Posted: Mar 11, 2020
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Riding a four-game win streak including a three-game series sweep of CSU Bakersfield, Santa Clara opens West Coast Conference play at Gonzaga this weekend.
The series against CSUB was scheduled for four games, however, the second game of the scheduled doubleheader on Saturday was canceled due to rain.
Santa Clara (12-5) has now swept two series this season including the seasoning opening four-game sweep of San José State.
The Broncos and Gonzaga (6-10) play at 6 p.m. on Friday and Saturday with the series finale at noon on Sunday.
Last season, playing at home, the Broncos won the first game before dropping the last two. And two seasons ago in Spokane, the Broncos lost the first two games of the series before closing it out with a win to finish up the 2018 campaign.
SANTA CLARA NOTES
• Santa Clara is averaging 6.4 runs per game (while allowing 4.0), hitting .269 and rank second in the West Coast Conference with 157 hits (9.2 hits per game).
• Four hitters are batting over .300, led by Ryan McCarthy's .319 average.
• Jake MacNichols leads the team with seven home runs and 19 RBIs and seven other players have homered.
• Freshman centerfielder Coleman Brigman has batted at leadoff since the second game of the season and safely reached base in 15 straight games while leading the team in stolen bases with five.
• Seventeen pitchers have seen action on the mound, holding the opposition to a .212 batting average while posting a 3.50 ERA.
• Seven different hurlers have started in the first 17 games with Matthew McGarry and Freddie Erlandson having the longest outings to start the game with five innings (McGarry against Georgia on Feb. 21, Erlandson against Sacramento State on Feb. 29 & against CSU Bakersfield March 8). Travis Howard threw a Bronco pitching staff high 5.2 innings in relief against Georgia on Feb. 22.
• Howard leads the staff in wins (three) and strikeouts (21) while walking just one. The versatile right-hander has two starts in five appearances.
• Erlandson has thrown 16.1 scoreless innings to open the season.
• Ethan Heinrich has a team-high three saves.
• Defensively, the Broncos have committed 15 errors on the season for a .976 fielding percentage.
WHO's HOT ENTERING THE GONZAGA SERIES
• The Bronco offense. SCU is hitting .280 and have scored 39 runs in the last five games going 4-1 in the span.
• Dawson Brigman is hitting .389 in the last five games and .361 in the last 10.
• Brothers Dawson and Coleman Brigman have each gotten seven hits over the last five games to lead the team.
Santa Clara (12-5) at Gonzaga (6-10)
Spokane, Wash. | Patterson Baseball Complex and Coach Steve Hertz Field
All-Time Series: Gonzaga leads the series 53-45 dating back to 1973.
Friday, March 13 • 6 p.m.
Saturday, March 14 • 6 p.m.
Sunday, March 15 • Noon
Gonzaga was tabbed the favorite to win the West Coast Conference with three players named preseason All-Conference in the preseason poll as voted by the 10 head coaches in th league.
The three preseason all-conference selections were right-handed pitcher Alek Jacob, infielders Brett Harris and Ernie Yake.
Head coach Mark Machtolf enters his 17th season at the helm having compiled a 487-397-2 record. Last season, the Zags were 31-24, marking the fourth straight season of 30 or more wins.
This season, they play 15 games against NCAA Tournament teams from last year and thus far are 6-10 on the season.
The Bulldogs are hitting .265 as a team with Tyler Rando leading the way with a .352 average. Yake is tied for the team lead in home runs (two) along with Stephen Lund and both are hitting over .300. Lund and Sullivan each have 12 RBIs to top the team
Mac Lardner, Nick Trogrlic-Iverson and Jacob have each started four times on the bump. Collectively, the Zags have a 3.97 ERA and opponents are hitting .250 against the staff.
Defensively, Gonzaga has committed 21 errors on the season.
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The 2020 schedule features games against four teams (No. 17 Stanford, No. 5 Georgia, No. 9 Arizona State and LMU) that qualified for the 2019 NCAA Baseball. Among the *55 regular-season games, 27 will be played at home in Stephen Schott Stadium and 28 on the road. 2020 schedule release.
*The Broncos will now play 54 regular-season games after the second game of the scheduled doubleheader against CSU Bakersfield on March 7 was canceled due to rain.