March 18, 2001
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The Santa Clara University baseball team extended its winning streak to seven-straight games, including a perfect 6-0 West Coast Conference mark with a 10-inning, 3-2 win over Loyola Marymount Lions at Buck Shaw Stadium.
With the win the Broncos' record improves to 9-15, and they remain undefeated in the WCC with a 6-0 record. The Lions record falls to 12-15 and 1-5 in the conference. Santa Clara's seven-game win streak is the longest since the mid-point in the 1997 season when it posted a 16-game win skein.
"In each of the three games this weekend, we really battled," said Head Coach Mike Cummins. "I was worried our guys wouldn't come out completely focused today with final exams starting tomorrow. But, the guys hung in there, kept fighting and made big plays when it counts. We had a tremendous pitching performance from Matt Travis today. It is really hard to sweep anybody in our league and to do it against USF and Loyola Marymount back-to-back is a great accomplishment for our team."
Sophomore Joe Diefenderfer singled in the game-winning run with two outs left and the bases loaded in the bottom of the tenth inning. The win marks the first time LMU has been swept by a conference opponent since 1998, when the Broncos won four-straight in Los Angeles.
The Broncos opened the scoring in the first inning when Matt Miller scored on a RBI single by Matt Queen. Santa Clara added another run in the fifth inning when Jimmy Wallace hit his second home run of the year off LMU starting pitcher Joshua Muecke to make the score 2-0.
Sophomore southpaw Matt Travis started on the mound for Santa Clara and shut out the Lions through the first seven innings of play. LMU first scored off Travis in the eighth inning when Kris Zacuto hit a RBI double. The next batter, Joshua Whitesell, then singled in Zacuto to tie the game at 2-2. Anthony Rea, A.J. Ampi, and Chad Fillinger combined to pitch two-and-a-third shutout innings to finish the Lions. Chad Fillinger (3-1) earned his team leading third win of the season. Brian Felten (0-3) recorded the loss for LMU
In the bottom of the tenth inning, the bases were loaded with one out for right fielder John Hilvert. LMU proceeded to move right fielder C.J. Wilson into the infield to force the double play. Hilvert eventually hit a sharp ground ball to the third baseman Tommy Perez who made a diving stop to prevent the runner from scoring. However, the Lions would then run into Diefenderfer who, with two outs left, singled in the game-winning run.
Santa Clara was led offensively by Matt Queen who went 3-for-5 with one RBI. Joshua Whitesell led the Lions going 2-for-4 with a RBI.
The Broncos are next in action when they travel to Spokane, Wash. to take on WCC rival Gonzaga in a three-game series. Game one is on Saturday, March 24. First pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m.