April 29, 2006
Santa Clara, Calif. - An early game deficit did not deter the Santa Clara baseball team from evening a weekend series with West Coast Conference rival Saint Mary's. Thanks to the blazing bats of Donald Brandt, Kevin Drever, and Eric Newton, the Broncos overcame an early 4-0 hole to beat the Gaels 10-6 this afternoon at Schott Stadium. Brandt and Newton hit timely home runs for SCU today, while Drever lead the team with three hits on the day.
With the victory, Santa Clara ups its record to 24-17 on the year, with a 6-8 mark in the WCC, and will return to action tomorrow afternoon for the rubber game against Saint Mary's. The first pitch is slated to be thrown out at 1 p.m.
Starting pitchers Matt Wickswat and Corey Madden were able to keep their respective opponents off balance in the early going of the game, as both teams only accounted for three hits through the first three innings of play. However, Saint Mary's exploded in the top of the fourth inning for four runs to take a commanding 4-0 advantage.
Santa Clara would not go down without a fight, however, and began its rally in the bottom of the fourth, as Brandt hit his second home run of the year to close the gap to 4-1. In the following inning, Drever singled to right field and Newton brought him home after slamming his 13th home run of the season to bring the Broncos to within one. In the same inning Daniel Nava walked to get onto first base and used his speed to cross the plate to tie the game up at 4-4 after Kris Watts doubled to left field. SCU would tack on another run in the sixth inning after Brandt scored on a passed ball in a bases loaded situation.
Santa Clara's assault on the Saint Mary's pitching staff would continue in the top of seventh inning with five runs scored. Nava was first up and he promptly doubled to left center. Watts then singled to center field, advancing Nava to third base. Brady Fuerst then loaded the bases after he was hit by a pitch. Brandt singled to center field, moving everyone up a base and scoring Nava. After Kevin Madden came in as a pinch runner for Brandt, Jason Matteucci singled to right field, sending both Watts and Fuerst across home plate and putting Madden on third. With runners at the corners, Drever singled to right field, scoring Madden and Matteuci went to second. Both Matteuci and Drever advanced one base due to a wild pitch by Michael Nisco. Matteuci then scoredafter Dustin Realini grounded out to third base. The five-run explosion by the Broncos gave them a strong 10-4 lead.
Saint Mary's rallied and did not go down quietly, as its bats suddenly got hot again in the top of the ninth inning. Although Jeff Lombard gave up two runs after replacing Wickswat, he settled down and retired the Gaels with a flyout and two strikeouts to end the ball game.
Wickswat, who pitched eight innings and struck out 10 batters, earned the win to go 8-2 on the year, while Justin Sloan, who replaced Madden (0-1) in the sixth inning, picked up the loss.