May 11, 2007
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Like a pair of chess masters agonizing over each potentially advantageous move, the Santa Clara Broncos and San Diego Toreros continually raised the tension level Friday night until the sixth-ranked Toreros finally broke through and held on for the 3-1 victory which clinched them the West Coast Conference regular-season title at Stephen Schott Stadium.
The teams will return to action Saturday and Sunday, with both contests scheduled for 1 p.m. starts.
Nate Garcia and Steve Kalush teamed up to hold the powerful San Diego offense to only three runs on five hits and strike out nine, with Garcia tossing six innings and Kalush the final three. At the plate, Carl Bacon doubles twice and scored the lone Bronco run, while David Hoffmire doubled and drove in Bacon in the fifth inning.
Despite the efforts of Garcia and Kalush, San Diego's Brian Matusz and A.J. Griffin held their own against the Bronco offense. Matusz struck out 11 while allowing only a run over seven and a third innings to improve to 10-2 on the year, while Griffin worked the final inning and two-thirds for his third save.
San Diego got on the board first, as with two out in the fourth, Daniel Magness reached on an error by Hoffmire, which led to consecutive singles from Josh Romanski and Logan Gelbrich, whose base hit up the middle scored Magness.
The Broncos answered in their half of the fifth, as Bacon, whose two doubles were SCU's first hits off of Matusz, scored on Hoffmire's two-out double down the right-field line to equalize.
Yet right away, the Toreros reclaimed the advantage, getting a two-out, bases-loaded bloop single to center that bounced inches from the diving Matt Long. Shane Buschini and Gilbrich scored on the play, and the Toreros had a 3-1 lead that they would not relinquish the rest of the night.
Santa Clara had one more good scoring chance, as Jon Karcich led off the eighth with a double to left-center, followed by Long being hit by a pitch to put runners on first and second with the potential go-ahead run at the plate. But the Broncos could not get a run across, as Griffin came on in relief and retired the next three batters.