Clutch Hits Give Broncos 6-3 Win Monday

Feb. 19, 2007

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SANTA CLARA, Calif. - A surge of runs over the middle innings on Monday afternoon proved to be the difference as the Santa Clara baseball team captured a 6-3 win over the Utah Utes at Stephen Schott Stadium. With the win, the Broncos recorded their fourth straight win over the Utes this season.

SCU (7-7) will remain home for this coming weekend, hosting the Cal Poly Mustangs in a three-game series. Friday's opener is set for a 6 p.m. start at Stephen Schott Stadium, while Saturday and Sunday's contests are set for 1 p.m. starts.

"I think we needed to get our spirits back up after a tough game yesterday, and we did a good job of competing the way that we are capable of doing," said head coach Mark O'Brien. "I was happy with the way Donald set the tone for us and how we got some early runs, and I thought that we had better energy and the right attitude today."

Ryan Conan, Kevin Drever, Brady Fuerst, and Geoff Klein all had a pair of hits for the Broncos Monday afternoon, with Klein, making his first career start behind the plate as regular catcher Carl Bacon was given the day off, got his first two collegiate hits and drove in a run. Drever and Conan each drove in a pair of runs, as well. Juan Parra also had a fine day, going 1-for-3 with a pair of walks, two runs scored, and an RBI.

"Juan's an infectious player, our guys feed off of his speed, energy, and great defense, and we needed a solid effort out of Geoff today, and we got that from him," O'Brien said of the two contributors. "To be a freshman and go behind the plate in a game we needed to win, I was really happy with the way he handled out pitching staff and he had some very good at-bats."

Steve Kalush tossed two and two-thirds innings of scoreless relief to earn his first collegiate win, while Jeff Lombard closed out the ninth for his third save of the season.

SCU got on the board right away Monday, as Parra walked and stole second to lead off the game and scored on Drever's single to center. Good baserunning got the Broncos their second run of the inning as with two outs, Gabe Alcantar, who reached on a fielder's choice, stole second and subsequently scored on Conan's base hit to left.

Santa Clara starter Donald Brandt cruised through the first four innings, allowing only one hit, but ran into trouble in the fifth. After getting Erich Kemp to fly out to start the inning, consecutive base hits followed by a walk loaded the bases and ended Brandt's day. Chris Stansbury then walked Nate Burnham to force in Utah's first run, and Nick Lowery's sacrifice fly in the next at-bat evened things up at 2-2.

The team's then traded runs in the next three half-innings, as Drever's sacrifice fly in the fifth plated Parra for a 3-2 SCU lead, but that was followed by Utah tying things up again when an SCU error in the outfield allowed Jesse Shriner to advance to second and then be driven in by Kemp's RBI single.

Yet Santa Clara went ahead for good in the bottom of the sixth, as Parra drove Brady Fuerst in from third with a single to left. The Broncos would tack on two more runs in the seventh as Conan's double plated Alcantar, followed by Klein's RBI single which scored Conan with SCU's sixth run.