April 13, 2002
SAN DIEGO, Calif. - The Santa Clara University baseball team dropped another heartbreaker Saturday afternoon, this time to the University of San Diego by a score of 6-5 in 10 innings at San Diego's Cunningham Baseball Stadium.
The Toreros (29-11, 11-6 WCC) came right back in the bottom of the first with three runs of their own on four hits off Santa Clara starter Joe Diefenderfer.
After tying the game at three in the second inning, Santa Clara moved ahead again by two after a run in the fourth and another run in the fifth when Jack Headley scored Gomes from third base on a sacrifice fly to center field.
San Diego rallied to tie the score at five in the bottom of the seventh inning, scoring twice on two hits and two Bronco errors, setting the stage for yet another close finish.
Joe Diefenderfer was pulled from the game after seven full innings of work in which he allowed only four earned runs on nine hits while striking out five. A.J. Ampi came on in relief and pitched scoreless innings in the eighth and ninth innings.
The Broncos set the stage to take the lead in the ninth after loading the bases with two outs, but Ryan Chiarelli was caught looking on a well-placed pitch from San Diego reliever Tony Perez to end the inning.
The Toreros got two of their first three batters on base, forcing Santa Clara to bring in Grant Feichtmeir from the bullpen. After Mike McCoy stole third base, shortstop Eric Verdugo plated the second baseman with a sacrifice fly to center field.
Gomes, the senior right fielder for Santa Clara, went 4-for-5 with two doubles and two RBI in the loss, while LaBarbera and Pat Peavey each added two hits.
The loss for Santa Clara was the eighth this season that came in the opposing team's final at bat, including three games in extra innings. The Broncos also fell to Nevada and Pepperdine in the 10th inning before dropping today's game in the 10th.
Santa Clara and San Diego will conclude its three-game series on Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m.