SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Santa Clara baseball will play its second game of the season against San Jose State on Tuesday, this time hosting the Spartans at Stephen Schott Stadium at 6 p.m. PT.
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Games #28 | Home Games #20
Santa Clara, Calif. | Stephen Schott Stadium
All-Time Series: Santa Clara boasts an all-time record of 131-88 against San Jose State in a series that dates back to 1936. The Spartans did win the first matchup of the season (March 29) by a score of 4-2 at Municipal Stadium.
Probable Starters (2017 Stats)
Tuesday, April 4 • 6 p.m. PT
SCU Grant Nechak (1-4, 5.52 ERA) vs. SJSU LHP Graham Gomez (0-1, 6.75 ERA)
Last Time Out
The Broncos lost their opening road series of West Coast Conference action at Portland last weekend. Portland bested SCU on Friday and Sunday but senior right-handed pitcher Jacob Steffens earned the win on Saturday as he threw a complete game and struck out 11 batters.
Santa Clara (6-21) has 15 newcomers on the 2017 squad and many of them 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.
Andre Nnebe, a freshman centerfielder who hails from Oakland, California, boasts the second-best batting average on the squad at .306. He has started every game this season and has recorded 33 hits including seven doubles and three home runs while driving in 15 runs. He has also recorded 58 putouts and three assists.
Brandon Buckley, a freshman out of Kentfield, California, has been a bright spot for SCU out of the bullpen. He has made 11 appearances and pitched 22.2 innings, allowing just seven earned runs (13 runs total) and 19 hits while striking out 33 batters. He also has the best ERA on the team at 2.78.
Catcher Jake MacNichols, a freshman from Napa, California, went deep in his first collegiate at-bat on Feb. 18. He has started 24 of the first 27 games and has hit four home runs on the year. MacNichols also has 186 putouts and 29 assists for a .968 fielding percentage. Opposing baserunners have been caught stealing by MacNichols on 12 occasions this year, the best mark in the WCC.
Broncos in the Field
Junior Jake Brodt has made 116 starts in his career, playing primarily at first base. Brodt has the top batting average on the club at .346 and has recorded 37 hits (107 at-bats). He is first in the West Coast Conference and 14th in the nation with 13 doubles (0.48 per game).
Sophomore infielder John Cresto, a 2016 WCC All-Freshman Team member, is hitting .298, which is the third-best mark on the squad. He has the third-most doubles on the team with six. Cresto has also hit four home runs on the season, which is tied for the most on the team with MacNichols. He is third on the squad with 11 runs batted in.
2016 West Coast Conference Honorable Mention honoree Tyler Meditz, a senior outfielder, has started every game for the Broncos this season. The Honolulu, Hawaii native is hitting .232 on the year. He has hit three home runs on the year and boasts a slugging percentage of .358. He has 57 putouts as the starting left fielder.
Junior designated hitter Niko Holm recovered from a slow start at the plate to have the best on-base percentage on the squad at .409. He has been walked 14 times and hit by a pitch five times on the season. He has a .246 batting average with 17 hits, including five doubles and three runs batted in on the year.
Redshirt freshman Ryan McCarthy has seen time at designated hitter as well lately and has performed well for the Broncos. He owns a .342 batting average, recording 13 hits in 38 at-bats. McCarthy has already hit five doubles, one home run and driven in five runs.
Santa Clara is third in the WCC in home runs (21) and home runs per game (0.78) on the season with nine different student-athletes hitting those home runs.
Broncos on the Mound
Santa Clara is second in the league in strikeouts per nine innings at 8.2.
Redshirt senior RHP Jacob Steffens has stepped into the starting rotation after being a relief pitcher in 2016 (recovering from Tommy John). Steffens threw his first-career complete game against Northwestern (March 3) and tied a career high in strikeouts with 11. Steffens threw another complete game at Portland (April 1), also striking out 11 batters. He has thrown 49.1 innings, allowing 23 earned runs (30 runs total) while striking out 55 batters. His 55 Ks is a top-25 mark in the nation and No. 2 in the conference. Steffens is also second in the league in strikeout-to-walk ratio at 5.50.
Redshirt sophomore RHP Eric Lex has been the No. 2 starter for SCU this season after missing the 2016 season (due to Tommy John surgery). He is 1-5 on the year with a 4.46 ERA in 38.1 innings pitched. He has recorded 39 strikeouts, the fifth-best mark in the league.
Junior Michael Bono has made six starts this season and has shown a lot of improvement in his time as a Bronco. He has thrown 29.2 innings and has an ERA of 6.67.
Freshman Grant Nechak has made four starts on the year and nine appearances total. He earned the first win of his collegiate career on March 4 against Northwestern. Nechak allowed just four hits in his 7.0 innings pitched and struck out eight batters without allowing a single walk in that game. The 6-4 right-handed pitcher is 1-4 on the year and has thrown 29.1 innings with a 5.52 ERA.
With 15 newcomers, the Broncos have a very young squad but the team was also dealt two injury blows prior to the start of the 2017 season. Pitchers Steven Wilson and Travis Howard, both of which were likely to be weekend starters, suffered season-ending injuries.
San Jose State
The San Jose State Spartans enter Tuesday's game with a 10-17 (5-7 MWC) record and have lost eight of their last nine games. The Spartans lead the Mountain West Conference in stolen bases per game on the year at 1.11 (30 total) and are third in sacrifice bunts with 21 total. The pitching staff ranks third in the league in strikeouts per nine innings with a mark of 7.2. They score 4.1 and allow 5.53 earned runs per game.
Taco Tuesday: a full taco bar will be available for purchase for $9 at the game from the concessions stand.
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.
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