Posted: Mar 14, 2018
SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Santa Clara baseball opens West Coast Conference play this weekend against San Diego, coming off a series win over Sacramento State last week. Its midweek game at UC Davis was postponed due to rain. The Broncos won three of four games in the home-and-home series against the Hornets for its third consecutive series win of the season.
Against Sacramento State, the Broncos won the first two games at Schott Stadium to finish the nine game homestand with an 8-1 record. And two teams split the final two games at Joe Smith Field in Sacramento for the Broncos to take the series. Two of the games went to extra innings with the Broncos winning them both in the 10th inning thanks to Jake Brodt's game-winning hits. Closer Eric Lex earned the victory in both extra inning games.
The Broncos are now 11-4 and off its best start since the 2012 team which started the season 13-3. Four of its wins this season have come in extra innings.
Having played 12 of its first 13 games at home, the Broncos are currently in the midst of a five-game road swing, excluding the postponed game against UC Davis.
Games #16 - 18
San Diego | Fowler Park
All-Time Series: Santa Clara trails 58-65, last played in 2017
Friday, March 16 • 6 p.m. PT
SCU RHP Steven Wilson (3-0, 1.74 ERA) vs. San Diego RHP Paul Richan (1-2, 3.12 ERA)
Saturday, March 17 • 5 p.m. PT
SCU RHP Alex Waldsmith (0-1, 2.60 ERA) vs. San Diego LHP Chris Murphy (1-1, 6.43 ERA)
Sunday, March 18 • 1 p.m. PT
SCU TBA vs. San Diego LHP Nick Sprengel (1-0, 2.40 ERA)
•Santa Clara is off to a 11-4 start, its best start since the 2012 season when it went 13-3.
•The Broncos have taken three consecutive series (2-1 series win over Wake Forest Feb.23-25; 3-0 sweep over Utah March 2-4; and 3-1 series win over Sacramento State March 8-11).
•Santa Clara finished its nine game homestand with an 8-1 record. On the season, the Broncos are 9-3 at home and 2-1 on the road.
•The Broncos are 4-0 in extra inning games this season with three of them coming off in walk-off fashion (Feb. 24 vs Wake Forest in 14 innings; March 4 vs Utah in 12 innings; March 8 vs Sacramento State in 10 innings, March 10 at Sacramento State in 10 innings).
•Bronco pitching staff has a cumulative 3.12 ERA with 13 pitchers seeing action on the mound.
•John Cresto hit a home run in four consecutive games, all solo shots, from Feb. 23 - 27. He hit one in each game of the Wake Forest series as well as in the midweek game against Nevada.
•Joe Becht has reached base safely in all 15 games this season.
•Closer Eric Lex recorded a save in three consecutive games from Feb. 27 - March 4.
Pitching By Committee
•Six innings is the most a Bronco pitcher has pitched in a game this season when Alex Waldsmith pitched against Sacramento State (March 10).
• Five innings is the seconds most a Bronco pitcher has pitched in a game this season. Waldsmith (Feb. 18 vs Boston College) and Travis Howard (March 4 vs Utah DH2) went five innings in their starts.
•Penn Murfee and Cade Negley each pitched five innings apiece in relief to earn wins in the two extra-inning wins for the Broncos. Murfee picked up the win against Wake Forest on Feb. 24 in a game the Broncos won in the bottom of the 14th inning. Negley got his win against Utah in the second game of the doubleheader on March 4 on a walk-off win in the 12th. Howard pitched five innings in in relief against Sacramento State (March 8).
•Offensively the Broncos have 10 players returning from 2017 that started more than 20 games and 16 players that recorded an at-bat.
•Seven of those players started 30 or more games.
•On the mound, the Broncos return nine pitchers including six who played last season, three returning from injuries (Steven Wilson, Freddie Erlandson, Travis Howard), along with a transfer from Vanderbilt (Penn Murfee).
•Senior first baseman Jake Brodt and junior third baseman John Cresto were named preseason All-West Coast Conference. Last season, Brodt was named first team All-WCC with Cresto being named honorable mention All-WCC.
•Sixth-year senior right-handed pitcher Steven Wilson and senior first baseman Jake Brodt were named captains for the 2018 Santa Clara squad.
Brodt's Two Grand Slams In One Inning
•Brodt hit two grand slams in the seventh inning on Feb. 17 against Boston College, becoming just the seventh Division I player to accomplish the feat since the NCAA began keeping records in 1957. He is the first to do so since 2000 when T.J. Soto of Louisiana Tech did it against Western
•Brodt's first grand slam came with the Broncos trailing 9-7 in the seventh inning and put them up for good. His second grand slam came with the Broncos up 16-9. In the first inning, Brodt hit a sacrifice fly for the first RBI of the game and in the sixth, Brodt hit a solo home run to finish the game 3-for-5 with three home runs and 10 RBIs.
•The Huntington Beach, California native's two grand slams in an inning was featured on ESPN's SportsCenter and was named NCBWA National Hitter of the Week and Rawlings West Coast Conference Player of the Week.
•Sixth-year senior right-handed pitcher Steven Wilson made his first appearance out of the bullpen since 2014 in the season opener against Boston College (Feb. 16). He made first start of the year a week later against Wake Forest (Feb. 23), picking up the win/
•Wilson, redshirt sophomore right-handed pitchers Travis Howard and Freddie Erlandson returned to action in the season opening series against Boston College after missing all of last season due to injuries.
•Junior right-handed pitcher Luke Martin-Resnick and sophomore Alex Waldsmith each made their first career starts in the season opening series against Boston College (Feb. 16 & 17)
•Senior outfielder Anthony Geremia made his first career start at center field on Feb. 17.
•Erlandson was the pitcher on record in Rusty Filter's first win as Santa Clara head coach on Feb. 17.
•Sophomore Jason Dicochea hit his first collegiate home run vs San Jose State (Feb. 20).
•Fifth-year senior Penn Murfee picked up his first career save against San Jose State (Feb. 20) dating back to his days at Vanderbilt. Four days later, Murfee got his first career win against Wake Forest (Feb. 24) shutting out the Demon Deacons in the last five innings of the 14th inning walk-off win by the Broncos.
•Freshman right-handed pitcher Cade Negley made his Bronco debut when he came in relief on opening day (Feb. 16) pitching an inning and giving up a hit and striking out a batter.
•Negley got his first win as a Bronco on March 4 vs Utah, pitching the last five innings in the 12th inning walk-off win.
•Negley picked up his first Bronco save against Sacramento State (March 9) pitching the last four innings to close out the game.
•Freshman catcher Tony Boetto got a single in his first two at-bats on Feb. 17. He also made his first career start against San Jose State (Feb. 20) behind the dish.
•Penn Murfee, a fifth-year senior transfer from Vanderbilt made his Bronco debut in relief on Feb. 17.
•Freshman RHP Kent Morrison and LHP Eric Madric made their Bronco debuts in relief on Feb. 25 against Wake Forest.
•Freshman Cory Moore made his Bronco debut on March 4 in game one of the doubleheader against Utah.
About San Diego
•The Toreros entered the 2018 campaign with 19 players back from last year's 35-18-1 ball club (18-9 WCC), including the three starting pitchers in junior LHP Nick Sprengel, sophomore LHP Chris Murphy and junior RHP Paul Richan.
•The Toreros placed three players on the 2018 Preseason All-West Coast Conference team: Sprengel, Murphy and UTL Jay Schuyler.
•USD returns five position players that started a majority of the games in 2017: junior UTL Jay Schuyler (.352 b.a., 53 starts), junior INF Jeff Houghtby (.263 b.a., 54 starts), junior INF Brhet Bewley (.257 b.a., 37 starts), sophomore INF Paul Kunst (.250 b.a., 46 starts) and junior OF Kevin Collard (.288 b.a., 27 starts).
•USD's top returner out of the bullpen is sophomore RHP Louie Crow (3-2, 3.67 ERA, 41 K's).
•USD has 16 new players to the program.