April 29, 2007
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Looking to avoid being swept for the first time this West Coast Conference season, the Santa Clara baseball team aggressively pushed the issue Sunday afternoon, overwhelming the Loyola Marymount Lions with 10 runs over the first two innings en route to an 11-1 victory at Stephen Schott Stadium.
The Broncos (22-23, 7-8 WCC) will play four games on the road this coming week, facing off against Stanford Tuesday evening for a 6 p.m. contest at Sunken Diamond Stadium, before resuming WCC play with a three-game set in Moraga against the Saint Mary's Gaels.
Tommy Medica led four Broncos with multi-hit games Sunday, driving in three runs and hitting his fourth triple of the year. Matt Long, who started things off right away for SCU by leading off the game with a solo home run, also scored a pair of runs. Ryan Conan drove in two runs with a pair of doubles, while Nathan Faulkner drove in a pair with a clutch two-out, bases-loaded single in the first.
"We really wanted to set the tone early today, and we did that," said head coach Mark O'Brien. "Donald Brandt set it for us with a 1-2-3 top of the first, and then Matt Long did it offensively with his lead-off home run. The clutch hit today, though, in my opinion, was Nathan Faulkner's bases-loaded single in the first. He was behind 0-2, but stayed disciplined and drove his pitch and helped us get that big inning to start."
Brandt earned his fourth win of the year with a shutdown effort Sunday, holding LMU to five hits and only one run, a solo homer by Justin Bunkis in the sixth inning, while striking out six over six and two-thirds innings.
"Donald really gave us a very solid effort today," said O'Brien. "He did a great job of locating his fastball all game, worked hard, and just had a great day out there on the mound."
Following Long's lead-off homer to right, the Broncos loaded the bases with two away in the first, and Faulkner, behind 0-2 in the count, drove a Daniel Macias offering up the middle and off of Macias' outstretched hand into center field. Two runs scored on the hit, giving SCU an early 3-0 cushion.
Consecutive walks to Long and Evan LeBlanc loaded the bases, which were promptly cleared by Medica's triple down the left-field line. Ryan Conan's double then brought in Medica, and after Gabe Alcantar's single, Carl Bacon drove a double of his own down the right-field line to plate Conan and Alcantar for the 9-0 lead. Bacon then scored as Faulkner reached on LMU shortstop Eric Farris' fielding error.
Macias suffered his sixth loss of the year for LMU, being charged with all 10 Bronco runs and walking five while giving up seven hits.
From that point, it was all Brandt and the SCU bullpen's show. After Brant gave way to the relievers with two away in the seventh, Daniel DeMarco, Justin Kuehn, and Chris Stansbury combined to toss two and a third shutout innings and hold the Lions to only two more hits the rest of the way.