April 17, 2012

Santa Clara Baseball Faces Cal, Pepperdine This Week

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SANTA CLARA, Calif. – For the second time in a week Santa Clara baseball will take on Cal in a midweek game. The Broncos will play at Cal on Tue., Arpil 17 at 3 p.m. before returning home to play Pepperdine over the weekend.

Santa Clara is 18-15 overall with a 1-8 mark in the WCC. Last week the Broncos took a mid-week game vs. Cal before being swept by Gonzaga on the road.

Cal is 19-15 and 4-8 in the very competitive Pac-12. After falling 8-5 at Santa Clara on April 11, the Bears returned home to take two of three from Washington over the weekend. 

Pepperdine is 22-14 overall with a 5-4 mark in the West Coast Conference, good for sixth place. To open the season Pepperdine hosted Oklahoma and won two out of three games. The Waves went on the road in a midweek game last week and defeated UC Riverside 8-7. After returning home, Pepperdine took two of three vs. WCC opponent Portland, including a doubleheader sweep on Sat., April 14.

Fans should keep an eye on SantaClaraBroncos.com, @SCUBroncos and @SCU_Baseball on twitter or the athletics Facebook fan page for in game updates.

BRONCO PITCHING
Junior RHP Tommy Nance (3-2; 3.19) has lived up to the title of Friday night starter for the Broncos in 2012. He has made eight starts while also appearing in relief once. Nance leads the team with 59.1 innings pitched and is second with 32 strikeouts. He has walked 21 while allowing a .245 batting average against. He is tied for second on the team in wins, behind WCC Pitcher of the Month for February LHP Powell Fansler

Fansler has been very good as Santa Clara's mid-week starter. He has a team-high five wins and an ERA of 3.54. In 11 appearances, including seven starts, he has tossed 43.2 innings while striking out 20 and walking just nine. Fansler was named WCC Pitcher of the Month for February when he picked up four wins while making two starts and appearing twice in relief.

RHP Mike Couch (1-5; 4.38) threw his first complete game and first career shutout vs. San Jose State on Mar. 4. He allowed six hits and one walk while striking out seven. Converting from a bullpen role in 2011, Couch has made eight starts and thrown 51.1 innings. His 33 strikeouts lead team and he has only allowed 12 walks.

RHP Paul Twining (3-2; 2.82) has been one of the top bullpen arms thus far for Coach O'Brien. Twining has made 17 appearances, including one start, to lead the team. He has struck out 21 batters in 22.1 innings. He also leads the team with six saves. He pitched the ninth inning in each of the four Santa Clara games in the third annual Jack Gifford Memorial Tournament from Mar. 8-11, picking up three saves.

The other stellar bullpen arm has been LHP Max Deering (2-2; 1.88). Deering has appeared in 17 games spanning 28.2 innings. He has surrendered 27 hits and struck out 15 while only walking six. Deering is second on the team with three saves.

BRONCO OFFENSE
Offensively, OF Lucas Herbst and OF Pat Stover have paced the Broncos thus far in 2012. Herbst leads the team with .388 batting average (33-85). He has scored a team-high 20 runs and added 14 RBI while hitting six doubles and four triples. With six walks and four HBP, his on-base percentage stands at a terrific .443 which has helped him steal four bases. Stover is hitting .272 (34-125). Stover is second on the team  with 22 RBI and has also scored 19 runs. He has six doubles and three home runs. His eight steals in 10 attempts are second on the team. 

Others doing well include 1B Andrew Biancardi who has a team-best four home runs and four doubles while adding a team-high 23 RBI and scoring 17 runs. C Peter Summerville has started to pick up more at-bats and is making the most of his opportunity. In 21 games, including 17 starts, Summerville is third on the team with a .313 batting average (20-64). He went 3-3 performance at San Jose State on Mar. 3. 2B Evan Peters hit a big triple against Illinois-Chicago on Feb. 26 to help Santa Clara come back from five runs down late in the game.

INF/OF Greg Harisis has started 10 games while making 19 appearances overall and leads the team with a .436 (17-39) batting average. He has scored 11 runs to go with three RBI and two doubles. He has an eye-popping .511 on-base percentage that is helped by is five walks.

SCOUTING CAL
The Golden Bears have several players tearing the cover off the ball. INF Tony Renda leads the team with a .365 batter average (50-137) and a .447 on-base percentage. He has smacked nine doubles and four home runs to go along with 17 RBI and 27 runs scored. He has also swiped nine bases in 10 attempts. 

Right behind Renda is OF Vince Bruno who is hitting .352 (44-125). He has 15 RBI and a team-high 27 runs scored. He has two triples, four doubles and a home run.

INF Mitch Delfino has crushed four homers and seven doubles to put his slugging percentage at .487. He has 21 RBI and 16 runs scored. Also showing impressive power is OF Chad Bunting who has five home runs to lead Cal. He is only hitting .246 (31-126) but leads the team with 26 RBI and has scored 21 runs.

RHP Matt Flemer has been the ace for the Bears. In his eight starts and a team-high 67.0 innings pitched, he has a 5-2 record with a 2.15 ERA. He also leads the team with 39 strikeouts against just eight walks.

Out of the bullpen RHP Joey Donofrio has been the go-to-guy for head coach David Esquer. Donofrio has posted a 2.35 ERA in 15 games covering 23.0 innings. He has 23 strikeouts and seven walks.

RHP Logan Scott has been the Cal closer, picking up six saves in 16 appearances, including one start which came against Santa Clara, with a 4.37 ERA and 12 strikeouts in 22.2 innings.

SCOUTING PEPPERDINE
The Pepperdine offense is sparked by INF Joe Sever and INF Zach Vincej who have both started all 36 games. Sever leads the team with a .375 (54-144) average and a .452 on-base percentage. He has scored 27 runs, good for second on the team, and has three home runs and nine doubles to accompany his 32 RBI. He is also a perfect 4-4 in stolen bases and has a team-high .500 slugging percentage. 

Vincej has a .350 (50-143) average which puts him second on the team. He has scored a team-high 33 runs scored and has knocked in 16 more. He has one home run and 12 doubles to go with four steals.

As a team Pepperdine has slugged an impressive 16 home runs. Nine Waves have at least one home run and Sever, INF Miles Silverstein and 1B Sam Meyer have three each while INF Austin Davidson has two.

On the mound RHP Jon Moscot has thrown three complete games in nine starts. He is 4-3 with a team-best 2.81 ERA in 67.1 innings. He has 63 strikeouts versus 13 walks.

RHP Corey Miller has made nine starts and appeared in 11 games while pitching 61.1 innings. He leads the team with five wins and has a 3.96 ERA.

The Waves have split closer duties between RHP Michael Swanner and LHP Aaron Brown who both have four saves. Swanner has appeared in a team-high 15 games over 16.1 innings. He has struck out 10 and walked eight with a 3.86 ERA.

Brown has a 4.50 ERA in 10.0 innings over eight appearances. He has struck out 13 batters and walked five.

BEATING QUALITY OPPONENTS
Santa Clara came out of the gates in 2012 ready to play. Thus far they have defeated No. 35 Texas State, No. 37 Wichita State and a Cal Poly team who swept Oklahoma State in three games and the Broncos WCC rival LMU in a four game series. The Brocnos also beat 2011 College World Series participant Cal on April 11. Santa Clara has taken down six teams with a winning record. 

Below are the teams with winning records the Broncos have beaten in 2012 and their current records.

Team

Wins 

Losses 

Outcomes 

Texas State

20 

15 

Won 5-4 (13) 

Wichita State

22 

17 

Won 8-5 

Cal Poly

21 

13 

Won 5-2 and 11-6 

Nevada

19 

16 

Won 8-4 

Portland

20 

11 

Won 5-4 

Cal

19 

15 

Won 8-5 

A REDSHIRT NO MORE
OF Justin Gisch was one of three redshirts who began the year with the Broncos, along with IF Anthony Hascheff and 2B Tyler Olivet. He had been working the camera in the press box during the season. Due to injuries Gisch was added to the active roster vs. Portland on Fri., Mar. 30. He made his first start April 1 and doubled in his first collegiate at-bat to knock in a run for the Broncos and jump start the offense to a 5-4 win vs. Portland. The win marked the first conference win of the season for the Broncos and their first home conference win since a 12-6 victory vs. San Francisco on May 9, 2010. It was also O'Brien's first WCC win. 

"I was so excited when I found out I was starting," said Gisch after hit first start. "Lucas Herbst came up to me and told me I had to go check out the line-up. At first I thought it was an April Fool's joke but it turned out I was really in the line-up and I was thrilled and to contribute to the team on the field was even better. We had struggled to score all weekend so it was important to score quickly. We kept saying it was a dogfight all day because they kept coming back. We just stayed positive in the dugout and we grinded out the win."

POWELL FANSLER NAMED WCC PITCHER OF THE MONTH FOR FEBRUARY
Santa Clara baseball went 7-2 in new head coach Dan O'Brien's first month on the Mission Campus and LHP Powell Fansler was named the West Coast Conference Pitcher of the Month for February. He picked up four of the seven Bronco wins while making two starts and appearing twice in relief. 

"Being honored as the WCC Pitcher of the Month is indescribable but the award should be given not just to myself but to my team as well," said Fansler. "When I'm on the mound I really focus on executing the pitches that my coach calls. In addition, I have developed a routine that I stick to everyday and when something doesn't feel right I can look to my routine to find out what the problem might be. As for the team dynamic, I have a defense that I know works just as hard as I do, in practice and during the game, it makes pitching a lot easier. Our team mentality is completely different this year and it started with the new energy of the team and coaches. We love to have fun. Furthermore, the coaching staff has fostered a brotherhood that is unbreakable, because of this companionship each and every one of us has grown closer. We trust each other. Thus, the success that the team has been having is a result of the our attitude, trust, and hard work."

"This is great for the program but mostly it's great for Powell," said first-year Bronco pitching coach Gabe Ribas. " I saw a guy who was will to throw strikes and compete in the zone. I think he's done a great job of that all year. He's also done a great job pitching in pressure situations with runners on. He's come out and made some great changes and he's really mindful of where he wants to go this year. He earned it and hopefully we have a bundle more of those coming. Although he's stood out for us, everybody's done a great job. It's great to get individual awards but those are for the individuals. We're a team-oriented program and hopefully we'll get some team awards, too."

Fansler was dazzling for the month, making two starts and two relief appearances. He posted a 2.65 ERA to go along with his four wins. In 17.0 innings pitched he allowed 16 hits and struck out nine against only two walks.

His best start game vs. Nevada on Feb. 28 at Schott Stadium. He scattered five hits over 7.0 shutout innings and struck out three with only one walk.

MOVING DOWN THE ALAMEDA
The 2011-12 Santa Clara baseball team has three members that all played their high school baseball just down the Alameda at Bellarmine College Prep. Freshman Matt Glomb, sophomore Kyle DeMerritt and junior Mike Couch all played at the Jesuit prep school that is just 1.5 miles from the Mission campus. DeMerritt and Glomb played together at Bellarmine, while DeMerritt appeared on the same varsity team as Couch during his sophomore season. Bellarmine, a typical feeder for many Santa Clara students, has funneled many players into a Bronco uniform. Since 2005, each Santa Clara baseball team has had at least two former Bells on its roster with six wearing the Santa Clara uniform in 2009. The Bells have given Santa Clara two Louisville Slugger Freshman All-Americans – DeMerritt (2010-11 season) and Tommy Medica '09 (2006-07 season). 

BROTHERLY LOVE
Twin brothers OF Matt Ozanne and 3B/DH Drew Ozanne look to continue to produce offensively for the Broncos. Matt started 45 games last season and lead the team with 10 stolen bases and added 22 RBI.  He has appeared in 28 games, making 26 starts, in 2012. He has one home run, one triple and four doubles to go with 11 RBI and 12 runs scored. He has stolen a team-high nine bases in 12 attempts. Drew started 29 games, appearing in 37. He had 16 RBI on the season, including a walk-off RBI single against Bakersfield. This season Drew has appeared in 18 games while making six starts. He has scored seven runs and added three RBI. The brothers batted back-to-back in the lineup three times last season and look to anchor the offense in 2012. He has made three appearances. 

LISTEN UP
Eight select Bronco baseball games, four non-conference and four conference, in 2012 will be called on the Broncos' online Game Central via Stretch internet, for the first time since 2010. All eight broadcast will be done by a two-man student broadcast affiliated with Santa Clara's athletic department. The crew includes John Nash , a junior on the Santa Clara men's water polo team and an Athletic Department student employee, and Brandon Rebboah, also an Athletic Department student employee. In addition to the eight broadcasted games, all home games will have free video streaming via Game Central. The remaining games to be aired will be April 20 vs. Pepperdine, April 27 vs. Saint Mary's, May 22 vs. Stanford and May 25 vs. LMU. 

"We're excited to have two passionate and talented Santa Clara students broadcast our games once again. We want people to fall in love with Bronco baseball and who better to help us do that than these two outstanding young men," said O'Brien about the radio broadcasts.