May 1, 2007
STANFORD, Calif. - For the second straight game, the Santa Clara baseball team wasted no time racing out to a huge lead and putting it's opponent into an early hole. Tuesday night, the Broncos scored nine runs in the top of the first inning, and made it hold up in earning a 16-8 win over the Stanford Cardinal, SCU's third-straight victory and sixth in the last eight meetings with it's South Bay rival.
The Broncos (23-23) remain on the road this week, resuming West Coast Conference play Friday afternoon in Moraga, where SCU will battle the Saint Mary's Gaels in a three-game series. Friday's opener will begin at 3 p.m., while Saturday and Sunday's contests are each scheduled for a 1 p.m. first pitch.
Nathan Faulkner put together a career night Tuesday, going 5-for-5 with a double and a pair of RBIs to lead an SCU offense that smacked 17 hits off of six Stanford pitchers. Three more Broncos, Carl Bacon, Evan LeBlanc, and Tommy Medica had three hits and drove in a pair of runs against the Cardinal, while Bacon scored three runs as well. Matt Long also drove in four runs in the victory.
Santa Clara burst out of the gates immediately Tuesday night, plating nine runs before the first Cardinal hitter picked up a bat. With one out, LeBlanc doubled down the left-field line and was driven in on the next at-bat by Medica's single up the middle.
After Ryan Conan lined out to left, the Broncos proceeded to put the next nine runners on base, starting with a walk to Gabe Alcantar followed by an RBI single from Bacon that made it 2-0 Broncos and chased Cardinal starter Austin Yount from the game. Yount lasted only two-thirds of an inning, giving up four earned runs and suffering his first loss of the year.
Faulkner then welcomed reliever Brandt Walker to the game by doubling Alcantar in, and then David Hoffmire's walk loaded the bases. Walker then issued consecutive bases-loaded walks to Jon Karcich and Long, making it 5-0 Broncos. With Max Fearnow then taking over for Walker on the mound, LeBlanc, Medica, and Conan all provided RBI singles to cap the scoring in the first.
The Broncos took a 10-0 lead as a Karcich sacrifice fly scored Bacon in the second, but in the third, Stanford started to make things interesting, scoring four runs on five hits off of Bronco starter Sean O'Neill. Michael Taylor had the big hit in the rally, banging a two-run double off the center-field wall. Taylor struck again in the Stanford half of the fifth, cutting the SCU lead to 10-6 by crushing a long ball to left for a two-run homer, his seventh of the year, as part of his 2-for-3, four-RBI performance.
O'Neill, although giving up six runs on nine hits over five innings, still struck out three and came away with his second win of the year.
Yet Santa Clara answered back right away, quickly dashing any Stanford hopes of a comeback by scoring six runs in the top of the sixth. For the second time in the game, the Broncos batted around, with Alcantar, Bacon and Faulkner providing RBI singles, and Matt Long doing the bulk of the damage with a bases-loaded double that cleared the bases and gave SCU an insurmountable 16-6 lead.
Stanford added a run in both the seventh and eighth innings to provide the final margin.