May 10, 2003
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The Santa Clara University baseball team gave up five runs in the top of the ninth inning as the Gonzaga Bulldogs took the series opener by a score of 10-5 Saturday afternoon at Buck Shaw Stadium. The loss drops the Broncos' record to 27-25 overall and 17-8 in West Coast Conference play while the Zags improve to 23-23-1 overall, 11-4 in league action.
The loss was especially painful for the Broncos as they now fall 3 1/2 games behind Pepperdine who has taken the first two games of a three-game series against Saint Mary's in Moraga, Calif. The Waves hold the big advantage with only four games remaining on their schedule while Santa Clara still has five games to go.
After the Bulldogs jumped out to an early 3-0 lead in the first inning, the Broncos answered right back in the bottom half of the first with two of their own. Two more Gonzaga runs in the top of the third moved the Bulldogs' lead up to 5-2 where it remained until the bottom of the seventh.
After a scoreless eighth inning for both teams, Gonzaga put the game out of reach as they scored five times on five hits in the top of the ninth, capped off by a grand slam from catcher Sam Hess. The home run for Hess was his first of the year.
The Broncos began a brief rally in the bottom of the ninth as the first two batters each singled, but a 4-6-3 double play quickly quelled that rally as a Jim Wallace strikeout ended the contest.
Reliever John Gonzales picked up the win and improved to 2-3 on the season for Gonzaga as he threw 1 1/3 innings of relief in which he allowed no runs on two hits to go along with one strikeout. Starter Ed Clelland went 7 2/3 innings and allowed all five SCU runs on 12 hits but did not walk any as he struck out four.
Santa Clara reliever Patrick Overholt fell to 4-4 on the year as he allowed all five runs in the ninth inning without getting an out. Starter Matt Travis allowed five runs on seven hits in 3 1/3 innings of work in which he walked two and struck out three. Chad Fillinger threw 4 1/3 innings of solid relief, allowing only one hit while walking one and striking out three.
Hess' grand slam was one of four hits for him on the day while his five RBI proved to be the difference in the game. Gordon Corder also homered on the day and went 3-for-5 with two RBI and three runs scored. Kemp Quackenbush added three hits of his own but did not score any runs or drive any in.
Jack Headley led the Broncos' offensive attack, going 4-for-5 with two runs scored and one RBI. Wallace went 3-for-5 while Scott Dierks, David Mandley and Matteucci each chipped in with two hits apiece.
Santa Clara and Gonzaga return to action for game two of the three-game series Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m. Monday's series finale is scheduled for a 2:30 p.m. first pitch from Buck Shaw Stadium.