Question No. 1: Is Santa Clara, California in northern or southern California?
Question No. 2: Who is the former NBA MVP who played basketball there?
Question No. 3: What are the school colors of SCU?
If you have one of those questions correct, congratulations, you’re an NBA fan (and probably older than 40). If you answered correctly on two, you’re a sports fan with a good memory. All three? Impressive.
Santa Clara and Arkansas have met exactly once on the baseball diamond. That was back in 1995 and resulted in a 10-3 Arkansas win in San Jose, which, for the record is the nearest huge city with which most Arkansans are familiar. But Friday’s first-round game of the Fayetteville Regional will be just a touch more important than that previous encounter.
Not only are the Broncos not terribly familiar with the Razorbacks, they’re not familiar with the stage. The NCAA Tournament appearence is the first for Santa Clara in generations as their conference, the West Coast Conference, had long been dominated by a rotation of three other teams.
But with coach Rusty Filter’s experience at some of the top, major-conference programs in the West, his bunch is ready to maximize its stay time.
Let’s take a look at more about the school and the program.
Santa Clara University
— Rusty Filter (@CoachFilter50) April 27, 2023
Location: Santa Clara, California (suburb of San Jose)
Enrollment: About 9,000 undergraduate
Religious Affiliation: Jesuit
Famous alumni: California governor Gavin Newsom, former NBA Most Valuable Player Steve Nash, former Secretary of Defense and CIA Director Leon Panetta
Santa Clara Baseball History
🏆🐴🏆 𝓗𝓲𝓼𝓽𝓸𝓻𝔂 𝓜𝓪𝓭𝓮 🏆🐴🏆
— Santa Clara Baseball (@SCU_Baseball) May 27, 2023
Conference Championships: 11 (last one was 1997)
NCAA Tournament Appearances: 13 (last one was 1997)
College World Series Apperances: 1 (1962)
Coach Rusty Filter
Just got to spend a few minutes with Santa Clara Head Coach Rusty Filter. I like his person, he’s a competitor. He is not an excuse maker but is an action guy. Santa Clara is a tough place to coach. Expensive school. He will make this place a winning program. Beautiful day. pic.twitter.com/aZlEsO5glO
— Butch Baccala (@butchbaccala) January 28, 2022
Resume: Stanford assistant (2010-17), San Diego State assistant (1994-2009)
Notable: Helped develop Stephen Strasburg in college
Broncos this season
— Santa Clara Baseball (@SCU_Baseball) May 29, 2023
Record: 35-18, 17-10 in West Coast Conference
Notable wins: Split four-game series against Washington, split series with Stanford, swept California, swept Gonzaga
OF Michael O’Hara: .323/.418/.453, 37 RBI, 49 R
IF Efrain Manzo: .318/.418/.668, 17 HR, 54 RBI
RP Skylar Hales: 20 G (1 GS), 51 1/3 IP, 2.81 ERA, 64 K, 14 BB