April 1, 2003
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The Santa Clara University baseball team went up big early but had to hold on to defeat Saint Mary's College by a 10-7 score Tuesday afternoon at Louis Guisto Field in Moraga, Calif. The game was being played as a makeup after the March 16 match-up was postponed due to inclement weather.
The Broncos (13-19, 5-4 WCC) got the scoring started off in the top of the first inning as Scott Dierks collected his ninth home run of the season and third leadoff dinger of the year with a solo shot over the right field fence. A.J. LaBarbera followed the Dierks homer with a bunt single and moved up to second on a throwing error by Bryan Byrne. He advanced to third on a single through the left side by Jason Matteucci before scoring on a sacrifice fly ball to center field by Jim Wallace. Matteucci moved to third on a double to left center by Will Thompson before scoring on a groundout to second base by Jack Headley, giving the Broncos a 3-0 lead.
Santa Clara added two more runs in the top of the second inning as Joe Diefenderfer led off the inning with a single to right field and moved up to second base on a sacrifice bunt by Michael Lange. Diefenderfer moved up to third on a single by Dierks and scored one batter later on a LaBarbera single to left field. After a fielder's choice moved Dierks up to third base, Wallace picked up his second RBI in as many innings on his second sacrifice fly to center field, giving the Broncos a 5-0 lead.
Saint Mary's (13-16, 4-5) got on the board in the bottom of the second inning, capitalizing on two Santa Clara errors to narrow the Bronco lead down to 5-2. Nick Conte reached on an error by Michael Thompson at third and advanced to third base on a single by Sam Battle. On the single, Battle advanced to second on a throwing error by Matteucci in right field. Both runners scored two batters later on a single up the middle by Mike Harris.
Headley led off the third inning with a double to left center and promptly stole third base on the very next pitch. Michael Thompson drove Headley in two pitches later with a sacrifice fly ball to center field. Diefenderfer continued the Broncos' hot hitting with his second single of the game, this time from off Saint Mary's relief pitcher, Matt Yourkin, who came on to begin the third inning. Following a Lange fly ball to shallow center, Dierks took over the league lead in home runs, crushing a two-run shot deep over the center field wall for his 10th big fly of the year and second of the game, extending the SCU lead to 8-2.
After back-to-back one-out doubles by Wallace and Will Thompson in the top of the fourth inning, Headley picked up his second RBI of the game with a groundout to shortstop, scoring Wallace from third. Will Thompson scored on the next play as Michael Thompson, no relation, singled through the left side giving Santa Clara a 10-2 lead.
After four innings in which neither team scored, Saint Mary's scored one run on two hits as Tim Spooner reached on a walk and advanced to second on a base hit from Conte. Both runners moved up a base on a wild pitch before a Jeff Cunningham single scored Spooner to cut the Bronco lead down to 10-3.
Santa Clara starter John Redmond improved to 2-3 on the season after giving up on two runs, both of which were unearned, on six hits to go along with one walk and four strikeouts in five full innings of work.
Anthony Rea came on in relief for the Broncos in the sixth inning and did not allow a run despite giving up two hits to lead off the inning. Andrew Slorp threw the seventh inning for SCU and promptly struck out the side. Scott Shapiro allowed the one run in the eighth inning before giving way to Chad Fillinger in the ninth. Fillinger was pulled after giving up three-straight hits to begin the ninth inning, all of which would later score.
Patrick Overholt came on in relief of Fillinger and gave up a hit to Byrne that scored Rob Kohn and Stephen Foushee who had reached earlier in the inning. Following the hit Overholt recorded two flyouts, one of which was a sacrifice fly for a RBI, and a strikeout to end the game.
SMC starter Gabe Palma saw his record fall to 1-1 on the year after giving up five runs on seven hits in two full innings of work. Matt Yourkin gave up five runs on five hits but struck out five in his six innings of relief. Dane Dobrinich threw the ninth inning and did not allow a run despite giving up a pinch-hit to David Mandley.
Dierks finished the game with three hits in five at bats with two home runs, three RBI and three runs scored. Headley collected two hits in four at bats with a double, two RBI and a run scored. Will Thompson and Diefenderfer both finished the game with two hits.
Santa Clara returns to action this weekend with a three-game series at San Francisco. The series opener is scheduled for a 3 p.m. start on Friday while Saturday and Sunday's games are both slated to begin at 1 p.m.