May 4, 2007
MORAGA, Calif. - Although they did not reach double-digits in the runs column for the first time in three games Friday afternoon, the Santa Clara Broncos still managed to put more runs on the board than their opponents, capturing the series opener against the Saint Mary's Gaels with a 5-3 victory in Moraga. The victory was the third in a row for the Broncos, their second-longest winning streak of the year.
The teams return to action Saturday afternoon for a 1 p.m. contest, and finish things off Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m.
Nate Garcia earned his first win in a month Friday afternoon, pitching seven innings and striking out six while scattering seven hits for three runs for the Broncos (24-23, 8-8 WCC), who are now over the .500 mark for the first time since being 13-12 on March 16. Garcia is now 4-5 on the year.
Jeff Lombard also pitched a perfect ninth for his 10th save of the year, placing him in a four-way tie for second on the SCU single-season saves list.
Offensively, Carl Bacon and Matt Long each had a pair of hits to lead SCU's 10-hit output. Bacon drove in the eventual game-winning run with a double in the sixth, while Long drove in the team's first run in the third with a one-out single that scored Jon Karcich.
With the 1-0 lead, Santa Clara added another run in the fourth, as Nathan Faulkner's bunt single brought Ryan Conan across for the two-run lead. But Saint Mary's answered right back, tying the game on solo home runs from Michael Cipolla and J.P. Musgrove in the Gael half of the fourth.
Santa Clara would grab the lead for good in the sixth, as Gabe Alcantar, with runners on the corners and one out, stroked a single to left that drove in Evan LeBlanc, and allowed Tommy Medica to reach third and Alcantar second on a fielding error in left. Bacon then drove in Medica with a double to left for the 4-2 lead.
Consecutive singles to start the bottom of the eighth chased Garcia, and two batters later, Randy Wells singled off of reliever Steve Kalush, scoring Eric Cattoni to cut the Bronco lead to one at 4-3. Kalush, though, would settle down and retire the final two batters of the inning.
SCU got an insurance run in the ninth as David Hoffmire scored on a wild pitch from SMC's Sean Gleason, who pitched a complete game Friday, giving up five runs and striking out six, but suffering his seventh loss of the year.