March 3, 2006
Santa Clara, Calif. - Santa Clara University has put itself in great position this season to capture a fourth straight Rivalry Series and tonight, the baseball team took the first step to contributing to the overall point total, with a 4-2 victory over San Jose State University at Schott Stadium in the first of a three-game series. The Rivalry Series is an annual competition between the schools 13 intercollegiate varsity teams and currently, the Broncos lead the Spartans by a margin of 16-4.
Despite being outhit 11-6, Santa Clara (8-6 overall) used a solid defense and timely offense to capture its eighth win of the season. Brady Fuerst led the way with two hits on the night, while Gabe Alcantar and Eric Newton each added a double. In addition, Kyle Hartz and Dustin Realini chipped in with a single in the winning cause.
Santa Clara got off to a quick start in the bottom of the first inning, with three runners crossing home plate. Kevin Drever started off the inning by reaching first base thanks to an error on the part of San Jose State. He then advanced to second on a balk. Hartz followed with a single to first, putting Drever on third. After Spartan pitcher Branden Dewing walked Daniel Nava to load the bases, a free pass to Hartz scored Drever to give the Broncos the 1-0 lead. The score became 2-0 after Kris Watts' sacrifice fly allowed Hartz to cross the plate. A third run was obtained on the following play after Newton's grounded out to shortstop enabled Nava to score.
The visiting team would not go down without a fight, however, and produced a run each in the fifth and sixth innings to cut the home team's advantage to 3-2. In the bottom of the sixth, an insurance run was added after Alcantar doubled to left field, allowing Dustin Realini to score from third base. Santa Clara held San Jose State at bay the rest of the way to earn the 4-2 triumph.
Sean O'Neill (1-1) pitched 7 2/3 innings to pick up his first win of his collegiate career. O'Neill gave up 10 hits and struck out four batters. Mark Willinsky closed out the game to earn his fourth save of the year.
Santa Clara will look to clinch the Rivalry Series against San Jose State tomorrow afternoon at Spartan Stadium. Game time is set for 1 p.m.