April 15, 2007
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The Bronco baseball team could not pull out its weekend series against the Gonzaga Bulldogs, falling 6-3 in the finale at Stephen Schott Stadium on Sunday. Ryan Conan belted a three-run home run in the first inning, but the Broncos could not push another run across against the Bulldogs pitchers. Freshman Tommy Medica continued to swing a hot bat, collecting three more hits to push his season average to .414. The Broncos fell to 18-19 and 5-4 in the West Coast Conference with the loss.
The first inning featured fireworks for both teams. The Bulldogs scored two runs in the first with some help from the Broncos. Evan Wells led off the game with a single and Bryan Winston got on through a Gabe Alcantar error to put men at first and second. A walk to Darin Holcomb loaded the bases with no outs. However, Bronco starter Donald Brandt came back to strike out Ryan Wiegand. He would not escape the inning unscathed, however, as Shawn Wayt knocked home two runs with a single to right.
The Broncos responded in the bottom of the first with three runs of their own to take a 3-2 lead. Medica led off with an infield single and moved to second on an Alcantar single to center. Conan then blasted his sixth home run of the season over the center field fence. He also knocked in his 38th, 39th, and 40th runs of the season with the homer.
The lead would not last long as the Bulldogs loaded the bases again in the second. They would only score once though on a sacrifice fly by Winston that scored Mike Terry.
In the third, Gonzaga would take the lead for good despite some good defense by Santa Clara. Wayt led off with a walk and Aaron McGuinness followed with a double to center. Wayt was thrown out at the plate on McGuinness' double after a perfect relay from David Hoffmire to Medica. McGuinness advanced to third on the play and scored on Dustin Colclough's ground out to third.
The 'Zags would stretch the lead to three in the fifth with a pair of runs off Bronco reliever Steve Kalush. Colclough again did the damage, this time hitting a two-run homer off Kalush after a single by McGuinness.
Down 6-3, SCU had two great chances to get back in the game, but the Broncos could not get to Bulldogs starter Clayton Mortensen. In the fifth, Matt Long reached on a single to lead off the inning and Carl Bacon put two on base with a single of his own with two outs. Hoffmire then grounded out to the shortstop to end the threat.
One inning later, Santa Clara threatened again. LeBlanc got on through a fielding error by the shortstop. After a fielder's choice by Jon Karcich, Nathan Faulkner walked and Medica singled to center to load the bases with one out. Mortensen escaped the inning, however, by getting Long to pop out and then striking out Alcantar.
SCU managed just two walks the rest of the way as the Bulldogs earned the series win.
Karcich did provide one highlight in the eighth by robbing Wayt of a single and preventing a run with a leaping catch at shortstop.
Santa Clara is back in action on Tuesday, April 17 with a 6 p.m. PT game against the Stanford Cardinal at the Sunken Diamond. SCU returns to WCC play with a series at Pepperdine from April 20-22.