May 13, 2007
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - A two-out, RBI double off the right-center field wall by Carl Bacon scored Nathan Faulkner and gave the Santa Clara baseball team a dramatic 6-5 win over the No. 6 San Diego Toreros in the WCC regular-season finale for both teams Sunday afternoon at Stephen Schott Stadium.
The Broncos (25-28, 9-12 WCC) begin their final week of the 2007 season with a 6 p.m. Tuesday night contest against the Stanford Cardinal. Santa Clara has won the first three meetings of the two schools this season, and will attempt to sweep the Cardinal Tuesday night at Stephen Schott Stadium. The Broncos will then play a two-game, home-and-home series against Sacramento State Saturday and Sunday, May 19 and 20, with Saturday's 2 p.m. contest in Sacramento, and Sunday's 2 p.m. game at home in Santa Clara.
Faulkner went 3-for-5 with a pair of runs scored Sunday, while Bacon and Gabe Alcantar each had a pair of hits and RBIs. Alcantar also hit his third home run of the season.
After San Diego had tied things up at 5-5 on a Kevin Hansen RBI single in the top of the eighth, it came down to Bacon with two outs in the bottom of the ninth. Faulkner singled to start the inning, went to second when Tommy Medica was hit by a pitch, and, after A.J. Griffin replaced Russell Holzhauer on the mound for USD, moved to third on Ryan Conan's deep fly ball to right-center. Bacon then worked the count on Griffin before hitting a towering drive to right-center that hit the fence, easily bringing Faulkner in with the winning run.
For Holzhauer it was his second loss of the year, while SCU's Alex Rivers got his second win by pitching an inning and a third of scoreless relief.
Sunday's contest was dominated by the pitchers for the first three innings, as Santa Clara's Donald Brandt and San Diego's Matt Couch made quick work of the opposing lineups. After each hurler retired the side in order over the first two frames, Brandt held the Toreros scoreless once more in the third. But the Broncos got a run off of Couch in their half of the inning, as with two away and Evan LeBlanc on third, Matt Long reached on an error by USD second baseman Justin Snyder, allowing LeBlanc to cross the plate with the game's first run.
San Diego would answer right away, though, on a one-out triple from Sean Nicol that scored Shane Buschini and Loan Gelbrich, giving USD the 2-1 lead. Nicol would then score on Daniel Magness' sacrifice bunt a batter later. Nicol went 2-for-4 with two RBIs Sunday, while Magness, Josh Romanski, and Kevin Hansen all had a pair of hits with an RBI.
Yet the Broncos wasted no time with a response of their own, as Alcantar's two-out blast over the fence in left-center scored both him and Tommy Medica, tying the game at 3-3.
The Toreros regained the lead in the sixth, on Romanski's fifth home run of the year, a solo shot to right field. USD then managed to put runners on second and third with two outs, forcing Brandt from the game after he had allowed four runs on seven hits in five and two-thirds innings. Steve Kalush came on and did the job, getting Snyder to foul out to third.
Santa Clara answered right away with two in the sixth to take the lead. Faulkner doubled to right-center to start the inning, and two batters later, Conan's double down the left-field line tied the game up at 4-4, before Bacon singled to right to plate Conan with the go-ahead run and chasing Couch from the game.
Couch gave up five runs, four earned, on six hits over five and a third innings.