May 6, 2014

Baseball Hits the Road to Face Stanford Tuesday

SANTA CLARA, Calif. — Santa Clara baseball plays its final non-conference game of the season Tuesday as it heads to Palo Alto for the second and final matchup of 2014 with the Stanford Cardinal.

Last weekend, the Broncos won their third straight West Coast Conference series, taking two of three games from the San Francisco Dons at Benedetti Diamond. In the series opener May 2, the Broncos went up 2-0 in the first inning and outhit the Dons 14-8, but left 12 runners on base in a 6-5 loss. On May 3, the Broncos produced their highest single-game run total in WCC play with 12 in a 12-6 victory. In the series finale May 4, Santa Clara scored a first-inning run and held off a late USF rally to win 2-1 behind a career-best nine strikeouts from starting pitcher Jacob Steffens.

Santa Clara scored multiple runs in three innings Tue., April 29 at San Jose State on its way to a 7-4 win.

Probable Starters

Tue., May 6, 5:30 p.m.

SCU: RHP Nick Medeiros (2-0, 4.95 ERA) at STAN: TBA

Live Stats and Internet Radio

David Gentile is slated to call Tuesday's game. Click here for an audio feed.

Click here to access live stats for Tuesday's game.

Tuesday's Opponent: Stanford

Stanford enters the midweek game with an overall record of 21-20, including a 12-9 mark at home. The Cardinal is coming off a two-games-to-one series victory on the road against the UCLA Bruins. Stanford is 5-3 in eight games since the first Cardinal-Bronco matchup at Schott Stadium April 22.

Mark Marquess is in his 38th season as head coach of Stanford baseball. He enters the weekend with a head coaching record of 1,484-779-7 (.654). Under his direction, the program won NCAA Championships in the 1987 and 1988 seasons.

Jacob Steffens Named WCC Rawlings Pitcher of the Week (Click Here for the full release)

The West Coast Conference announced its weekly baseball honors Monday, and Santa Clara's Jacob Steffens has been named WCC Rawlings Pitcher of the Week for May 5, 2014. Steffens is the third Bronco and first pitcher to win a conference player of the week award this season.

Steffens picked up his first win of the season in a co-career best 7.0 shutout innings and struck out a career-high nine batters Sun., May 4 in a 2-1 victory at San Francisco. The sophomore needed just six outs to best his prior career-high of three strikeouts; he struck out the side in the first and recorded an inning-ending strikeout in the second.

The Phoenix, Ariz. native retired 10 Dons in a row from the final out of the third through the end of the sixth. He delivered first-pitch strikes to 10 of the first 11 batters he faced and 19 of 28 San Francisco hitters overall. In his final inning of work, Steffens put two runners on with no outs and after a sacrifice bunt moved them to second and third, he recorded back-to-back swinging strikeouts to end his outing with Santa Clara's 2-0 lead intact.

West Coast Conference Standings (as of May 5, 2014)

The Broncos are currently tied for fifth place with a WCC record of 12-9. They own tiebreakers over LMU, Pacific and San Diego. They do not own tiebreakers over Gonzaga and Pepperdine.

At the end of the regular season, the top four teams in the conference earn a berth in the West Coast Conference Baseball Championship, held May 22-24 at Banner Island Ballpark in Stockton, Calif.

Bronco Offense

Senior left fielder Casey Munoz hit 10-for-19 (.526) for the Santa Clara Broncos as they went 3-1 last week and picked up two wins against the San Francisco Dons at Benedetti Diamond. He recorded three hits and at least one RBI and one run scored in three of Santa Clara's four games, including RBI knocks to open the scoring in the first inning of Saturday and Sunday's WCC victories. In those two games, Munoz went 6-for-10 with three RBIs and three runs scored. Munoz also scored the game-winning run from third on a squeeze play in a 2-1 Bronco win Sunday.

Three more Broncos recorded at least five hits on the weekend: Quinton Perry was 6-for-11 (.545) with a team best four RBIs, Jose Vizcaino, Jr. was 6-for-14 (.429) with two RBIs and two runs scored and T.J. Braff was 5-for-12 (.417) with three RBIs and two runs scored. Stevie Berman and Kyle Cortopassi each collected four walks.

The senior duo of Greg 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).

Bronco Pitching

Nick Medeiros — the third-most used pitcher for the Broncos in 2014 with 18 appearances — makes his second start of the season Tuesday. In his last outing April 29 at San Jose State, Medeiros pitched a season-high 3.2 innings and allowed one unearned run on three hits with no walks and three strikeouts. The sophomore retired six in a row in the early part of the game, including a 1-2-3 second inning for Santa Clara. Medeiros retired the first 10 batters he faced in 2014 over four outings from Feb. 14-22.

Scouting Stanford

Austin Slater is the only batter hitting over .300 for the Cardinal with a .331 average on the season. Slater leads the Cardinal with 26 RBIs and five triples. Alex Blandino leads the team with 29 runs scored and has driven in 25 runs this season. Danny Dikroeger is hitting .298 with a team-best six stolen bases and Tommy Edman leads the team with 21 walks.

Keep Your Enemies Closer

Santa Clara is one of nine teams in the country to play at least 19 one-run games in the 2014 season*. The Broncos have a 10-9 record in games decided by one run. Six of Santa Clara's last 10 games have been decided by one run (2-2) and five of the team's last six losses have come by one run.

*Information gathered and distributed by Daniel Ruede – University of Hartford

Welcome to the New Age

Several Santa Clara freshmen have seen a significant part of the action this season: Stevie Berman has made 46 appearances and 44 starts (46-44), Rory Graf-Brennen (26-8), Max Kuhns (19-15 in the field, five relief appearances), Kyle Czaplak (37-25) and Tyler Meditz (22-5).

Five of eight Bronco pitchers to make a start this season are underclassmen: sophomore Reece Karalus, sophomore Peter Hendron, sophomore Jacob Steffens, redshirt-freshman Steven Wilson and freshman Kevin George. The lone upperclassman in the weekend rotation is Friday night starter D.J. Zapata, who is in his second season of college baseball with the Broncos.

Stevie Berman Named WCC Rawlings Baseball Player of the Week (Click Here for the full release), College Sports Madness West Coast Player of the Week

Stevie Berman was named WCC Rawlings Baseball Player of the Week for April 28, 2014. Berman is the first freshman to win the player of the week award this season, which has now been handed out 11 times. 

During Santa Clara's weekend series, the catcher from Saratoga, Calif. went 5-for-11 (.455) with a double, two home runs, four RBIs, four runs scored and three walks. Berman played an integral part in the team's success as part of a two-games-to-one series win over the second-place Loyola Marymount Lions. He slugged at a 1.091 clip and notched a .571 on-base percentage. Berman also excelled behind the plate, committing no errors and limiting the conference's stolen base leader in LMU to 2-for-4 in the three-game set.

On April 26, Berman hit home runs in his first two at-bats and added a single and two walks to reach base in all five of his trips to the plate in a 10-2 victory. He hit a two-run double to put to Broncos on the board in the first inning April 29 in an 8-7 win, and went on to go 2-for-4 with two RBIs, a walk and a run scored.

Reece Karalus Named to NCBWA Mid-Season Stopper of the Year Watch List (Click Here for the full release)

Reece Karalus is one of 50 players named to the mid-season watch list for the 10th annual National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Stopper of the Year Award, announced by the association Wednesday. The sophomore closer is one of only three West Coast Conference pitchers and one of only 16 underclassmen to make the list. The North Bend, Wash. native is 4-1 with a 2.27 ERA, eight saves and 30 strikeouts in 31.2 innings between 22 relief appearances and one start this season.

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.

First Pitch Change: May 17, 2014 vs. Saint Mary's

First pitch for the second-to-last home game of the 2014 season — May 17 vs. Saint Mary's — is now scheduled for 1 p.m. The game was originally scheduled to start at 3 p.m.