Feb. 17, 2007
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - A comeback bid in the ninth inning by the Santa Clara baseball team fell short with the tying run at the plate, sending the Broncos to their first home loss of the 2007 season as they dropped a 7-5 contest to the UC Davis Aggies Saturday afternoon at Stephen Schott Stadium.
The teams will meet in tomorrow's rubber game to complete the weekend set, with first pitch scheduled for 1 p.m. in Davis.
Yet it was back-to-back home runs by the Aggies in a three-run fifth, and two runs in the ninth which ended up propelling UC Davis to the win. Daniel Descalso went 3-for-4 with a home run and three RBIs for the Aggies on Saturday, while Aaron Hanke also added a long ball to help the cause.
SCU struck first Saturday, as Gabe Alcantar's RBI groundout plated Long, who led the game off with a double, in the first inning. But UC Davis took advantage of some bad luck for SCU in the third, scoring twice thanks to a bases-loaded balk by starter Nate Garcia, then adding the second run on Grant Hirneise's single off of Garcia's glove.
Garcia fell to 1-2 on the year after giving up five runs in four and a third innings of work.
UC Davis extended the lead to 5-1 in the fifth, as Descalso's two-run homer with one away, followed immediately by Hanke's drive to left, quickly gave the Aggies a three-run cushion.
Santa Clara answered with a run in their half of the fifth, but more bad luck killed the team's rally. After Hoffmire singled to drive in Juan Parra with the first run of the inning, Alcantar came to the plate with Long on second and Hoffmire on first. Alcantar's deep fly ball into the left-field corner at first appeared to be caught by a diving Kevin James, but upon hitting the ground, the ball came loose.
While the umpire ruled that a catch had not been made, Long and Hoffmire, thinking a catch had been made, returned to their bases, only to each be forced out as both teams were momentarily confused with the turn of events. Nevertheless, the double play stood, and instead of having the bases loaded with only one out, the Bronco rally was over.
UC Davis added a pair of runs in the ninth that ended up playing a major role in the final score, as the Broncos took advantage of two Aggie errors in their turn up to score three unearned runs. But Aggie closer Nik Aurora came on to retire the final two SCU batters, with UCD left fielder Michael Jacobellis making a sliding catch on Hoffmire's fly ball down the left-field line to end the game.