April 2, 2002
BERKELEY, Calif. - The Santa Clara University baseball team dropped another heartbreaking game to California, this time by a score of 7-6 Tuesday afternoon at Evans Diamond in Berkeley, Calif.
A.J. LaBarbera started the Broncos (12-19) off right with a solo home run on the game's second pitch. The game remained at 1-0 until the seventh inning when catcher Jim Wallace sent a bomb over the left-center field fence with Joe Diefenderfer on to give Santa Clara a 3-0 lead.
In the Bronco half of the eighth inning David Mandley led off with a single to left field and would later score when Diefenderfer grounded out to second base with the bases loaded. Wallace would extend the Santa Clara lead to 6-1 just one batter later when he sent a single up the middle that scored Pat Peavey and Shawn Epidendio.
The Bears (20-14) scored their first two runs on home runs, the first coming in the bottom of the seventh inning when Carson White sent a shot over the left field fence. Ben Conley would connect on his second home run of the season in the bottom of the eighth to narrow the Bronco lead to 6-2.
John Redmond pitched very well on the day, throwing 7 2/3 innings of work in which he allowed only two runs on four hits before giving way to A.J. Ampi in the eighth inning. Ampi retired the only batter he faced in the bottom of the eighth, getting David Weiner to ground out to end the inning.
Jared Anderson began the bottom of the ninth inning on the mound for Santa Clara and promptly gave up a single to Conor Jackson to begin the inning. Anderson would retire White on a flyout but after a hit batsmen and a single by David Nicholson, the Bears were one run closer to the Broncos, forcing Santa Clara to bring in closer Grant Feichtmeir.
Feichtmeir would get only one out in the ninth inning as the Bears clawed their way back to tie the game at six on a two-run double to left center field by pinch hitter John Baker. Baker would score one batter later as Conley capped off the Cal comeback with a game-winning single.
Feichtmeir fell to 0-4 on the year with the loss, while Matt Payne improved to 2-0 on the year for California by pitching the final inning and a third of hitless relief.
The five run ninth inning was eerily similar to the last time these same two teams met in February, when the Bears scored five time in the top of the ninth inning to defeat Santa Clara by a score of 10-7 at Buck Shaw Stadium.
The Broncos return to action in the West Coast Conference this weekend at Buck Shaw Stadium when they host the University of San Francisco in a three-game series beginning Friday evening. The first pitch of the series is scheduled for 6 p.m., with Saturday and Sunday's games scheduled for 1 p.m.