SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Santa Clara baseball is set to play the first of two matchups this season against Cal Poly on Tuesday at 6 p.m. PT in the friendly confines of Stephen Schott Stadium.
"The key to this game is keeping it simple, playing the game the right way, and doing your job," head coach Dan O'Brien said. "It's tougher than it sounds, but these guys have already shown how good they can be when they do those things, and they're already making those adjustments. I love this team."
|Live Stats||Click here|
vs. Cal Poly on Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2017 | 6 p.m. PT | Game #7 | Home Game #7
Santa Clara, Calif. | Stephen Schott Stadium
All-Time Series: A series that dates back to 1956, the Broncos and Mustangs have each won 42 games, including a split in the two games played in 2016.
Probable Starters (2017 Stats)
SCU RHP Michael Bono (0-0, 0.0 ERA, 2.0 IP) vs. CP RHP Michael Clark (0-0, 9.0 ERA)
Santa Clara (1-5) has 15 newcomers on the 2017 squad and many of them will play significant roles this season. "We really focused on getting humble, hard working, grinders," head coach Dan O'Brien said on Feb. 14 at Bay Area Baseball Media Day.
Catcher Jake MacNichols, a freshman from Napa, California, went deep in his first collegiate at-bat on Feb. 18. He has started each of the first six games and hit his second home run against Michigan on Feb. 26. MacNichols has a .409 slugging percentage along with 65 putouts and five assists for a .986 fielding percentage.
Brandon Buckley, a freshman out of Kentfield, California, has been a bright spot for SCU out of the bullpen. He has made three appearances and pitched 8.1 innings, allowing just one earned run (two runs total) and four hits while striking out 13 batters. His 14.04 strikeouts per nine innings is the second-best mark in the league and No. 42 in the nation.
Broncos in the Field
2016 West Coast Conference Honorable Mention honoree Tyler Meditz, a senior outfielder, made 46 appearances and 41 starts for SCU during the 2016 season. The Honolulu, Hawai'i native is hitting .333 after starting all six games of the season for SCU. He hit his first home run of the season against Michigan on Feb. 26 and boasts a slugging percentage of .500. He has 12 putouts as the starting left fielder and a perfect fielding percentage.
Sophomore infielder John Cresto, a 2016 WCC All-Freshman Team member, has been hot at the plate this season. He is hitting .476 (10-21), the second-best average in the league and No. 59 in the nation. He hits 0.67 doubles per game (four total), which is tied for No. 21 in the nation. Cresto has also hit two home runs on the season and is ranked 10th in the nation in slugging percentage at 1.048. He is first on the team with five RBI as well.
Junior Jake Brodt has made 95 starts in his career, playing primarily at first base. He boasts a .364 batting average after starting all six games on the year. He has recorded eight hits in 22 at-bats and walked twice as well. He is tied for the team lead with Cresto in runs scored (3) and doubles (4). Brodt has been strong in the field for the Broncos, posting 38 putouts with seven assists and a 1.000 fielding percentage.
Junior designated hitter Niko Holm recovered from a slow start at the plate to have the third-best on-base percentage on the squad at .458. He has been walked six times and hit by a pitch twice on the season. He went 2-2 at the plate against Michigan (Feb. 26) with two singles and walked twice as well.
Santa Clara recorded 14 triples last year, the third-best mark in the West Coast Conference. SCU was also fourth in the league in stolen bases with 49. Cresto has already recorded a triple for SCU and Meditz has successfully stolen a base in the young 2017 season.
Broncos on the Mound
Two weeks into the season and Santa Clara leads the league and is No. 28 in the nation in strikeouts per nine innings at 10.2.
Junior Michael Bono is the probable starter for SCU against Cal Poly. He's pitched 2.0 scoreless innings on the year in one relief appearance. He did not allow a hit or walk and struck out one batter.
Redshirt senior RHP Jacob Steffens, now two years removed from his season-ending Tommy John surgery in 2015, has stepped into the starting rotation after being a relief pitcher in 2016 and been excellent on the mound for the Broncos. Steffens has thrown 14.1 innings, allowing just one earned run (2 runs total) while striking out 16 batters. His 16 Ks is a top-50 mark in the nation and his 0.63 ERA is No. 3 in the conference.
Redshirt sophomore RHP Eric Lex spent the 2016 season recovering from Tommy John surgery and has looked good on the mound after two starts this season. He is 1-1 on the year with a 3.0 ERA in 9.0 innings pitched. His 16.0 strikeouts per nine innings is tops in the WCC and the 13th-best mark in the country.
Freshman Grant Nechak has been Santa Clara's Sunday starter in the first two weekends of the season. He is a 6-4 RHP out of Calabasas High School. Nechak is one of seven freshmen pitchers on the 2017 squad.
Cal Poly enters Tuesday's game with a 1-6 record and it has played all seven of its games on the road. Probable starter Michael Clark, a right-handed pitcher, has made three appearances with a 9.00 ERA in 2.0 innings pitched. He's allowed three hits and two earned runs without walking any batters. Josh George has hit four doubles for the Mustangs and Alex McKenna leads the Big West Conference in stolen bases with four on the season.
Parking: Parking is now available in the Guadalupe lot, adjacent to 455 El Camino Real. The Guadalupe lot is reserved beginning 60 minutes before game time through the end of the event for free parking. Baseball parking is no longer allowed in the lot behind Schott Stadium's left field wall. Overflow parking is available in the Leavey Center lot. Spectators that plan to arrive more than an hour prior to game time on weekdays are encouraged to purchase a parking permit for the Leavey lot. All SCU lot parking is free on weekends. ADA parking is available in the lot directly in front of the main gates; there is no general public parking in this lot. Follow signs for parking instructions.
Connect with the Broncos on Social Media