Mid-Summer Report: Bronco Pitching Excels in Summer Leagues

July 21, 2009

SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Catch up with some Bronco news and notes involving Santa Clara baseball players past, present and future.

Success on the Mound

  • Junior Steve Kalush's summer success continues with the Corvallis Knights (West Coast Collegiate Baseball League). The Knights are currently in first place and are ranked No. 3 by Perfect Game Crosschecker. The San Mateo, Calif., native has a 3-1 record and a 0.30 ERA. He's made 11 appearances, with three starts and has surrendered just two runs in 29.2 innings. He also has four saves and 23 strikeouts to his credit. Last summer, Kalush led the Harwich Mariners to the Cape Cod League title.

  • Sophomore Joe Supple was named the Rockville Express (Cal Ripken Sr., Collegiate League) Pitcher of the Week for the week of July 6-12 after tossing a no-hitter against the Maryland Redbirds on July 10, the second nine-inning no-hitter in League history. Supple surrendered one run on five scattered walks and stuck out eight batters to win, 2-1. He leads the team with a 2.84 ERA with a 2-2 season record and has gone the distance twice this summer. Fellow Bronco Mike Couch, also with the Express, has come out of the bullpen on seven occasions and averages a strikeout per inning.

  • Remaining on the East Coast, freshman Paul Twining has a team-leading 2-1 record and a team-best 2.20 ERA with the Saratoga Phillies (New York Collegiate Baseball League). The Shoreline, Wash., native has made three starts for the Phillies and has struck out 19 in 16.1 innings. In his most recent win, Twining tossed 5.1 no-run innings, scattered five hits and struck out seven.

  • Out in the Hamptons this summer are pitchers Jason Westerberg and Jon Hughes. Westerberg has helped the Westhampton Aviators (Hamptons Collegiate Baseball League) to a first place standing. Meanwhile, Hughes and the Southampton Breakers are two games behind. Westerberg has earned a save in six appearances for the Aviators and owns a 2.35 ERA with a 0-1 record. He's struck out 26 in 15.1 innings pitched. Hughes is 1-1 with a 2.12 ERA for the Breakers. He's made five appearances, started two and earned a save. In 17.0 innings she's surrendered just four earned runs and has struck out 24.

  • Junior Alex Rivers highlights the Madison Mallards (Northwoods League) roster once again this summer. He is 1-2 with a 2.73 ERA. The Lodi, Calif., native has stuck out 29 in 33.0 innings. In Hawaii, Honolulu native freshman Reece Kiriu has made five appearances for the Kamuela Paniolos (Hawaii Collegiate Baseball League). In 11.1 innings, he's struck out 12.

  • Redshirt sophomore Cory Hall has helped the San Luis Obispo Blues to a No. 12 nationally ranking by Perfect Game Crosschecker. Most recently, Hall pitched two scoreless innings to finish last Saturday's game against the Conejo Oaks and earn his fifth save. Thus far, the Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada native owns a 0.96 ERA and a 1-0 record. He's made 10 appearances, nine of which were in relief. In 18.2 innings, he's given up just three runs (two earned) and struck out 21 batters. The Blues have won their 18 of their last 20 games and own a team ERA of 2.24 with six shutouts.

    At the Plate

  • All-WCC first team honoree junior Geoff Klein has helped the Anchorage Glacier Pilots (Alaskan Baseball League) to a third place standing. The Huntington Beach, Calif., native is third on the team with a .307 batting average and a .407 on-base percentage. With a .426 slugging percentage, Klein is fifth on the team in hits (31), fourth in doubles (9) and third in walks (14). He has tallied 11 RBIs, one home run and 16 runs scored.

  • Sophomore Curtis Wagner has eight RBIs, two home runs and eight runs score in 68 at bats for the Thunder Bay Border Cats (Northwoods League). Freshman Lucas Herbst has compiled a .295 batting average thus far, which ties for fourth on the Eau Claire Express (Northwoods League). In 15 games played, he nearly averages a hit per game and has scored four runs.

  • Freshman Ryan Rieger, who plays for the Waterloo Bucks (Northwoods League), has scored six runs thus far in 14 games with four RBIs. He owns a team-leading .429 on-base percentage and a .238 batting average (sixth on the team). Incoming freshman Pat Stover is a teammate of Rieger with the Bucks. He has seen action in nine games with 38 at bats. Stover has six RBIs thus far with one home run.

  • Junior Ian O'Connor returned home for the summer to play for the San Luis Obispo Blues where he has scored nine runs on nine hits and has driven in eight. Over in Hawaii, freshman Andrew Biancardi has a .244 average with the Hawaii Alii's (Hawaii Collegiate Baseball League). In 21 games, he has 19 hits with five doubles, a triple and 10 RBIs. He is the fourth toughest on the team to strike out (9 SO). Also in the Aloha State is sophomore Patrick Terry, who plays for the Kamuela Paniolos (Hawaii Collegiate Baseball League). Terry has a .241 average with five RBIs and five runs in 10 games.

    Double Duty

  • Freshman J.R. Graham has seen time at the plate and on the mound for the Madison Mallards (Northwoods League). In 33 at bats in 14 games, Graham has a .212 average and a .303 slugging percentage. He has tallied three doubles on seven hits and has scored two runs. On the mound, the Livermore, Calif., native is 1-2 with a 3.19 ERA. He's struck out 21 in 31.0 innings, mostly in relief. He also has two saves, the most recent on July 19 against the Eau Claire Express. He went 3.0 no-run innings, surrendering just one hit.

    Skipper Notes

  • Bronco alum and current volunteer assistant coach Shawn Epidendio '05 took the Hamptons League by storm this summer as head coach of the North Fork Ospreys. He led his team to an early first place standing. After battling an unusually wet June (the second wettest June in the history of New York), the Osprey's held on the first place through the Fourth of July weekend. Epidendio has coached the Osprey's to a 17-14 record, which puts them three games behind first place. From June 7 to June 23, the Osprey's produced a seven-game winning streak that began with a 14-1 rout over the Long Island Mustangs and unfortunately ended with a 6-4 edging by Westhampton. Under his direction, Tony LePore (Southern Illinois) is eighth in the league with a .352 batting average, while ace Daniel Etienne (Southern Illinois) is fourth with a 2.20 ERA.

    2009 Draft Update

  • Jon Karcich, who was drafted in the seventh round by the Anaheim Angels, is playing with the Orem Owlz of the Pioneer League. Karcich has appeared in 17 games thus far and has a .217 batting average with three RBIs, 13 runs scored and six doubles. The Belmont, Calif., native put together a solid performance on July 19 against Great Falls. He was 2-for-3 with two doubles and a RBI.

  • Matt Long `09, who was drafted in the 30th round by the Anaheim Angels, is playing with the Tempe Angels of the Arizona League. The Los Altos Hills, Calif., native has a .286 batting average with 13 RBIs, 17 runs, five triples, one double and one home run in 20 games. On July 10, Long went 2-for-4 against AZL Giants, with three runs and a double.

    Minor League Notes

  • 2008 draftee Mark Willinsky (15th round by the Milwaukee Brewers) is currently playing for the Brevard County Manatees of the Class A Advanced Florida State League. The former Bronco closer has a 4-2 record with a 3.50 ERA. Along with a save, Willinsky has struck out 29 in 36.0 innings. Donald Brandt has recently signed as a free agent with the Helena Brewers of the Pioneer League.

  • Tucson, Ariz., native Evan LeBlanc (2008-23rd round by the NY Mets)moved around a bit this summer before settling with the Brooklyn Cyclones of the Class A Short-Season New York-Penn League. LeBlanc made his first appearance on July 20 against the Vermont Lake Monsters.

  • Matt Wickswat and Justin Kuehn (2008-17th round by the Chicago White Sox) are teammates once again with the Great Falls Voyagers. Wickswat has started five games, has tossed 23.1 innings and struck out 27. He is 0-0 with a 5.79 ERA. Kuehn has made five appearances out of the bullpen for the Voyagers, averaging an inning per outing and striking out four. He is 0-0 with a 7.20 ERA.

  • Daniel Nava signed with the Boston Red Sox in the fall of 2007 and is currently with the Salem Red Sox of the Class A Advanced Carolina League. Nava has a team-leading .357 batting average and .471 on-base percentage, and a second-best .518 slugging percentage. In 15 games, he's tallied nine RBIs, 11 runs, six doubles and one home run.

  • Kris "Bubba" Watts, now playing for the Lynchburg Hillcats of the Class A Advanced Caroline League, is hitting .320 (second on the team) with a team-leading .451 ob%. He has four home runs, 32 RBIs, 41 runs, 15 doubles and four triples.