Posted: May 16, 2018
SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Santa Clara (25-24, 11-13 WCC) travels to Gonzaga (27-21, 14-10 WCC) this weekend for the final regular season series. The Broncos currently sit in sixth place in the conference standings but can still make the West Coast Conference Tournament by finishing in the top four if it sweeps the Zags and Loyola Marymount loses one game to Saint Mary's in its weekend series at Los Angeles. The Broncos have won its last three conference series as well as sweeping the home-and-home series with Cal Poly to go 9-3 in the last 12 games to put themselves in the current position. Meanwhile, Gonzaga who has relied on its league leading pitching and defense, needs one win in the series against Santa Clara to clinch a berth in the conference tournament.
This Week in Bronco Baseball
• The Broncos are 10-12 on the road this season while the Zags are 10-3 at home.
• Gonzaga (27-21, 14-10 WCC) needs one win in the series against Santa Clara to clinch a berth in the WCC Tournament. The Zags have won its last three series including two against WCC opponents, LMU and San Diego. Gonzaga beat New Mexico State over the weekend in a late season non-confrence series.
• The Zags are batting .259 as a team. Ernie Yake leads the team with a .325 batting average with Jake Vieth and Branson Trube providing the power with eight and seven home runs each combining to hit more than half the team's home run total (28). Trevin Esquerra tops the team in RBIs with 32.
•Gonzaga leads the conference with a 3.08 ERA and has thrown 30 fewer walks than its opponents and holding the opponents to a .243 batting average. Its weekend starters, all righties, Daniel Bies (5-4, 2.59 ERA), Alek Jacob (5-5, 3.20 ERA) and Mac Lardner (6-2, 2.40 ERA) have combined to start in 38 games this season posting a 16-11 record with each having a sub-3.20 ERA along with six complete games. Bies has struck out 94 hitters in 90 1/3 innings while walking just 18. Casey Legumina is the closer with 13 saves to go along with his 2-2 record, 2.38 ERA in 22 apperances. The sophomore right-hander has struck out 48 batters in 41 2/3 innings while walking five.
•Defensively, the Zags rank first in the conference in fielding percentage at .984 with the fewest errors at 27, fourteen less than the second best fielding team, Pepperdine.
Last Week in Bronco Baseball
• Santa Clara won three of four games last week, losing a midweek game to Stanford on the road and sweeping WCC foe LMU at home over the weekend for its third consecutive WCC series win.
• Against the No. 2 Cardinal, Santa Clara had opportunities to score early, putting multiple runners on base in each of the first three innings and four of the first five, but could not push a run across, getting shut out 9-0.
• In the series opener against LMU on Friday, Bronco right fielder Matt Smithwick had a game ending diving catch with runners at first and second to preserve Santa Clara's 4-3 win.
• On Saturday, Santa Clara scored four runs in the bottom of the seventh, including a bases clearing double by Jake MacNichols to come from behind to take down LMU 6-3.
• Sunday's series finale was Senior Day where 13 Bronco seniors - Alex Barden, Joe Becht, Jake Brodt, Lucas Eliason, Austin Fisher, Anthony Geremia, Evan Haberle, Niko Holm, Eric Lex, Grant Meylan, Penn Murfee, Matt Smithwick and Steven Wilson - were recognized in a pregame ceremony. Santa Clara started an all senior lineup including pitcher Alex Barden who got the starting nod. The senior left-hander responded allowing just two runs on two hits over five innings to earn his first career win in the 5-2 victory. Senior reliever Penn Murfee closed out the game to earn the save with the first three runs driven in by senior Jake Brodt, including the go-ahead run scored by senior Anthony Geremia.
Spokane, Wash. | Patterson Baseball Complex & Coach Steve Hertz Field
All-Time Series: Santa Clara trails 43-49. The teams first played in 1973 and last played in 2017.
Friday, May 18 • 6 p.m. PT
SCU RHP Travis Howard (3-1, 4.82 ERA) vs. Gonzaga TBA
Saturday, May 19 • 6 p.m. PT
SCU TBA vs. Gonzaga TBA
Sunday, May 20 • Noon PT
SCU TBA vs. Gonzaga TBA
|Live Stream / Video|
ABOUT SANTA CLARA
•With three games remaining in the 52 game season, the Broncos have improved by 12 games in the overall win column (seven games in the home win column and five games in the road win column) and two games in the conference win column over last season's record when it played 53 games.
•At this time there is no make-up game scheduled for the UC Davis game which was postponed back on March 13.
Among League Leaders
•Santa Clara leads the WCC in: home runs (46), HBP (79) and scoring (5.5 runs).
•Broncos are second in the WCC in: runs with 270 (behind San Diego 297).
•Brodt is second in the WCC in RBIs with 54 behind Pepperdine's Jordan Qsar (58).
•Brodt is second in the conference in slugging percentage at .561 behind BYU's Brock Hale (.565).
•Santa Clara got off to a 14-5 start, its best start since the 2012 season when it went 13-3.
•The Broncos won four of the first five weekend series including four consecutive (2-1 series win over Wake Forest Feb.23-25; 3-0 sweep over Utah March 2-4; 3-1 series win over Sacramento State March 8-11; and 2-1 series win over San Diego March 16-18), before losing the series against Saint Mary's March 23-25.
•Among WCC schools, Santa Clara has the second most non-conference wins this season with 14 behind Saint Mary's who have won 16.
Tale of Three Seasons
•After starting the season 14-5, at one point winning four straight series and seven games in a row, the Broncos slumped winning just two out of the next 18 games including losing nine in a row. In the last 12 games, Santa Clara has won nine, including three consecutive conferences series wins against San Francisco and Pacific on the road as well as sweeping the home-and-home series against Cal Poly before sweeping LMU.
One and Two Run Games
•The Broncos have played a total of 25 one and two run game, or just over half its games (25 out of 49) posting a 10-5 record in one run games and 4-6 record in two run games.
Extra Inning Magic
•The Broncos are 6-1 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). It won its first four extra-inning games before losing to BYU on game one of the double header on April 6.
Santa Clara has won the last two extra inning games coming on back-to-back games at San Francisco (April 27 & 28).
•Joe Becht has safely reached base in 47 of 49 games this season.
His 36 consecutive games bases reached streak came to an end against Washington State on April 22, having safely reached base in the first 36 games of the season. (Got a hit in 25 games, drew a walk in 10 games he did not get a hit in and was hit by a pitch in the other game he did not get a hit or walk). The only other game Becht failed to reach base safely was against Stanford on May 8.
•Jason Dicochea's 27 consecutive games bases reached streak came to an end against LMU last Sunday after going 0-for-2 after being inserted in the game in the seventh inning.
•Grant Meylan's 20 consecutive games bases reached streak came to an end against Pepperdine on April 13.
•Santa Clara had won six consecutive one-run games before losing to Saint Mary's, 6-5, on March 24. The Broncos are now 10-5 in one-run games.
•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.
•Closer Eric Lex recorded a save in three consecutive games from Feb. 27 - March 4.
•The Broncos had a season-high seven game win streak from Feb. 27 - March 10 and a nine game losing streak from March 31 - April 15.
•Sixth-year senior right-handed pitcher Steven Wilson and senior first baseman Jake Brodt were named captains for the 2018 Santa Clara squad.
•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.
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.
In Season Accolades
•Jake Brodt has twice been named the WCC Player of the Week this season on Feb. 19 after his two grand slam in an inning game and a month later on March 19 after going 5-for-14 with three doubles, two home runs and drove in seven runs against San Diego while playing first and third base.
Brodt In Bronco Record Books
•Entering the Gonzaga series, Brodt needs four more at-bats to crack the top ten in all-time Bronco at-bats. Brodt currently has 730 at-bats trailing tenth place Kevin Okimoto (1996-99) by four and ninth place Jason Matteucci (2003-06) by nine.
•Brodt has 53 career doubles, good for fourth all-time in the Bronco record books. He is one behind Jack Headley (2000-03) for the third spot.
•With 26 career home runs, Brodt is tied for eighth all-time along with Jim Wallace (2000-03) and Eric Newton (2003-06). His next home run will tie Rob Austin (1965-67) for the seventh spot.
•Brodt is ninth on the all-time RBI list with 137, trailing Ray Williamson (1983-86) and Tommy Medica (2007-10) by one for a seventh place tie.
•Brodt has 82 extra base hits, putting him in fourth place, two behind Troy Buckley (1987-89) for third place.
•Brodt's 14 home runs this season is tied for sixth in the all-time single season Broncos record alongside Kevin Dunton (1985) and Eric Newton (2006).
Cresto In Bronco Record Books
•With 28 career home runs, John Cresto is tied for fifth all-time in the Bronco record books along with Mike Macfarlane (1983-85) and Mark Lewis (1988-91). With two more home runs, he will tie Gene Delyon (1971-74) and Ray Williamson (1983-85) for a tied in the third spot.
Hit By Pitch
•On Feb. 17, Boston College hit 10 Bronco players, tying an NCAA Division I record along with Baylor vs. TCU, March 6, 2012; Saint Joseph's vs. Fordham, April 5, 2009; Washington vs. Rice, May 22, 1998.
•Seven Broncos were hit in an inning (in the seventh) of the Feb. 17 game, breaking the NCAA Division I record (Previous record: 6—Hawaii vs. Hawaii Hilo, Feb. 8, 1998 (eighth inn.)
•Santa Clara is 20th in the nation (out of 297) in being hit by a pitch with 79. New Mexico State is first with 105.
•Jason Dicochea leads the team in HBP with 11 followed by Matt Smithwick with 10. Three Broncos - Joe Becht, Grant Meylan, and Niko Holm- are third on the team in HBPs with nine each.
•Head coach Rusty Filter is in his first season with Santa Clara. Filter picked up his first career head coaching win on Feb. 17 against Boston College.
oEach member of his coaching staff is in their first season with Santa Clara and was selected in the MLB draft.
oFilter himself was selected in the 35th round of the 1990 MLB draft by the Toronto Blue Jays as a pitcher.
oFilter will make the mound visits and signal pitching changes. Filter coached third for two games this season (vs Pepperdine on April 13 & 14)
•Assistant coach and recruiting coordinator Jon Karcich coached alongside Filter at Stanford from 2015 – 17.
oKarcich returns to his alma mater where he played for the Broncos from 2007 – 09 where he was a two-time All-West Coast Conference honoree.
oKarcich was selected in the seventh round of the 2009 MLB draft by the California Angels as an infielder.
oKarcich coaches the infielders and serves as the bench coach but will occasionally coach first.
•Assistant coach BK Santy, a former catcher at Washington, coaches the catchers and outfielders as well as serving as the third base coach.
oSanty was selected in the 30th round of the 2012 MLB draft by the Minnesota Twins as a catcher.
•Assistant coach Greg Gonzalez, a former pitcher at Fresno State, serves as the first base coach and an occasional bench coach.
oGonzalez was selected in the 15th round of the 2011 MLB draft by the San Diego Padres as a pitcher.