March 26, 2005
SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. - The Santa Clara baseball team fell at San Francisco, 4-1 in the final game of a three-game West Coast Conference series on Saturday afternoon. The Broncos record evens at .500 with a 13-13 overall mark and a 0-5 record in conference action. The Dons completed their second straight WCC series sweep and improve to 19-7, 6-0 in WCC play.
Two Don home runs would bring three runs across the plate in the bottom of the second inning. Blake Nelson led off the frame with a solo home run before Lucas DeLong drove in two runs with a round tripper to left field.
San Francisco added another run to its total in the bottom of the fifth inning when three consecutive walks were issued to USF to start the frame. With the bases loaded and no outs, Santa Clara brought Chris Stansbury in to relieve starter Kellan McConnell. A sacrifice fly to center field brought in the run, but back-to-back strikeouts by Stansbury ended the inning with USF ahead 4-0.
The Broncos pushed a run across home plate in the top of the sixth inning as Nathan Faulkner was hit by a pitch to lead off the frame. Shawn Epidendio followed with a single before both runners advanced on a balk. Kris Watts knocked Faulkner in with a ground out to the right side of the infield. After five and a half innings, the Broncos trailed 4-1.
In the top of the eighth, SCU would put another runner in scoring position when Faulkner was once again hit by a pitch to start the inning. After two-outs, pinch hitter Ryan Chiarelli singled through the left side of the infield to advance the runner. However, a deep fly ball to center field would put an end to the final Bronco scoring opportunity of the contest.
McConnell suffered the loss to drop to 2-4 on the season. He allowed four hits and struck out three batters in four innings of action. Stansbury and Patrick Overholt combined to hold the Dons scoreless in the final four innings of the contest.
Santa Clara will continue its seven-game road swing next weekend when it heads to Portland for a three-game West Coast Conference series against the Pilots. Friday's game will begin at 2 p.m.