Feb. 25, 2006
SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. - While it was the big bats that picked up the first win of the series yesterday, nerves of steel from Santa Clara's young and brash pitching staff led the team to victory in the second game as the Broncos took a 7-5 decision Saturday afternoon to capture their weekend series from the No. 22 Cal Poly Mustangs at Baggett Stadium.
With the bases loaded and only one out, freshman closer Mark Willinsky earned his second save in as many days and third of the season in dramatic fashion as he struck out two of Cal Poly's big bats in Adam Buschini and Jimmy Van Ostrand.
The Broncos (7-5) followed the same initial formula from Friday to put Cal Poly (9-5) into an early hole, having another big second inning as they put four runs on the board. SCU scored seven runs off of the Mustangs' previously unbeaten Bud Norris, ending his streak of nine-straight victories. Freshman Justin Kuehn (1-2) allowed only one earned run in seven-plus innings of work to earn his first collegiate win.
After six innings Cal Poly had closed the gap to 5-4, but Santa Clara answered with two runs in their half of the seventh to provide a 7-4 cushion which came in handy in the final innings.
Santa Clara pounded out 12 hits Saturday, led by catcher Kris Watt' three singles. Four more Broncos registered a multi-hit game as Kevin Drever, Kyle Hartz, Eric Newton and Gabriel Alcantar each collected a pair of hits for the Broncos.
First pitch for Sunday's series finale is set 1 p.m. at Baggett Stadium. Redshirt freshman Matt Wickswat (2-0, 3.60 ERA) will take the hill as the Broncos look to complete the sweep of the Mustangs, who will answer with sophomore Evan Reed (1-0, 5.84 ERA).