Feb. 15, 2002
For the second consecutive game the Santa Clara University baseball team had victory within its grasp only to have it snatched away from them in the ninth inning. This time UC Irvine was the culprit as the Anteaters scored twice in the bottom half of the ninth inning to defeat the Broncos by a score of 2-1 Friday night in Irvine, Calif.
Santa Clara took a 1-0 lead in the top of the eighth inning on a balk by UCI reliever Jon Koller. Jack Headley scored from third on the balk after leading off with a walk and advancing to third on a double down the right field line by Pat Peavey.
A.J. Ampi came on in relief in the eighth inning as got an inning ending, bases loaded 6-4-3 double-play to preserve the 1-0 lead going into the ninth.
Ampi got the first batter in the ninth but allowed a single to Chris Miller before being pulled in favor of Bronco closer Grant Feichtmeir. Feichtmeir promptly forced the next Anteater batter to ground out to third, advancing pinch runner Brett Dalton to third base.
Third baseman Steve Guthrie then stepped to the plate and grounded what appeared to be the game-ender to Headley at second base, but an errant throw allowed Dalton to score and moved Guthrie to second.
Andy Amara, who entered as a defensive move in the eighth inning, walked to the plate where he grounded a slow roller to third base and beat the Peavey throw for a base hit while Guthrie never stopped running and scored from second.
Despite the loss the Broncos got a stellar pitching performance from starter Chad Fillinger who threw seven complete innings of work in which he allowed no runs on only three hits.
Offensively, Santa Clara was limited to seven hits, two of which came from Peavey.
The loss for their Broncos is their fifth in a row, after starting the season 3-1. They will face UC Irvine in game two of the three-game set on Saturday at Anteater Ballpark, with the first pitch scheduled for 6 p.m.