Santa Clara junior catcher Tommy Medica hasn’t seen action since separating his shoulder while diving into first base March 8 against Oregon, and it appears the injury will end his season.
"He has seen 2-3 doctors and it indeed looks like he will be out for the year," Broncos coach Mark O’Brien wrote in an e-mail Thursday. "Most likely surgery and will get a medical redshirt and be back for the Broncos next year. Crushing blow for him and obviously our team."
Medica hit .373 as a freshman, .342 with six homers as a sophomore and was hitting .429 in nine games this spring before his injury. He also hit .308 for USA Baseball’s collegiate national team in 2007. Medica was widely regarded as one of the top five catchers in the nation and a likely top-three-rounds draft pick.
Santa Clara looked like a borderline top 25 team heading into the season, but it has been without three of its projected key players. In addition to Medica, freshman slugger Ryan Rieger was ruled academically ineligible for following his counselor’s advice and dropping a class during his senior year of high school, and freshman two-way talent Jon Hughes has been sidelined by a shoulder strain.
As an expensive, private school, Santa Clara lacks the depth to effectively cover the three losses. The Broncos are 10-8 heading into West Coast Conference play this weekend against Loyola Marymount, but six of their wins have come against Ivy League opponents, and two others came against cold-weather Atlantic 10 Conference teams over the season’s opening weekend.
"Anyway, we will keep battling and (we are) proud of the way the team has handled it," O’Brien wrote.
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