SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Santa Clara baseball hosts Pacific in its final home series of the season at Stephen Schott Stadium this weekend. The three-game set begins on Friday at 6 p.m. PT and ends with Senior Day on Sunday at 1 p.m. PT.
Games #46-49 | Home Game #31-33
Santa Clara, Calif. | Stephen Schott Stadium
All-Time Series: The Broncos lead the all-time series against the Tigers 85-46. Pacific won two of three games last year in Stockton, California.
Probable Starters (2017 Stats)
Friday, May 12 • 6 p.m. PT
SCU RHP Grant Nechak (1-6, 5.40 ERA) vs. PAC RHP Ryan Shreve (1-5, 6.35 ERA)
Saturday, May 13 • 7 p.m. PT
SCU RHP Jacob Steffens (3-6, 4.94 ERA) vs. PAC RHP Cooper Casad (2-3, 4.84 ERA)
Sunday, May 14 • 1 p.m. PT • Senior Day
SCU RHP Eric Lex (3-7, 4.15 ERA) vs. PAC LHP Ricky Reynoso (4-6, 4.11 ERA)
Last Time Out
Santa Clara faced two quality opponents last week and struggled to match their offensive firepower. The Broncos lost 16-10 to then-No. 19 Arizona on Monday in a midweek matchup. SCU hit three home runs in the game on 11 hits but it wasn't enough. The Broncos then hosted the leaders of the West Coast Conference in BYU. The Cougars swept the Broncos with wins of 9-3, 13-7 and 8-4.
Jake Brodt had another impressive week at the plate, going 8-for-15 with two doubles and three runs driven in. John Cresto recorded five hits on the week and two of them were home runs, bringing his season total to 10.
Santa Clara (11-35, 7-14 WCC) 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 third-best batting average on the squad at .305. He has started every game this season and has recorded 57 hits including eight doubles and three home runs while driving in 21 runs. He has also recorded 127 putouts and six assists in the outfield.
Brandon Buckley, a freshman out of Kentfield, California, has been a bright spot for SCU out of the bullpen. He has made 16 appearances and pitched 33.1 innings, allowing 11 earned runs (17 runs total) and 24 hits while striking out 44 batters. He also has the second-best ERA on the team at 2.97.
Freshman right-handed pitcher Alonzo Billips, who hails from Los Angeles, California, has made nine appearances out of the bullpen for Santa Clara and thrown 11.1 innings for an ERA of 3.97. He earned two wins at Pepperdine and is now 2-0 for his collegiate career. He has allowed five earned runs (eight total) and 13 hits while striking out five batters.
Catcher Jake MacNichols, a freshman from Napa, California, went deep in his first collegiate at-bat on Feb. 18. He has started 27 games this season (appeared in 38) and has hit five home runs. MacNichols also has 212 putouts and 35 assists for a .972 fielding percentage. Opposing baserunners have been caught stealing by MacNichols on 13 occasions this year, the second-best mark in the WCC.
Broncos in the Field
Sophomore third baseman John Cresto, a 2016 WCC All-Freshman Team member, is hitting .311, which is the second-best mark on the squad. He is second on the team and is tied for sixth in the league in doubles with 15. Cresto has also hit 10 home runs on the season, which is the most on the team and tied for the sixth-best total in the WCC. He is second on the squad in runs driven in with 21.
Junior Jake Brodt has made 135 starts in his career, playing primarily at first base. Brodt has the No. 1 batting average on the club at .324 and has recorded 61 hits. He is second in the West Coast Conference and tied for 26th in the nation with 18 doubles (0.39 per game). Brodt will crack the SCU all-time top-10 list for doubles in a single season if he reaches 20.
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 .237 with six doubles and five home runs while driving in 20 runs on the year. He has 104 putouts as the starting left fielder and two assists.
Junior designated hitter Niko Holm recovered from a slow start at the plate to have the best on-base percentage on the squad at .430 and the No. 4 batting average at .292. He has been walked 21 times and hit by a pitch 12 times on the season. His 12 times being hit by a pitch is a top-50 mark in the nation. The junior has recorded 38 hits (130 at-bats), including seven doubles, a triple, two home runs and nine runs batted in on the year.
Junior second baseman Evan Haberle has a batting average of .281 on the year. He has made 30 starts (played in 38 games) on the season and has recorded 27 hits in 96 at-bats. Haberle has recorded three doubles, a triple and two home runs for SCU while driving in 15 runs. He also has an on-base percentage of .410, drawing 19 walks and reaching base via hit-by-pitch on two occasions.
Junior shortstop Austin Fisher has started in 34 games for SCU and been very steady for the Broncos. He's recorded 56 putouts and 92 assists for a .967 fielding percentage. He has recorded 20 hits at the plate including two doubles, a triple and two home runs while driving in nine runs and scoring 14 himself. He's also walked 12 times and been hit by a pitch once.
Santa Clara is third in the WCC in home runs (41) and home runs per game (0.89) on the season with 13 different student-athletes hitting those home runs.
Broncos on the Mound
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 and earned his third complete-game victory of the season at Pepperdine (April 30). He has thrown 85.2 innings, allowing 47 earned runs (56 runs total) while striking out 84 batters. His 84 Ks rank as the No. 36 mark in the nation and No. 3 in the conference. Steffens is also sixth in the league in strikeout-to-walk ratio at 4.42.
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 3-7 on the year with a 4.15 ERA in 69.1 innings pitched. He has recorded 64 strikeouts, the seventh-best mark in the league. Lex threw a career-high 8.0 innings against San Francisco (April 21) and it was arguably the best outing of his career. He allowed six hits, two earned runs, did not walk a batter and struck out four.
Freshman Grant Nechak has made 10 starts on the year and 16 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. He was handed the loss against San Francisco (April 22) but he had a strong outing, throwing 7.0 innings, allowing just three hits and two earned runs (three total). He walked two batters and struck out four. The 6-4 right-handed pitcher is 1-6 on the year and has thrown 58.1 innings with a 5.40 ERA.
Santa Clara is fifth in the league in strikeouts per nine innings at 7.4.
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.
The Tigers are 16-30 on the year and 4-17 in WCC play. Pacific scores 4.8 runs per game but allows 5.70 for the season. James Free leads the team with a .340 batting average and he has the best on-base percentage at .408. He's hit 12 home runs on the year while Danny Mayer has hit 10. Free's slugging percentage of .647 is tops in the league and No. 39 in the nation.
Hot Chocolate Hitter: Join us every Friday night for the Hot Chocolate Hitters of the game! In each inning, if the leadoff batter for the Broncos gets a base hit, hot chocolate is only $1 at Bronco concessions for the remainder of that half inning. Spice up your hot chocolate with mini marshmallows, whipped cream, chocolate sauce and more!
Strikeouts for Sandwiches presented by Sub Hub: Join us every Friday for Strikeouts for Sandwiches presented by Sub Hub. If the Bronco pitching staff collects at least 5 strikeouts, all fans will go home with a Sub Hub coupon redeemable for a $5 sandwich meal that includes chips and a drink. Sub Hub is located across from campus in the shopping center on the corner of El Camino and Railroad Ave.
Ruff Riders Promotions: Ruff Rider Rewards App Redemption Game: Redeem you RR Rewards points for sweet Ruff Riders swag at the marketing table located in the entrance plaza.
Sub Hub Saturdays: If the Broncos win on Saturday, all fans leave with a buy one, get one 1/2 off Sub Hub coupon. Sub Hub is located across from campus in the shopping center on the corner of El Camino and Railroad Ave.
Baseball Bingo: 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.
Senior Day: Bronco baseball seniors will be honored in a pregame ceremony.
Enter to Win: Stop by the marketing table to enter to win a pair of tickets to see Brad Paisley, Dustin Lynch, and Chase Bryant at Shoreline Amphitheater on Saturday, June 17th. All fans that stop by the marketing table will receive one entry into the raffle.
Ruff Riders Promotions: The first 25 Ruff Riders receive a neon green RR sunglasses.
Ruff Rider Rewards App Redemption Game: Redeem you RR Rewards points for sweet Ruff Riders swag at the marketing table located in the entrance plaza.
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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