SANTA CLARA, Calif. – After taking two of three games from Northern Colorado over the weekend, Santa Clara baseball returns to the field for a mid-week game on Tuesday vs. No. 14 Stanford before playing three games with San Jose State. The Broncos will travel for the first time this season on Fri., March 8 and Sun., March 10 when they travel to San Jose State. On Sat., March 9 the Broncos will host the Spartans.
Last week Santa Clara split a two-game series with San Diego State before taking two of three from Northern Colorado over the weekend.
Santa Clara is 162-188-7 all-time vs. Stanford. Last year the Cardinal beat Santa Clara at Schott Stadium 10-5.
The Broncos are 122-83 in their history with San Jose State. In 2012 Santa Clara took two games at home vs. the Spartans but dropped the middle game in San Jose.
"We've had our ups and downs early this season but that's something that we can use to benefit us," said Bronco head coach Dan O'Brien. "We're learning how to take some punches but we need to get to where we can continue to fight and not give in. We've been getting tougher but we'll continue to work at it."
Tommy Nance (1-1, 1.38) has been the most effective Santa Clara starter this season in his three starts. Nance has thrown 13.0 innings and allowed just eight hits and two runs. He has nine strikeouts vs. four walks.
Mike Couch (2-1, 3.43) has started the first three Friday nights for Santa Clara and had his best outing the last time out vs. Northern Colorado. Couch threw 7.0 shutout innings, allowing just five hits with nine strikeouts. Couch leads the team with 21.0 innings pitched and has struck out 17 batters while allowing just 17 hits.
Max Deering (1-1, 2.87) has been lights out coming in from the bullpen. Deering has thrown 15.2 innings over seven appearances and struck out 15 batters against just four walks. He has also collected one save, which is tied with Reece Karalus and D.J. Zapata for the team lead.
"I was really impressed with how the guys commanded their fastballs this last week," said Santa Clara pitching coach Gabe Ribas. "We did a better job of being down in the zone with consistency and we were able to throw our change ups a little bit more. We've still got a long way to go in terms of being consistent with three pitches and being able to gain an advantage but I thought we took a big step forward. We need to continue to do that with great intent everyday."
Santa Clara is hitting .314 as a team with a .404 on-base percentage and a .429 slugging percentage. The Broncos have hit 16 doubles, four triples and eight home runs while scoring 92 runs and stealing 18 bags.
Greg Harisis leads Santa Clara in hitting with a .467 (21-45) batting average. Harisis clubbed his first home run of the season vs. vs. Northern Colorado on March 3. He has added three doubles, one triple, 13 runs scored, nine RBI and three stole bases. His six walks and one hit-by-pitch put his on-base percentage at a whopping .528.
Quinton Perry leads the WCC with five home runs, his total from 2012, while hitting .444 (20-45). Perry has a team-high 17 RBI while adding four doubles and scoring 14 runs. Perry is tied for second on the team with six walks and has a .491 OBP.
Newcomer Casey Munoz has started all 12 games for Santa Clara and is hitting .412 (21-51) with a team-high five doubles, one triple, 11 RBI and six runs scored.
"We're going to continue to work on our situational at-bats and do everything we can to make sure that carries over to the field," said Bronco hitting coach Keith Beauregard. "Being in tough situations when the pressure is on is something we need to embrace. As a team we just need to be consistent which will come in time. We're going to be fine."
The Cardinal are 9-2 this season with both losses coming in the opening weekend at Rice. They have since taken down Cal, Fresno State, Texas and WCC member Saint Mary's.
Stanford is led on offense by Brian Ragira who is hitting .350 (14-40) while starting all 10 games for the Cardinal. Ragira has hit one home run and four doubles while scoring five runs and knocking in five.
Justin Ringo hits .333 (11-33) with a home run, two triples and three doubles. Ringo has scored four runs and driven in five more while leading the team with a .636 slugging percentage.
Danny Diekroeger leads Stanford with two home runs while hitting .302 (13-43). He has added a double, six RBI and seven runs scored.
On the mound the Cardinal have a 1.82 team ERA with 87 strikeouts in 89.0 innings pitched. They have allowed just 67 hits and 23 walks. Opponents are hitting just .210 against the Stanford pitching staff.
Mark Appel (2-1, 1.17), the seventh pick in last year's MLB Draft, has been the Friday night starter for Stanford. Appel has made three starts and tossed two complete games, including a shutout. He has thrown a team-high 23.0 innings with 28 strikeouts, five walks and just 13 hits.
Sam Lindquist (0-0, 2.25) leads the team with two saves in five appearances. He has thrown 8.0 innings and struck out 11 against just two walks while allowing three hits.
Bobby Zarubin (1-0, 0.84) has appeared in two games and thrown 10.2 innings. Zarubin has struck out 14 with two walks and nine hits allowed.
The Spartans started the season with consecutive wins vs. Pacific at home but have lost their last nine games. Three of those losses came at No. 10 Arizona Feb. 20-23. They also lost to WCC member San Francisco 2-1 on Feb. 26.
San Jose State is hitting .261 as a team through 11 games. The Spartans have yet to hit a home run but have two triples, 14 doubles and have scored 44 runs.
Tim Quiery leads the team with a .395 (15-38) average and a .455 on-base percentage. Quiery has two doubles, six runs scored and seven RBIS to go along with a team-best five steals in seven attempts.
Andre Mercurio leads San Jose State with eight runs scored while adding a triple and a stolen base. Mercurio is hitting .326 (14-43) with three RBI and eight runs scored.
On the hill, San Jose State has a 7.01 team ERA and has struck out 42 batters in 93.2 innings while surrendering 45 walks.
D.J. Slaton (0-2, 2.84) leads the Spartans with three starts and 19.0 innings pitched. He has fanned 11 against eight walks and surrendered 13 hits.
Kyle Hassna (1-3, 1.64) leads the team in ERA and has pitched 11.0 innings over four appearances out of the bullpen. He has struck out four with six walks.
The lone Spartan save belongs to Daniel Chavez (0-1, 15.75) who has given up 14 runs in 8.0 innings.