Bronco Baseball Wraps-Up 2012 vs. Stanford, LMU for Senior Weekend

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SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Wrapping-up the first year under head coach Dan O'Brien, Santa Clara baseball looks to finish strong with a mid-week game vs. No. 14Stanford before senior weekend vs. LMU. Sunday's game will end the Bronco careers of 1B Andrew Biancardi, OF Lucas Herbst, INF Evan Peters, RHP James Smith and RHP Paul Twining.

The Broncos are 25-25 overall with a 4-17 mark in WCC play. Santa Clara won 8-5 at Pacific on May 15 before losing two of three at BYU in the program's first-ever trip to Provo. The Broncos won 14-10 in the series finale on May 19 behind the largest offensive outburst of the season.

No. 14 Stanford is 35-14 overall with a 16-10 record in the difficult Pac-12. The Pac-12 currently has six teams ranked in the Baseball America Top 25. Last week the Cardinal took down fellow WCC member San Francisco 6-3 at Sunken Diamond before going on the road to Utah and sweeping a three game series.

LMU has a record of 24-26 but is tied for third in the WCC with a 12-9 mark. Last week the Lions fell 13-7 at San Diego State on May 15 before hosting Pepperdine and losing two of three. The lone win came in the series-finale on May 20 by a score of 4-3.

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

THE FIVE SENIORS
Santa Clara seniors 1B Andrew Biancardi, OF Lucas Herbst, INF Evan Peters, RHP James Smith and RHP Paul Twining will warp-up their Bronco careers this week with a game vs. Stanford on Tuesday and a weekend-series vs. LMU. The class of 2012 had its most successful season as freshmen when the team went 33-22. 

Biancardi has started 46 games in 2012 and is tied for the team-lead with five home runs. He has added 32 RBI while scoring 21 runs. Biancardi will enter the final week of his career with a batting average of .265 (110-415) and six career home runs. He has scored 49 runs scored and 63 runs scored. Biancardi has also hit two triples and 24 doubles in his time on the Mission Campus.

Herbst enters his final week as a Bronco hitting .372 (51-137) which is good for second on the team. He has scored 29 runs while knocking in 25 more. Herbst has hit two home runs, four triples and seven doubles to go along with six steals. He is the only player on the team to be slugging over .500 with a .526 mark. A career .304 (177-583) hitter, Herbst  has 26 stolen bases and has hit seven home runs. He has also hit an impressive 10 triples and added 14 doubles while driving in 71 runs and scoring 103 more.

Peters 2012 highlight was May 8 vs. San Francisco State when he slugged a two-run walk-off homerun to give Santa Clara a 7-5 victory. On the season he is hitting .247 (24-97) with two homeruns and 11 RBI. Peters has added two triples and three doubles while scoring 11 runs. He has split time between third base and second base on defense. Hitting .292 (94-322) for his career, Peters has hit four home runs, two triples and 21 doubles in his time as a Bronco. He has also scored 32 runs while driving in 48 more. As a sophomore, he crushed a personal-best 18 doubles in 206 at-bats.

Smith has pitched a career-high 46.2 innings this season. He has a 3-0 record to go with a 4.82 ERA in 15 appearances, including five starts. Smith has struck out 21 batters and walked 27. His best start came vs. Fresno State on April 3. In his first Division I start, Smith tossed 8.0 innings of two-run ball while striking out one and only allowing six hits. Since transferring from Cabrillo College, Smith has appeared in 22 games while posting a 3-0 record with an ERA of 5.47 and has struck out 24 batters.

Twining has been the bullpen ace for the 2012 edition of Bronco baseball. He has appeared in a team-best 30 games while racking up a record of 6-6 with seven saves and an ERA of 3.28. In 46.2 innings he has surrendered just 43 hits and struck out 44 batters against just 14 walks. 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. In his four years, Twining has made 65 appearances over 91 innings. In those 91 innings he has allowed 114 hits with an ERA of 5.84 while walking 29 and striking out 64.

A LOT OF W'S
With the 8-5 win at Pacific on May 15 the Broncos picked up their 24th win of the season. This was a significant win because prior to 2012, the most wins any of the current Broncos players had experienced was 23 in 2010 when the team finished 23-31. 

In the senior class' four years on the Mission Campus, Santa Clara has won 84 games with the high-water mark coming in 2010. With first-year head coach Dan O'Brien at the helm, 2012 will also mark the first time since 2008 Bronco baseball hasn't lost 30 games in a season. The 2008 Broncos finished 33-22 overall with a 13-8 mark in the WCC that was good for third place.

Santa Clara is guaranteed to finish at least eight 6.5 games better than in 2011 and could finish as many as 10.5 games better with a strong week vs. Stanford and LMU.

BRONCO PITCHING
Junior RHP Tommy Nance (4-4; 3.74) has lived up to the title of Friday night starter for the Broncos in 2012. He has made 13 starts while also appearing in relief once. Nance leads the team with 89.0 innings pitched, including two complete games, and 44 strikeouts. He has walked 26 while allowing a .285 batting average against. He is third on the team in wins, behind RHP Paul Twining and WCC Pitcher of the Month for February LHP Powell Fansler

Fansler has been very good as Santa Clara's mid-week starter. He has five wins and an ERA of 4.06. In 18 appearances, including 11 starts, he has tossed 68.2 innings while striking out 26 and walking 15. 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; 4.08) 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 nine starts and thrown 57.1 innings. His 39 strikeouts is third on the team and he has only allowed 14 walks.

Twining (6-6; 3.28) has been one of the top bullpen arms thus far for Coach O'Brien. Twining has made 30 appearances, including two starts, to lead the team. He has struck out 40 batters in 46.2 innings. He also leads the team with seven 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.

BRONCO OFFENSE
INF/OF Greg Harisis has started 27 games while making 36 appearances overall and leads the team with a .394 (43-109) batting average. He has scored 28 runs to go with 12 RBI and six doubles. Harisis blasted his first career home run on April 28 vs. Saint Mary's over the right field wall at Schott Stadium. He has a terrific .450 on-base percentage that is helped by is eight walks. 

OF Matt Ozanne has shown that he is a power and speed threat. He is second on the team with four home runs, including a no-doubt shot over the batting cages in left field vs. Pepperdine on April 22, and is tied for the team-lead with 13 steals. He is hitting .276 (42-152) with a .355 on-base percentage while playing stellar defense in center field.

OF Lucas Herbst and OF Pat Stover have been very good for the Broncos in 2012. Herbst is second on the team with .372 batting average (51-137). He is second on the team with 29 runs scored and has added 25 RBI while hitting seven doubles and four triples. Herbst has blasted two home runs, including going back-to-back with Harisis on April 28 vs. Saint Mary's. With eight walks and nine HBP, his on-base percentage stands at a terrific .433 which has helped him steal six bases. Stover is hitting .296 (56-189). Stover leads the team with 36 RBI and has also scored 30 runs. He has 10 doubles and five home runs. His 13 steals in 16 attempts is tied with Ozanne for tops on the team.

SCOUTING STANFORD
The No. 14 Stanford offense has slugged 40 homeruns, 14 more than Santa Clara. The Cardinal have also scored  a whopping 341 runs while hitting .292 as a team with a .372 on-base percentage. 

UTL Stephen Piscotty has been the most consistent hitter for the Cardinal in 2012. He is hitting .343 (70-204) with a terrific .434 on-base percentage and .500 slugging percentage. He has cracked five homeruns, three triples and 11 doubles to go with 41 runs scored and 52 RBI to lead the team.

OF Austin Wilson had been the best power hitter for Stanford with nine homeruns. He has also driven in 44 runs to go with a team-high 50 runs scored while hitting .286 (52-182).

On the mound RHP Mark Appel, a potential top overall pick in the 2012 Major League Baseball First Year Player Draft, has made 13 starts and pitched 103.0 innings. He allowed just 82 hits while striking out 108 versus 22 walks. Appel has a record of 9-1 to go with his 2.45 ERA and has thrown four complete games, including one shutout.

RHP A.J. Vanegas has started five games and made 12 relief appearances while posting a 2.29 ERA om 51.0 innings. He has struck out 35 but has had trouble with command, walking 28. Vanegas has a team-leading five saves.

LHP Garrett Hughes is 2-1with a 2.78 ERA in 12 appearances, including three starts. He has only thrown 22.2 innings but has fanned 21 with nine walks.

SCOUTING LMU
C Colton Plaia leads LMU in hitting with a .317 (57-180) batting average in 50 games. He also leads the Lions in homeruns (5) and RBI (35). He has scored 25 runs while drawing 20 walks. 

The most patient hitter on the LMU roster has been OF Matt Lowenstein who has drawn a spectacular 44 walks while hitting .291 (51-175). His .434 on-base percentage is tops on the team and he has driven in 23 runs while scoring 33 more.

INF Joey Boney is hitting .269 (36-134) with a .347 on-base percentage and has swiped 13 bags while only being thrown out once. He has hit one homerun and driven in 14 to go with 30 runs scored.

RHP Trevor Megill and RHP Colin Wolmon have been the two best starting pitchers for LMU. Megill is 5-7 with a 3.54 ERA in 14 starts over 84.0 innings. He has struck out 78 and walked 23. Wolmon has also started 14 games and pitched a team-high 89.1 innings. He is 6-4 with a 3.83 ERA while throwing one complete game. He has struck out 62 batters against just 13 walks.

RHP Bret Dahlson leads LMU in ERA at 2.84 in 24 appearances, all out of the bullpen. Dahlson has collected nine saves, by far the most on the team. In 31.2 innings pitched he has struck out 28 batters while walking 12 with a record of 3-3.

EXTRA INNINGS
You don't want to go to extra innings with the 2012 Santa Clara baseball team. With its 7-5 walk-off victory over San Francisco State on May 8, Santa Clara is now a perfect 5-0 in extra innings this season. 

The Broncos kicked off the season with back-to-back extra inning games at the Bobcat Invitational. On opening day, Santa Clara topped then-No. 37 Texas State by a final of 5-4 in 13 innings. Santa Clara took advantage of a dropped third strike with two outs in the 13th and loaded the bases before an error on the shortstop let the winning run come across.

In game two of the double header, Santa Clara took down Wichita State 7-1 in 12 innings. This time the Broncos took advantage of sloppy defense and put up six runs in the 12th to move to 2-0 on the season.

In game two of a doubleheader with Brown on Mar. 27, Santa Clara battled through 12 innings to get a 2-1 win and sweep the series. In the bottom of the 12th Santa Clara loaded the bases with one out and 1B Andrew Biancardi legged out the back end of a double play to seal the win.

The Broncos took11 innings at Seattle University that featured a ninth inning comeback. Down one in the top of the ninth the Broncos knotted the game with a double and a single. In the 11th the Broncos loaded the bases and knocked in the winning run with a fielder's choice by LF Pat Stover.

The most recent extra inning contest was an 11-inning contest vs. San Francisco State. Santa Clara scored one run in the bottom of the ninth to extend the game. Evan Peters came up with one on in the bottom of the 11th and crushed a home run to left field for the win.

GOING, GOING, GONE
The 2012 edition of Bronco baseball is showing a lot more power than their 2011 counterparts. In 50 games Santa Clara has smacked 24 home runs, with nine players having at least one home run and six players have at least two. In 51 games in 2011 Santa Clara hit only 11 home runs. C/DH Pat Terry and CF Matt Ozanne tied for the team lead with three each. No one else had more than one big fly. 

LF Pat Stover and 1B Andrew Biancardi lead the team with five apiece. Stover hit a deep bomb to left vs. Illinois-Chicago to help the Broncos win their home-opener 9-3 on Feb. 24. Ozanne has already tied his total from last year with three. INF/OF Greg Harisis hit his first collegiate home run vs. Saint Mary's on April 28, an opposite field shot far over the right field wall at Schott Stadium.

The increase in power has helped put the Broncos on pace to beat their total runs from 2011 of 226. Through 50 games Santa Clara has already beaten the 2011 team in runs scored with 252 runs. If the Broncos continue at the 5.04 runs per game pace they have been on, the team will finish with 272 runs, 46 more than last year.

SHAVE FOR CHANGE
After the game vs. Pepperdine at Schott Stadium on April 21 Santa Clara players and coaches shaved their heads in support of St. Baldrick's "Base Bald" program. The volunteer-driven charity funds research to find cures for childhood cancers and to let survivors long and healthy lives. St. Baldrick's funds more childhood cancer research than any organization besides the U.S. government. 

Even though the team raised its goal of $9,000, the event was about more than just money. The Broncos wanted to bring awareness to the public about children with cancer and show their support for the kids that are fighting every day.

Salon Blu and Art of Shaving, both Santa Clara businesses, sponsored the event and did the shavings.

O'Brien and his coaching staff have made reaching out to the community an emphasis in their first year on the Mission campus. When the players heard about the program, they all were eager to participate.

"In a pre-practice meeting earlier this season we were asked to raise our hands if any of us have been affected by cancer and it blew my mind to see almost every hand go up," said sophomore pitcher Max Deering. "It put into perspective just how devastating cancer has become to our society. It motivated me to do everything in my power to raise as much money as I possibly can."

"For our guys to be this excited to shave their heads for a good cause says everything you need to know about them as a group," said O'Brien before the event. "We're honored to be associated with St. Baldrick's for such a worthy event and to do what we can for children fighting this disease."

To find out more about St. Baldrick's, visit www.stbaldricks.org

IRON BRONCO
Only one Bronco has started all 46 games in 2012 and he plays one of the most demanding positions on the diamond. Shortstop Justin Viele has flashed the leather all season while anchoring Santa Clara's infield defense by making only seven errors in 230 chances. 

The junior is hitting .234 (34-145) but has a solid .367 on-base percentage which is helped by his team-leading 19 walks and 12 hit-by-pitch. Viele has added one triple and seven doubles while scoring 24 runs and knocking in nine RBI. He has also swiped five bases.

Durability is nothing new for Viele, as he was the only player to start every game for Santa Clara in 2011 as a sophomore. He hit .237 (44-186) while scoring 26 runs and knocking in 12. He had six doubles and one of 11 Santa Clara home runs. He drew 17 walks, just one more than he has so far in 2012, and was hit by a pitch 10 times. He committed just seven errors in 224 chances.

As a freshman Viele started 28 of Santa Clara's 54 games. He hit .310 (27-87) with 10 doubles, 12 RBI and 23 runs scored while walking 10 times and stealing two bases.

BEATING QUALITY OPPONENTS
Santa Clara came out of the gates in 2012 ready to play. Thus far they have defeated then-No. 35 Texas State, then-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 Broncos also beat 2011 College World Series participant Cal on April 11. Santa Clara has taken down seven 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

31 

22 

Won 5-4 (13) 

Wichita State

35 

23 

Won 8-5 

Cal Poly

33 

20 

Won 5-2 and 11-6 

Nevada

31 

23 

Won 8-4 

Portland

25 

23 

Won 5-4 

Cal

27 

24 

Won 8-5 

Pepperdine

32 

20 

Won 6-2 

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. 

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.

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 May 22 vs. Stanford, May 25 vs. LMU and May 27 vs. LMU.