March 17, 2007
RIVERSIDE, Calif. - The Bronco baseball team dropped its second straight game to the UC Riverside Highlanders on Saturday afternoon. UCR broke open a close game with 12 runs in the bottom of the eighth to turn a 5-3 lead into a 17-3 win. Santa Clara will look to bounce back in the final game of the series on Sunday in Riverside.
The day started well for the Broncos as Evan LeBlanc hit his first home run as a Bronco, a two-out home run in the second inning to put SCU up 1-0. However, UC Riverside responded in the second with a home run by Mike Vass to tie the game up.
Bronco starter Matt Wickswat battled throughout the game and gave SCU five solid innings. Wickswat gave up 10 hits, but he was able to limit the damage and allowed just three runs to leave the Broncos trailing just 3-2 after five innings.
Alex Rivers relieved Wickswat and pitched a 1-2-3 sixth inning. However, the Highlanders struck for two more runs in the seventh to stretch their lead to 5-2. A two-out home run by Jaime Pedroza accounted for the two runs.
Mark O'Brien's squad would not quit there, as Carl Bacon led off the top of the eighth with a double, one of three hits on the day for the Bronco designated hitter. He was driven home by an RBI groundout by David Hoffmire to cut the deficit to 5-3.
UC Riverside put the game out of reach with a huge inning in the bottom of the eighth. The Highlanders had 11 hits in the inning and scored 12 runs to turn a tight game into a rout.
Gabe Alcantar had three more hits for the Broncos to raise his season average to a team-leading .398. He also leads the team with 11 doubles and 13 extra-base hits.
Santa Clara fell back to 13-13 with the loss and will look to salvage the final game of the series on Sunday, March 18 at 1:00 p.m. PT.