May 5, 2002
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The Santa Clara University baseball team rallied for one run in the ninth inning to complete a three-game sweep of Pepperdine University by a score of 8-7 Sunday afternoon at Buck Shaw Stadium.
The Broncos (23-26, 13-11 WCC) took a three run lead into the top of the ninth but gave up three runs to the Waves (23-27, 11-11 WCC) who tied the score at seven to force Santa Clara to come to bat in the bottom of the ninth inning.
Pepperdine brought in closer Jacob Barrack in the ninth inning to try and shut the door on Santa Clara but a lead-off single by A.J. LaBarbera started the wheels in motion for the Broncos. Joey Gomes followed LaBarbera with a single to left and moved to second while LaBarbera moved to third one batter later on a sacrifice bunt by Pat Peavey. The Waves walked Jack Headley to load the bases and bring up WCC Player of the Month, Jim Wallace. As if right on cue, Wallace delivered a shot to right field that scored LaBarbera, giving the Broncos their first series sweep of Pepperdine since 1997.
Wallace finished the day with a home run, double and four RBI. Gomes, LaBarbera and Ryan Chiarelli each went 2-for-5 at the plate, with Gomes belting his ninth home run of the season in the first inning to start the Bronco scoring.
Santa Clara starter Joe Diefenderfer went eight full innings in which he allowed four runs on eight hits and striking out six. Chad Fillinger came on in the ninth looking for his second save of the series but gave up a two-run home run to Chris Kelly. Grant Feichtmeir came on to relieve Fillinger and got the first two outs in the ninth but gave up the tying run before giving way to A.J. Ampi who got the final out and picked up his second win of the season.
The win moves Santa Clara into sole possession of second place in the WCC Coast Division, just one game behind Saint Mary's. Pepperdine falls to two games back while Gonzaga sits three games behind and will welcome the Broncos to Spokane, Wash. next weekend for a three game set.
Before the Broncos head to Spokane however, they will face the No. 9 ranked team in the country in Stanford Tuesday night at 6 p.m. in Buck Shaw Stadium. The Cardinal have taken two of the three previous meetings between the two schools this season, but the Broncos have won the only meeting this year at home.