June 3, 2003
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Santa Clara University baseball standout Joe Diefenderfer was drafted in the 19th round of the Major League Baseball First Year Player Draft by the Philadelphia Phillies on Tuesday afternoon, making him the first Bronco drafted in 2003.
"All I was looking for was a chance to play at the next level and I am very excited that the Phillies have made that possible," said Diefenderfer. "When they called my name I really couldn't believe that it was happening, my initial reaction was just pure elation that I was picked. I am looking forward to finding out what happens next and where I go from here."
The senior southpaw from San Luis Obispo, Calif., adds the honor to his already prestigious resume following an outstanding season in 2003. He helped the Broncos to their first winning season since 1997 by going 8-3 on the year with a 3.40 ERA. His 6-0 record and 1.54 ERA in West Coast Conference play led SCU to a 21-9 league record and the second best mark in the conference.
On the mound he limited his opponents to a .269 average while striking out 69 and walking only 12 in his 17 appearances, 10 of which were as a starter. His record in league play was even more amazing, striking out 38 and walking only seven in seven starts for a strikeout to walk ratio of 5.5 to 1.
For his efforts in 2003, Diefenderfer was one of only four players in the WCC to be named a unanimous choice to the All-WCC First Team, joining teammate Scott Dierks, Pepperdine pitcher Greg Ramirez and Loyola Marymount catcher Jon Higashi. Diefenderfer is the first player of those four unanimous choices to be drafted this year, and is the 565th overall selection.
"This is a fitting end to a good college career," said head coach Mark O'Brien. "I think he will prove himself to be a very effective professional pitcher for the Phillies organization. He has the character and makeup that clubs are looking for. He is a tenacious competitor that can throw strikes and get people out. I know he will represent Santa Clara Baseball very well and make us all proud."