February 3, 2007

Fast Start Leads Broncos to Second Straight Win

Feb. 3, 2007

Box Score |  Quotes

SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Five runs in the first inning, along with the go-ahead and eventual winning run in the third were enough for the Santa Clara baseball team to claim a 6-5 victory over the Utah Utes Saturday afternoon at Stephen Schott Stadium. The Broncos also benefited from solid efforts out of the bullpen, which held Utah scoreless over the final four innings and struck out nine batters.

The Broncos (3-2) will go for the sweep tomorrow afternoon, with the series finale set for a 12 p.m. first pitch.

Steve Kalush and Jeff Lombard provided the relief Saturday, with Kalush striking out six batters in two and a third innings, and Lombard striking out three over the final inning and two-thirds to pick up the save. Nate Garcia picked up his first collegiate win by going five innings and striking out five.

"I thought that Nate did a great job of just bobbing and weaving out there, and the big thing was that after he gave up three in the third, he came back strong with shutout innings in the fourth and fifth," said head coach Mark O'Brien. "Steve Kalush did a great job of getting out of the sixth after giving up a leadoff double, and Jeff Lombard came in, fired strikes, and got it going right away. I'm real proud of our bullpen."

Gabe Alcantar went 2-for-4 from the plate with a double and three RBIs to spark the SCU offense. Kevin Drever also had a pair of hits while reaching base in four of his five plate appearances.

Despite spotting the Utes a two-run lead after the top half of the first, the Broncos responded with five runs of their own to take a 5-2 lead. Drever led the inning off with a single, and after being sacrificed over to second, scored on Matt Long's double.

After Nathan Faulkner was hit by a pitch, Evan LeBlanc reached on an error, scoring Long. Two batters later, a passed ball allowed Faulkner to score from third, and aftr Ryan Conan walked and Jon Karcich was hit by a pitch, Alcantar's bases-loaded double plated the final two runs of the inning.

Utah bounced back in the top of the third, as Jay Brossman banged out a one-out homer to left to start a three-run rally. Two-out singles from Cody Guymon and Mike Mitchell evened the score at 5-5, but the Utah rally was brought to an abrupt halt by the heads-up play of catcher Tommy Medica. With runners on the corners, Mitchell took off and stole second, but Medica alertly faked the throw to second, and whipped the ball to third to pick Erich Kemp off of third to end the inning.

The Broncos manufactured the eventual winning run right away, as Carl Bacon led off the third with a single to left, and was sacrificed to second. After taking third on a groundout, Bacon was driven in by Alcantar's single off of pitcher Stephen Fife.