April 21, 2007
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - One day after suffering a 10-3 drubbing from the No. 11 Pepperdine Waves, the Santa Clara baseball team turned the ball over to ace Matt Wickswat, and he came through, striking out five and holding the Waves to only two runs in lifting the Broncos to a 4-3 victory Saturday in Malibu.
The victory evened the weekend series between the two teams, with tomorrow's rubber game set for a 1 p.m. start.
Offensively, Tommy Medica paced the Broncos (20-20, 6-5 WCC) with a pair of hits and runs scored, while Gabe Alcantar, Carl Bacon, and Kevin Madden each drove in a run. Brady Fuerst also doubled for SCU.
But the big story for the Broncos was Wickswat and the SCU defense, which stepped up on Saturday, getting out of a couple of sticky situations and forcing the Waves to strand 10 runners on base. Wickswat earned his sixth win of the season and lowered his ERA to 3.36 on the year with the strong effort.
The Broncos got on the board first once again Saturday, as three consecutive two-out singles in the first gave SCU a quick 1-0 lead. With runners on first and second, Alcantar's single through the left side plated Medica for the game's first run.
SCU tacked on its second run the following inning, as Fuerst doubles to lead things off, was sacrificed to third, and scored on Madden's bunt single.
The Waves got one back in their half of the second, as Ryan Heroy came in to score as Matthew Frazee drew a bases-loaded, two-out walk. But the Broncos answered right away, taking advantage of the only error of the contest to score what ended up being the game's winning runs.
Matt Long opened the inning by reaching base on a fielding error by Waves second baseman Denny Duron, and went to second on Medica's base hit. After Ryan Conan grounded out to second, allowing the runners to move into scoring position, and two batters later, Bacon's infield single to shortstop brought Long in for SCU's third run. Waves starter Robert Dickmann then balked while facing Fuerst, giving Medica a free pass home for a 4-1 SCU lead.
Dickmann lasted only four innings, giving up eight hits and four runs, although only two were earned, to fall to 5-2 on the year.
Pepperdine cut it to 4-2 in the third, as Danny Worth doubled to open the inning, and after advancing a bag on a base hit, scored on Heroy's sacrifice fly.
From there, the teams went scoreless for the next five and a half innings. While the Broncos were held in check by Waves reliever Adam Olbrychowski, who retired all 15 batters he faced over the final five innings, the Waves stranded seven runners over their final six times up.
Wickswat got Adrian Ortiz to ground out to third with runners on the corners to end the fourth, struck out two consecutive batters with a runner on second to end the fifth, and struck out Pepperdine left fielder Eric Thames with runners on first and second to end the seventh.
Jeff Lombard came on in the ninth, and things got interesting when after retiring the first two batters, he walked Worth, and gave up an RBI double to Donald Brown. But Lombard buckled down, getting Heroy to pop out to first to collect his ninth save of the year.