SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Santa Clara baseball begins the 2017 season this weekend by facing a reigning NCAA Tournament participant in the No. 12 Washington Huskies. The Broncos and Huskies will play a four-game series Saturday-Monday at Stephen Schott Stadium. This is the third year in a row that SCU has opened the season against an NCAA Tournament team.
In 2016, SCU made the trip to Washington and won one of the three games played. The Huskies lead the all-time series that dates back to 1960, 14-8.
|Live Stats||Saturday Game 1
Saturday Game 2
Games #1-4 | Home Games #1-4
Santa Clara, Calif. | Stephen Schott Stadium
All-Time Series: Washington Leads 14-8
Probable Starters (2016 Stats)
Saturday, Feb. 18 • 3 p.m. PT
SCU RHP Jacob Steffens (1-1, 5.40 ERA) vs. WASH RHP Noah Bremer (4-5, 2.98 ERA)
Saturday, Feb. 18 • 30 minutes after game one ends
SCU RHP Eric Lex (missed 2016 due to injury, 4-4, 4.42 ERA in 2015) vs. WASH RHP Joe DeMers (3-5, 6.91 ERA)
Sunday, Feb. 19 • 3 p.m. PT
SCU RHP Grant Nechak (Freshman) vs. WASH RHP Josh Burgmann (Freshman)
Monday, Feb. 20 • 6 p.m. PT
SCU TBD vs. WASH TBD
Santa Clara went 23-29 (10-17 WCC) in 2016 and welcomes 15 newcomers to the 2017 squad, many of which will play significant roles this season. "We really focused on getting humble, hard working, grinders," head coach Dan O'Brien said on Feb. 14 at Bay Area Baseball Media Day. "It's so easy to say in front of a microphone and it sounds so good to say but I told our club the other night at our banquet that I've never been more excited to coach a club in my entire life."
Broncos in the Field
2016 West Coast Conference Honorable Mention honoree Tyler Meditz, a junior outfielder made 46 appearances and 41 starts for SCU last season. The Honolulu, Hawai'I native hit .284 with seven doubles, two triples, five home runs, 26 RBI, 25 runs scored and 20 walks in 2016. He also led the Broncos with a .468 slugging percentage.
Sophomore infielder John Cresto, a 2016 WCC All-Freshman Team member, made 49 appearances and 45 starts for the Broncos. He hit .263 for the 2016 season with six doubles, three triples (tied for the team lead), a team-high six home runs, 20 RBIs and 26 runs scored. Cresto also went 4-for-6 on stolen base attempts and finished second on the team with 16 multi-hit games.
Junior Jake Brodt has made 89 starts in his career, playing primarily at first base. He hit .231 with seven doubles, four home runs (tied for third on the team), 22 RBI and 25 runs scored while also going 5-for-6 on stolen base attempts.
Junior outfielder Grant Meylan has made 87 career starts and hit .274 with two doubles, nine RBI, 17 runs scored (second on the Broncos) and 24 walks in 2016.
Santa Clara recorded 14 triples last year, the third-best mark in the West Coast Conference. SCU was also fourth in the league in stolen bases with 49.
Broncos on the Mound
Redshirt senior RHP Jacob Steffens is now two years removed from his season-ending Tommy John surgery in 2015 and will step into the starting rotation after being a relief pitcher in 2016. Steffens made 13 appearances in 2016 and went 1-1 with a 5.40 ERA, 15 strikeouts and seven walks in 21.2 innings. In 2015, he made four appearances, all as a starter and went 2-2 with a 3.51 ERA and 29 strikeouts against just four walks in 25.2 innings.
Junior RHP Eric Lex spent the 2016 season recovering from Tommy John surgery. He made 12 appearances and 10 starts as a freshman in 2015, posing a 4-4 record with a 4.42 ERA. He struck out 23 and walked 22 in 53.0 innings.
Freshman Grant Nechak, the probable Sunday starter, is a 6-4 RHP out of Calabasas High School. Nechak is one of seven freshmen pitchers on the 2017 squad. Junior Michael Bono will also see time on the mound this season after making eight appearances (three starts) in 2016 and six appearances in 2015.
Santa Clara led the league in 2016 in saves with 16. The Bronco pitching staff allowed just 89 doubles (third-best in WCC) and 11 triples (fourth-best in WCC) on the year.
The 12th-ranked (BaseballAmerica.com) Huskies are comprised of 17 returners and 18 newcomers. The group of returners includes every starter in the field except 2016 All-Pac-12 third baseman Chris Baker. The pitching staff returns Noah Bremer and Joe DeMers, who combined to make every Friday-Saturday start during the season. The five returning pitchers combined to throw 250.2 out of 511.2 inning from last season. The Huskies do have to replace unanimous All-American Troy Rallings, who was 4-1 with a 0.89 ERA and 16 saves in 2016.
The 18 newcomers are ranked as high as 9th by Baseball America for best recruiting classes. There are three redshirt-freshmen, one junior-college transfer and 14 true freshmen on the Huskies' roster.
The Huskies, who are picked to finish fourth in the Pac-12 by the league's coaches, return two players that earned All-Pac-12 honors in 2016: outfielder Jack Meggs and catcher Joey Morgan. Meggs also earned All-Pac-12 Defensive Team honors. Pitcher Noah Bremer, first baseman John Naff and second baseman Levi Jordan each earned honorable mention All-Pac-12.
UW (33-23, 17-13 Pac-12) fought all the way until the end last year, finishing second in the Conference behind champion Utah after dropping the final game of the series on the last day of the season to the Utes. The Huskies earned their 10th all-time NCAA bid and were sent to Nashville, Tenn., where they went 1-2. Their lone win eliminated host Vanderbilt from the tournament.
Santa Clara Baseball magnets to all fans while supplies last. First 100 fans through the gates will receive Cracker Jacks.
Ruff Riders only:
Enter to win the first installment of the Shoreline Country MegaTicket concert giveaway series. Tonight features a pair of tickets to Lady Antebellum featuring Kelsea Ballerini and Brett Young. Wear your Ruff Riders t-shirt and hat to the game for TWO additional entries into the country concert raffle.
First 50 fans through the gates will receive a free hot dog at Bronco Concessions.
Sub Hub Saturday:
If the Broncos win, all fans will leave the stadium with a Buy One, Get One 1/2 voucher to Sub Hub located on the corner of El Camino and Railroad Ave, directly across from the main entrance to campus.
First 50 fans through the gates will receive a free mini apple pie.
Pick up a baseball bingo card at the marketing table and follow along while the Broncos are at-bat for your chance to win a prize.
Parking: Parking is now available in the Guadalupe lot, adjacent to 455 El Camino Real. The Guadalupe lot is reserved beginning 60 minutes before game time through the end of the event for free parking. Baseball parking is no longer allowed in the lot behind Schott Stadium's left field wall. Overflow parking is available in the Leavey Center lot. Spectators that plan to arrive more than an hour prior to game time on weekdays are encouraged to purchase a parking permit for the Leavey lot. All SCU lot parking is free on weekends. ADA parking is available in the lot directly in front of the main gates; there is no general public parking in this lot. Follow signs for parking instructions.
Connect with the Broncos on Social Media