April 19, 2003
PORTLAND, Ore. - The Santa Clara University baseball team swept the University of Portland as it took the final game of the series by a 5-4 score Saturday afternoon at Pilot Stadium in Portland, Ore. The win move the Broncos' record to 21-21 overall and 13-5 in West Coast Conference play while dropping the Pilots' record down to 8-29-1 overall and 4-13-1 in league action.
SCU gets back to the .500 mark with the pair of wins on Saturday for the first time since they were 6-6 on February 16th. They also move to 11-1 in doubleheaders since head coach Mark O'Brien took over the program in 2002.
Santa Clara got on the board first again for the third time in the series as Michael Thompson singled to right field to leadoff the third inning. After a sacrifice bunt by Ryan Chiarelli and a single up the middle by Michael Lange, Thompson scored from third base on a sacrifice fly out to left field by Scott Dierks. The RBI for Dierks was his sixth on the day as he accumulated five during the first game of the Saturday doubleheader that the Broncos won by an 18-0 score.
Joe Watson led off the Portland half of the third inning with a single to center field and moved up to third base on a double down the right field line by Pat Geraghty. Watson scored on a Kellan McConnell wild pitch that moved Geraghty up to third base. Geraghty gave the Pilots their first lead of the series at 2-1 when he scored on a Rob Seffens single up the middle.
The Broncos didn't waste much time in regaining the lead as Will Thompson reached on a two-out walk in the top of the fourth before moving up to second on an infield single by A.J. LaBarbera. Michael Thompson strode to the plate and delivered a three-run home run over the left center field wall to give SCU a 4-2 lead heading into the bottom half of the inning.
The Pilots added one run in the bottom half of the fourth inning as Trevor Hahn reached on an infield single and moved up to second on a throwing error by Michael Lange. Hahn came around to score on a single to center field by Watson, narrowing the gap down to 4-3 in favor of Santa Clara.
Portland tied the score at four runs apiece in the bottom of the fifth inning as Tyler Perkins reached on a single up the middle and was pushed to second on a sacrifice bunt by Ryan Heil. Perkins came home from second base on a double to right center field by Kory Casto.
SCU re-took the lead in the top half of the seventh inning as Lange, Dierks and Headley each singled to start off the inning. On Headley's single to left field Justin Pierce bobbled the ball in the outfield allowing Lange to score, giving the Broncos a 5-4 lead. Santa Clara could muster no more runs though as Dierks and Headley were each caught stealing on separate plays, ending the inning when Headley was cut down at second base.
The Bronco defense came up big in the bottom of the eighth inning as reliever Anthony Rea fielded a bunt with runners on the corners and was able to run down the runner at third for the first out in the inning. With Pilot runners at first and second, Rea induced an inning ending 5-3 double play, preserving the one-run Bronco lead.
McConnell gave the Broncos four strong innings in his start, allowing three runs, two of which were earned, on six hits with one walk and seven strikeouts before giving way to John Redmond in the fifth inning. Redmond allowed only one run on three hits in three full innings of relief to improve his record to 5-3 on the season. Rea got all three outs in the eighth inning despite facing only two Pilot batters. Patrick Overholt came on for the ninth inning and recorded his sixth save this season.
Trent Kristjanson registered the first complete game of his career, allowing five runs, four of which were earned, on 10 hits while walking two and striking out six. His record falls to 1-3 on the year.
Santa Clara returns to action next week with four games in the Bay Area. Tuesday's game at California is scheduled for a 2:30 p.m. start. The three-game weekend series with Loyola Marymount at Buck Shaw Stadium is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. Friday evening. Saturday and Sunday's contests are slated for 1 p.m. first pitches.