March 18, 2007
RIVERSIDE, Calif. - The Bronco baseball team could not salvage game three of their series against UC Riverside on Sunday, falling 10-4 to the Highlanders. SCU got out to a 2-0 lead and out-hit UC Riverside 13-12, but that was not enough for the Broncos as they went down to their third consecutive defeat. Junior Gabe Alcantar went 2-for-3 for Santa Clara to push his season average to a team best .406.
The Broncos got off to a good start on Sunday as senior Nathan Faulkner led off the game with a single. Junior Ryan Conan then drove him home for the first of two RBIs on the day to put Santa Clara up 1-0. After freshman Jon Karcich knocked home sophomore Evan LeBlanc with an RBI single in the second, the Broncos were up 2-0 and in control of the game.
However, the Highlanders responded with two runs of their own in the bottom of the second to knot the game at two. Mark Samuelson and Kyle Barratt walked to lead off the inning and were sacrificed to third and second by Ben Price. Highlander second baseman Bryan Horst then knocked a single up the middle to drive in both Samuelson and Barratt.
UCR then took the lead in the bottom of the fourth with another walk keying the rally. Barratt drew his second walk of the game and was later knocked in by Horst for his third RBI of the day.
Mark O'Brien's squad did not quit after falling behind as the team immediately responded with two runs in the top of the fifth. Alcantar doubled to lead off the inning and was immediately driven in by Conan to tie the game. Senior Carl Bacon and Leblanc followed with singles. Sophomore Kevin Madden grounded into a double play, but a run scored and SCU was back on top.
The lead was short-lived, however, as the Highlanders scored four in their half of the fifth to move out to a 7-4 lead that they would not relinquish. They would pick up another run in the sixth and two more in the eighth to account for the final 10-4 margin.
Freshman Steve Kalush got the defeat for the Broncos to drop his record to 1-1, while Dan Runzler picked up his second win for the Highlanders.
Santa Clara continues its season-long 12-game road trip next weekend, traveling to Portland to play the Pilots from March 23-25. The series marks the start of West Coast Conference play for the Broncos.