March 7, 2003
SAN JOSE, Calif. - A Dominant pitching performance from San Jose State's Matt Durkin proved too much for Santa Clara University's baseball team as he struck out 15 batters in the Spartans' 8-0 win over the Broncos Friday night at Municipal Stadium.
The Broncos (8-13) fell behind early on as the Spartans (7-8) capitalized on two errors that led to two SJSU runs. Harkum King reached on an one-out error by A.J. LaBarbera and advanced to second when Jordan Bergstrom reached on an error by Michael Lange on the very next play. Both runners advanced one base on a wild pitch and scored two batters later on David Pierson's two-run single to right field.
Durkin struck out seven of the first 10 batters he faced before giving up his first hit in the top of the fourth inning to Jack Headley. Headley's soft line drive single to left field went for naught though as the Broncos failed to get him past first base, leaving the score at 2-0 in favor of the Spartans heading into the bottom of the fourth inning.
SJSU added three more runs in its half of the fourth inning as Pierson brought home the third run of the game with a bases loaded sacrifice bunt that was mishandled by Bronco starter Joe Diefenderfer just in front of the plate. Nate Corrick delivered the big blow on the very next at bat with a two-run single through the left side, scoring King and Bergstrom for their second runs of the game and giving the Spartans a 5-0 lead.
Although the Spartans' offense added one more run in the bottom of the fifth, the story continued to be the pitching of Durkin. After giving up the hit to Headley in the fourth, he recorded the next seven outs in a very efficient manner, striking out three and getting four easy groundouts. Scott Dierks ruined his attempt for eight straight outs as he delivered a two-out single to left field in the sixth inning before Jack Headley flied out to right field to end the inning.
Despite finishing the inning, two more SJSU runs in the sixth inning forced Diefenderfer from the game in the seventh, as John Redmond came on in relief. Redmond threw the final two innings, allowing only one hit over the final six outs. Diefenderfer fell to 2-3 on the season after allowing eight runs, six of which were earned, on 10 hits with two walks and six strikeouts.
The defensive bright spot for the Broncos were the four double plays that were turned, preventing the game from really getting out of hand.
Durkin went the entire distance in the victory, improving to 4-1 on the season after giving up only five hits while walking none in the career-high 15-strikeout performance.
Dierks was the only Bronco to register more than one hit, going 2-for-4 from the plate. Pierson's 3-for-3 performance with three RBI led the Spartans' offense.
The same two team will play game two of the three-game weekend series Saturday afternoon at 1 p.m. in Santa Clara's Buck Shaw Stadium.