SANTA CLARA, Calif. — After two straight wins to round out a weekend WCC series against Portland, Santa Clara baseball heads to Nevada for a Tuesday, April 8 game at 6 p.m. against the Wolf Pack.
Last weekend, the Broncos won their second consecutive West Coast Conference series two games to one over the Portland Pilots at Schott Stadium. Portland's Davis Tominaga pitched a complete game and helped his own cause by driving in a run in a 9-1 Pilot victory April 4. The Broncos won Saturday's game 7-3 by scoring in five of their final six offensive frames and Sunday's game 3-1 on the strength of eight strong innings from Steven Wilson and a two-run triple from Quinton Perry in the sixth.
Tue., April 8, 6 p.m.
SCU: LHP Kevin George (1-1, 2.45 ERA) vs. NEV: LHP Tyler Wells (1-3, 4.99 ERA)
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Tuesday's Opponent: Nevada
Nevada enters the midweek game with an overall record of 15-14, as well as a 7-2 mark at Peccole Park. The Wolf Pack returns home after winning two of three games at San Jose State last weekend. The Spartans won the series-opening game 2-1 April 5 before the Wolf Pack responded by taking both games of a doubleheader, 6-5 and 7-4 April 6.
Jay Johnson is in his first season as Nevada's head coach after eight years as associate head coach with the West Coast Conference's San Diego Toreros. He enters the weekend with an overall record of 52-30 (.634 winning percentage) as a head coach. Santa Clara and Nevada met twice in the first series of the season, with the Wolf Pack winning 4-1 Feb. 14 and the Broncos winning 4-3 in 10 innings Feb. 16.
Greg Harisis, who leads the Broncos in several offensive categories, is week-to-week with an undisclosed illness.
Kyle Cortopassi, Casey Munoz, Jose Vizcaino, Jr. and Quinton Perry each picked up a pair of doubles last weekend, and the Broncos tallied 10 extra-base hits in the three-game series. Cortopassi went 4-for-8, walked twice and was hit by a pitch for a team-best .636 on-base percentage. Perry drove in a team-high three runs and Vizcaino, Jr. scored a team-best three runs against the Pilots.
Perry has reached safely in eight consecutive games for the Broncos, tallying two doubles, a triple, two home runs, seven RBIs and all five of his walks this season in the process. Kert Woods has reached safely in his last nine games along with a team-best five-game hitting streak entering Tuesday's contest.
The senior duo of Harisis and Munoz was among the most productive offensive players last season, as Munoz led the Broncos in batting average (.308), hits (64), doubles (10) and RBIs (31) while Harisis led the Broncos in on-base percentage (.399) and stolen bases (13-for-15).
Left-handed pitcher Kevin George makes his second career start for the Broncos Tuesday. George currently has a team-best 2.45 ERA on the season, and has just two walks against 16 strikeouts in 2014. The freshman has made 10 relief appearances this season, and did not come out of the bullpen for the Broncos in last weekend's series against Portland. He has pitched at least 2.0 innings in four of his 10 relief appearances this season.
George retired three of the four batters he faced with one strikeout between two relief appearances at Pacific March 28-30. His first collegiate start came at San Diego State March 25, in which he gave up three earned runs on five hits with no walks and one strikeout in 3.0 innings.
Reece Karalus leads qualified Bronco pitchers with a .183 opposing batting average in 24.1 innings. He recorded saves in each of Santa Clara's victories last weekend, and has the most relief appearances for Santa Clara with 18 in 31 games this season.
Nevada currently has seven batters with at least 10 RBIs, led by Austin Byler with 20. The reigning Mountain West Baseball Player of the Week has a .542 slugging percentage with seven doubles, four triples and four home runs on the season, and a co-team best 22 runs scored alongside Kewby Meyer.
Meyer is the only member of the Wolf Pack hitting over .300 at .314, and leads the team with 14 doubles. Scott Kaplan tops Nevada with 15 walks and Justin Bridgman is a team-best 6-for-8 on stolen base attempts.
Nevada has been neck-and-neck with its opponents all season, outscoring them 129-122 while being outhit 249-247 in 29 games.
Junior Tyler Wells makes his seventh start and 12th appearance of the season Tuesday. The left-handed pitcher has made 33 career starts for Nevada, and currently has a 1-3 record with a 4.99 ERA in 11 appearances and six starts this season. He came out of the bullpen in Nevada's last game April 6 and retired one of the two batters he faced.
Opposing baserunners are 14-of-25 (.560) on stolen base attempts against catcher Jordan Devencenzi and 17-of-35 (.486) on stolen base attempts against the Wolf Pack overall in 2014.
Welcome to the New Age
Several Santa Clara freshmen have seen a significant part of the action this season: Stevie Berman has made 31 appearances and 29 starts (31-29), Rory Graf-Brennen (19-8), Max Kuhns (18-14 in the field, four relief appearances), Seaver Whalen (9-6), Kyle Czaplak (26-18) and Tyler Meditz (20-5).
Five of six Bronco pitchers to make a start this season are underclassmen: sophomore Reece Karalus, sophomore Peter Hendron, sophomore Jacob Steffens, redshirt-freshman Steven Wilson and Tuesday's starter, freshman Kevin George.
Santa Clara Bests Manhattan 10-2, O'Brien Earns 500th Career Win (Click Here for the full game story)
Bronco head coach Dan O'Brien won his 500th career game as the Broncos defeated Manhattan 10-2 on March 2. The third-year Santa Clara head coach won 454 games with his alma mater, UC San Diego, and collected his 46th win at Santa Clara in the victory over the Jaspers.
"There's been a ton of great memories and some big team wins in there, but I don't do this for the wins," O'Brien said after Sunday's game. "I coach for the countless lifelong relationships I've developed over the years. Those mean the world to me."
Peter Hendron Named College Sports Madness West Coast Player of the Week
Sophomore pitcher Peter Hendron was named the College Sports Madness West Coast Player of the Week for March 3, 2014. Hendron posted career high marks with 8.0 innings and seven strikeouts in a 10-2 win March 2 against Manhattan at the Sanderson Ford Baseball Classic in Surprise, Ariz. last weekend. He allowed two runs (one earned) on eight hits with two walks and held the Jaspers to 0-for-11 with runners in scoring position to earn the winning decision to improve to 2-1.
Greg Harisis Named Rawlings WCC Baseball Player of the Week
Greg Harisis won Irish Baseball Classic MVP honors with a stat line of 9-for-19, three RBIs, seven runs scored, two doubles, one home run and an outfield assist as the Broncos went 4-0 Feb. 20-23. He was named the WCC Rawlings Baseball Player of the Week, becoming the first Bronco to earn the honor since Patrick Terry on May 23, 2011.