Baseball Faces Off Against No. 6 San Diego This Weekend

May 10, 2007

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SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The Santa Clara baseball team gets the chance to close out the West Coast Conference season in style this weekend, hosting the conference-leading and sixth-ranked San Diego Toreros. Friday's opener is to begin at 7 p.m., while first pitch of Saturday's and Sunday's contests is set for 1 p.m. at Stephen Schott Stadium.

About the Broncos
Santa Clara (24-26, 8-10 WCC) is currently on a three-game slide, having dropped a close 9-8 decision to the Nevada Wolfpack Tuesday night. The Broncos had opened last week with a 16-8 bashing of the Stanford Cardinal, as Nathan Faulkner went 5-for-5 with two RBIs, and Carl Bacon, Evan LeBlanc, and Tommy Medica each had three hits and two RBIs in the win. But things got tough over the weekend, as the Broncos, following a 5-3 series-opening win over Saint Mary's dropped consecutive one-run decisions, 3-2 and 5-4, to the Gaels, falling in the series. Bacon had a good week at the plate despite the outcomes, batting .538 (7-for-13) with a double and four RBIs, while Jon Karcich hit his third home run of the year at SMC.

About San Diego
Sixth-ranked San Diego (39-14, 16-2) just rose to it's highest ranking in school history after a three-game sweep of San Francisco, solidifying their hold on first place in the WCC. The Toreros, who defeated UC Irvine 4-1 Tuesday night, have been boosted by the power of Shane Buschini, who leads the team with a .366 average, 51 runs, 18 doubles, two triples, 13 home runs, and is second with 53 RBIs. Brian Matusz (9-2, 2.51), Josh Romanski (8-1, 2.88), and Matt Couch (8-2, 3.55) pace a USD staff that boasts a combined ERA of 3.36.

Bringing the Stuff
Santa Clara's starting pitching put together a strong weekend of performances in Moraga, although only one starter, Nate Garcia, came away with a win. Garcia gave up only three runs over seven innings and struck out six in SCU's 5-3 win Friday, while Matt Wickswat didn't give up an earned run and struck out 10 batters over 8.1 innings on Saturday, but got a no-decision when SMC tied it in the ninth. Donald Brandt then tossed a great game Sunday, allowing only one run on six hits over six innings and leaving the game with a 4-1 lead, but got a no-decision when SMC scored four runs off the SCU bullpen and won, 5-4.

Making His Case
Catcher Tommy Medica has been pressing his case for WCC Freshman of the Year honors, batting .400 (6-for-15) last week, and going 2-for-3 against Nevada on Tuesday, bringing his average to .399 on the year, tops in the WCC. He could very well also garner Freshman All-America honors, marking the second year in a row that SCU was represented on the Freshman All-America team.

Sizzling At the Plate
Carl Bacon continued his career year this past week, batting .538 (7-for-13) with a double and four RBIs. Bacon's hitting surge has brought his average on the season to .323, fourth on the team. Bacon is also third on the team with 60 hits in 2007.

Power and Defense
While playing solid defense day in and day out for the Broncos with his .951 fielding percentage as a freshman shortstop, Jon Karcich has also shown that he can provide some pop to the SCU lineup. This past weekend at Saint Mary's Karcich hit a three-run bomb on Sunday to give SCU a 4-1 lead. The homer was his third of the year.

Gettin' Across
Sophomore transfer Evan LeBlanc has made it a habit this season of not only getting on base, but also scoring runs for the Broncos. While hitting .287 on the year, LeBlanc's speed on the basepaths has been beneficial to SCU's success, as his ability to take the extra base has led to him scoring 32 runs on the year, tied for second on the team.

Stop Thief!
Sophomore Matt Long, while continuing to have a productive year with a .325 average, 62 hits, nine doubles, three home runs, and 24 RBIs, has also been a boon to the Broncos on the basepaths. Last weekend, Long was a perfect 3-for-3 in his stolen-base attempts, giving him a team-leading 13 stolen bases on the year. In 2007, Long has been successful on 68.4% of his stolen base attempts (13-for-19).

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.