March 9, 2003
SAN JOSE, Calif. - The Santa Clara University baseball team failed in its attempt to salvage at least one game in the three-game series against San Jose State, dropping the series finale by a score of 5-4 Sunday afternoon at Blethen Field.
The Spartans (9-8) jumped on the board early, scoring two runs on three hits in the first inning, highlighted by Kevin Frandsen's RBI single up the middle. They continued their early onslaught, scoring one run in the third and fourth innings, increasing their lead to 4-0.
SJSU starter Carlos Torres looked very impressive through the first four innings, allowing only one base hit to Bronco center fielder Jack Headley in the first inning. He induced six groundouts and struck out two while facing only one batter over the minimum during that span.
The Broncos (8-15) began to rally in the top of the fifth inning as Jim Wallace led off with an infield single and was promptly moved to third base on a double to right center by Jason Matteucci. Wallace scored two batters later on a sacrifice fly out by Joe Diefenderfer, narrowing the Spartan lead down to 4-1.
San Jose State added to its lead in the bottom of the fifth inning as they capitalized on two Bronco errors, both of which were committed by third baseman David Hoffmire. With the bases already loaded and two men out the number nine batter David Pierson grounded into what looked like an inning-ending grounder until Hoffmire booted the ball and could not tag out Jordan Bergstrom who was advancing from second to third.
Santa Clara chipped a little more away from the Spartan lead in the top of the seventh inning, scoring three times on only one hit but did strand three runners to end the inning trailing by a 5-4 score. Will Thompson led of the inning with a single and scored on a bases loaded walk by Joe Diefenderfer. Matteucci, who reached on a fielder's choice and Michael Thompson who reached on a walk both scored on a Scott Dierks ground ball that was misplayed by Anthony Contreras.
The top of the eighth inning was a narrow miss for the Broncos who had a runner on first when Michael Thompson sent a long fly ball over the left field fence for what appeared to be the go ahead two-run home run. The only problem was the ball hooked just foul before crossing the fence meaning that the pitch turned out to be just a long strike. The inning ended just a few pitches later as Thompson was punched out on a check swing, keeping the game at 5-4 in favor of the Spartans.
Anthony Rea, who came on in relief of SCU starter Matt Travis in the eighth inning, kept things close with a tremendous defensive play to end the inning. With runners on the corners Contreras squared to bunt for the Spartans and popped one up just in front of Rea. Rea reacted quickly off the mound and dove to catch the ball and easily doubled up the runner at third who broke for home on the suicide squeeze play.
Joe Diefenderfer walked to begin the ninth inning and was moved over to second base on a sacrifice bunt by pinch-hitter Alex Anderson. Dierks then grounded out to third base before a Jack Headley line drive was pulled in by Nate Corrick in deep center field to end the game, giving the Spartans a series sweep.
Torres picked up the win for SJSU and improved to 1-1 on the season after allowing only two earned runs on four hits in 6 1/3 innings of work. Andy Cook picked up his second save in as many days after getting the final three outs of the game.
Matt Travis took the loss for the Broncos and fell to 1-4 on the year after giving up four earned runs on nine hits in seven full innings of work.
The Broncos return to action next weekend as they begin West Coast Conference play with a three-game series at Saint Mary's College in Moraga, Calif. The series opener begins Friday afternoon at 2 p.m. while Saturday and Sunday's games are scheduled for 1 p.m. first pitches.