIs. Both players have 12 double thus far.

On the mound Thain Simon continues to own a team-best 2.36 ERA and 8-2 record. Sophomore Nate Garcia is second on the team, with a 2.92 ERA and a 5-2 overall record, while Mark Willinsky leads the Broncos with four saves.

Conan's Homer Garners Player Of The Game Honors
He led the 2007 Broncos in home runs (8), but it wasn't until late this season that the monkey got off Ryan Conan's back as he homered against Gonzaga on the road. Yet, it was his second bomb of the season that gave the senior captain some bragging rights. The San Jose native was Santa Clara's hero Monday night as he launched one over the left center field wall at Schott Stadium to give the Broncos a 10-9 win over Bay Area rival, No. 3 Stanford. For his performance, which was broadcasted nationally on CBS College Sports, he was named Sirius Satellite Radio's Player of the Game.

Broncos Take Third Monday Meeting
With Santa Clara's win Monday night over No. 3 Stanford, the Broncos have the opportunity to tie this season Monday Meetings series in which the Cardinal lead 2-1. That chance will come on May 12 at Sunken Diamond.

Medica Added To Johnny Bench Watch List
The Greater Wichita Area Sports Commission has added nine catchers to the official watch list for the 2008 Coleman Company - Johnny Bench Award delivered by AT&T and Papa John's Pizza including Santa Clara's very own All-American Tommy Medica. The watch list will be narrowed down to ten semi-finalists, whom will be announced May 14, 2008.

Lucky No. 7
Seventh year head coach Mark O'Brien is now seven wins away from his career 200th (193-184). The Broncos have 12 more games in the regular season to help their skipper reach the milestone. When O'Brien reaches the mark, he will join John Oldham and Sal Taormina as the only Bronco baseball head coaches earn 200 wins. Both Oldham and Taormina also reached the feat in their seventh season.

Long Named To CBF Weekly All-Star Lineup
Junior Matt Long became the second Bronco this season to earn recognition from the College Baseball Foundation as he was named to the Weekly All-Star Lineup. Long was one of two on the list to hit for the cycle this weekend.

Long Hits For The Cycle
Outfielder Long became the first Bronco this season, and the only current Bronco, to hit for the cycle. He reached the feat in Saturday night's contest against Hawaii-Hilo. It has been 14 years since a Bronco hit for the cycle. He was two-time All-American Mike Frank '97, who reached the feat on April 30, 1994 against USF.

He started off with a single in the first inning and then registered a home run in the second inning. In the fourth inning, Long sent a triple down the right field line and then doubled in the seventh.

Record Books Update
Long moved into the single season record books this week as he is tied for eighth in triples (5). He is also one shy of the career triples list with a tally of eight. Medica remains tied for 10th all-time in the career Hit By Pitch category by Conan (19) and Gabe Alcantar (18) wait in the wings. Matt Wickswat is 30 strikeouts shy of entering that career list. He has a count of 190 after this weekend.

Two Former Broncos To Be Inducted Into Santa Clara's Athletic Hall Of Fame
The celebrated athletic tradition of Santa Clara University will come alive on Thursday, May 15 with the induction of seven deserving members into the institution's Athletic Hall of Fame. Two of those inductees are former Bronco baseball stars Mike Frank '97 and Mike Macfarlane '85.

On The National Stage
The four week of national rankings has been released and the Broncos remain mentioned in all 25 categories. The Broncos top 50 rankings as of April 27 are:

Doubles Per Gm - No. 17
Batting Avg. - No. 23
Doubles - No. 29
Strikeouts Per 9 Inn. - No. 29
Slugging Percentage - No. 42
Hits - No. 48

Individually, eight different batters and three different pitchers are ranked in the top 500. The Broncos highest rankings come to LeBlanc who is 76th in the nation in hits and Long who is 55th overall in triples and 75th in triples per game. Medica is the 70th toughest batter in the nation to strike out, while Garcia's ERA of 2.92 is 80th overall.

Gone Streaking
Sophomore Medica owns a career-high and team-best 17 game hitting streak. He passed junior LeBlanc's team-high streak of 14 games over the weekend. It began on April 5 against Portland and includes 12 runs, one home run, four doubles and 14 RBIs.

Going, Going, Gone!
Nine different Broncos have gone yard thus far this season for Santa Clara. Shortstop Karcich leads the group with 10 home runs. He notched his 10th against No. 3 Stanford. Long is second on the team with nine homers. He has tallied a home run in three of the last four games.

Scouting Loyola Marymount
The Lions enter the weekend with a 21-23 record and a 5-10 mark in WCC action. The Lions are currently ranked seventh in the league. In its last outing, LMU fell to UCLA, 6-2. Sean Dovel went 3-for-4 for the Lions with a home run and an RBI. Ryan Wheeler leads the squad batting .343 with 17 doubles and 35 RBIs. He also has 32 runs and three homers. A.J. LaMonda is second on the team hitting .333 with a team-best 35 runs. It has not been announced who the Broncos will face on the mound, but LMU has a team ERA of 5.52.

Last Time Out vs. LMU
The Broncos and Lions last met over the last week of April 2007. LMU won the series, taking two of three. SCU won Sunday's contest 11-1.

All-Time vs. LMU
Friday's game marks the 148th meeting between the two teams. Santa Clara leads the all-time series 81-66-0.

On Deck
The Broncos remains on the road for game three against the Pacific Tigers. First pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m. on Wednesday, May 7.