Baseball Opens West Coast Conference Home Action vs. BYU on Thursday
SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Opening the home portion of its West Coast Conference schedule, Santa Clara baseball looks to get back in the win column when it welcomes BYU to the Mission campus. The Broncos and Cougars open the series on Thur., April 4 at 6 p.m.
Last week Santa Clara continued WCC action at Portland and dropped all three games to the Pilots. The Broncos are now 8-18 overall and 0-6 in conference play.
"As tough as things have been in recent weeks, it's been great to see so many young players get opportunities to contribute so early in their careers," said Bronco head coach Dan O'Brien. "You can't teach experience. We've been having great practices and are continuing to work hard every day."
Santa Clara is 2-4 all-time vs. BYU and 1-2 at home vs. the Cougars. Last season the Broncos made their first-ever trip to Provo where they came away with a win in the finale of the three-game series. Santa Clara won the wild final game 14-10 behind seven combined RBI from Pat Stover and Andrew Biancardi. Stover was 3-5 with two runs scored, four RBI and a walk while Biancardi was 3-5 with a run scored, a walk, a double and three RBI. Seven Broncos had at least one RBI.
The Cougars enter the week with a 13-14 overall record and a 2-4 mark in WCC play. BYU is just 3-7 on the road in 2013. On Feb. 21 the Cougars fell to No. 2 LSU 6-5 but bounced back against the Tigers with a 9-4 win two days later. They also took two of three from No. 21 UC Irvine. Last week BYU took two of three from Pepperdine in Provo.
Santa Clara has a team ERA of 5.76 in 229.2 innings. The pitching staff has allowed 279 hits and 90 walks while striking out 145. Opponents are hitting .307 off of Bronco pitchers.
Tommy Nance (2-2, 2.74) has been spectacular in five starts this year. Nance has thrown 23.0 innings and allowed 16 hits. He has 17 strikeouts against seven walks with an opponents' batting average of just .195. At San Jose State on March 10 he tossed 8.0-plus innings of one-hit, one-run ball with seven strikeouts.
Mike Couch (3-4, 3.02) has started the first seven Friday nights for Santa Clara and had his best outing vs. San Jose State on March 8. Couch threw a complete game shutout with five strikeouts. Couch leads the team with 56.2 innings pitched and has struck out a team-high 36 batters with 21 walks while allowing 47 hits.
Max Deering (1-2, 4.20) has been the first choice coming in from the bullpen. Deering has thrown 30.0 innings over 17 appearances, including one start, and struck out 22 batters against just six walks. His 3.7 strikeout to walk ratio is tops on the team. He has also leads the team with two saves. D.J. Zapata and Reece Karalus are tied for second in saves with one each.
Chris Mendoza (2-2, 5.86) stepped up out of the bullpen in the first game of the double header vs. Michigan State on March 16. Mendoza threw 5.0 innings of one-run ball to save the bullpen. Mendoza has thrown 27.2 innings over 11 appearances and five starts.
Santa Clara is hitting .269 as a team with a .357 on-base percentage and a .345 slugging percentage. The Broncos have hit 35 doubles, four triples and eight home runs while scoring 134 runs and stealing 36 bags in 53 attempts.
Greg Harisis leads Santa Clara in hitting with a .341 (28-82) batting average. Harisis clubbed his first home run of the season vs. vs. Northern Colorado on March 3. He has added six doubles, one triple, 15 runs scored, 16 RBI and four stole bases. His 10 walks and two hit-by-pitch put his on-base percentage at a terrific .421.
Quinton Perry leads the team with five home runs, his total from 2012, while hitting .333 (25-75). Perry has a team-high 19 RBI while adding six doubles and scoring 18 runs. Perry has a .408 OBP and a .613 slugging percentage.
Newcomer Casey Munoz has started all 26 games for Santa Clara and is hitting .320 (33-103) with a team-high seven doubles, one triple, 16 RBI and nine runs scored. Matt Ozanne is tied for first on the Broncos with 19 RBI while hitting .273 (24-88) and scoring 13 runs. Justin Viele leads the Broncos with 18 walks, while hitting .307 (31-101) and posting a .423 OBP. He has scored 23 runs and driven in nine while hitting four doubles and a triple with a team-high seven stolen bases in eight attempts. Freshman Kert Woods is second on the team with five steals in seven attempts while scoring 10 runs.
Adam Law leads the WCC in hits while hitting .355 (38-107) with seven doubles, three triples and one home run. He has added 22 runs scored and 23 RBI with seven stolen bases.
Jaycob Brugman leads the Cougars with three homers and is hitting .323 (32-99). Brugman has added six doubles and four triples to slug a team-best .556. His .420 OBP is also tops on the BYU team.
Jacob Hannemann is hitting .315 (34-108) with a team-high 15 walks. He has scored 26 runs scored to lead the team and has one home run and eight RBI.
Desmond Poulson (3-0, 2.10) leads BYU with seven starts and 51.1 innings pitched. Poulson has 38 strikeouts against 15 walks while holding opponents to a .227 batting average. He has thrown two complete game shutouts.
Derek Speigner (2-0, 1.59) leads the team in ERA and appearances with 13. Speigner has tossed 17.0 innings while fanning nine with seven walks.
James Lengal (0-3, 5.59) has picked up a team-best five saves in 13 appearances. In 19.1 innings, Lengal has struck out 16 batters against nine walks.