Broncos Drop Extra-Inning Thriller To Pilots
March 31, 2007
PORTLAND, Ore. - For the second straight day, the Santa Clara Broncos and the Portland Pilots saw their baseball game settled with late-inning bursts. But on Saturday, the Broncos ended up with the short end of the stick, dropping a 2-1, 10-inning decision as the Pilots needed only two at-bats in the bottom of the 10th inning to capture the win.
Santa Clara (14-15, 1-1 WCC) will close out the three-game series against Portland Sunday afternoon with a 1 p.m. contest.
Carl Bacon hit his first home run of the season in Saturday's contest, providing SCU's lone run. Matt Long had three hits while Ryan Conan and Tommy Medica each had a pair to help SCU's offensive cause.
Matt Wickswat tied his career-high with 10 strikeouts, while going eight innings and allowing only one run on eight hits.
In the second pitcher's duel so far in this series, both starters, Santa Clara's Wickswat and Portland's Given Kutz, matched zeroes for the first five innings of Saturday's game. The Pilots broke the scoreless tie in the sixth, as Danny Meier led the inning off with a single, and after advancing to second on a groundout, scored on Jesse Rodgers' single to left.
The Broncos threatened in the seventh, loading the bases with only one out, but the rally was thwarted after Jon Karcich grounded into a 5-2-3 double play.
Bacon, though, tied up the game with one out in the ninth, driving a Kutz offering deep to right to knot things up at 1-1. It was the only run Kutz would give up as he struck out ten batters over eight and a third innings of work.
While Portland went down in order in their half of the ninth, and the Broncos failed to score in the top of the 10th, things came to a swift end in the bottom half of the 10th. With Broncos closer Jeff Lombard on the mound, a leadoff walk by Eric Brown was followed with a double to left-center from Meier that plated Brown to end the game.
Lombard took his second loss of the season.