May 9, 2003
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The Santa Clara University baseball team will begin its three-game weekend series with the Gonzaga Bulldogs Saturday afternoon at 1 p.m. in Buck Shaw Stadium. Sunday's game is also slated to begin at 1 p.m. while Monday's series finale will have a 2:30 p.m. first pitch.
Santa Clara enters the series with a 27-24 overall record and a 17-7 mark in the West Coast Conference. They are currently two games behind Coast Division leading Pepperdine who is 19-5 in league play with three games this weekend at Saint Mary's.
The Broncos dropped two of three games to the Bulldogs earlier this year in Spokane, Wash. on March 23 and 24. The series opener on Saturday was rained out, forcing the two squads to play a Sunday doubleheader. Gonzaga won game one by a 9-7 score before Joe Diefenderfer tossed a complete-game shutout in game two, leading the Broncos to a 10-0 victory. The Zags took game three on Monday by a score of 5-4 in 11 innings, handing the Broncos their third loss in five WCC games to that point in the year.
Since that series SCU has gone 17-6 overall and 15-4 in league play led by Scott Dierks, Michael Lange, Patrick Overholt and Diefenderfer. Dierks is batting .405 with 11 home runs and 24 RBI during that time span while Lange has posted a .349 average with nine RBI and 11 runs scored. Diefenderfer has posted a 3-0 record with a 1.53 ERA since his complete game shutout in Spokane while Overholt is 1-0 with five saves and a 1.80 ERA.
Santa Clara's bullpen has also come up big during that time, combining on two shutouts in midweek wins on the road over then No. 7 Stanford (2-0) and Sacramento State (6-0). The Broncos used eight pitchers against Stanford and seven against Sacramento State, including Scott Shapiro and Patrick McBride who picked the wins in those respective games. Andrew Slorp had two of his better outings of the year in the those games, throwing a combined four full innings in which he allowed only one hit.
Following this weekend's series with Gonzaga the Broncos will conclude their regular season with a three-game home series against Saint Mary's. The series opener is scheduled for Friday, May 16 at 6 p.m., followed by 1 p.m. games on Saturday and Sunday.