February 26, 2011

Broncos Win Both Games Of Saturday's Doubleheader

By Brandon Rebboah '13

Game 1

SANTA CLARA, Calif.- Cory Hall pitched 7.1 innings and only surrendered two runs as the Santa Clara baseball team (2-3) cruised to a 8-2 victory over Albany (0-3) in the first game of Saturday's double header.  Freshman Kyle DeMerritt sparked the offense while going 4-for-5 with three RBIs.

Hall turned in a solid pitching performance for the Broncos. He allowed two runs, six hits, and struck out seven batters in seven and one-third innings.  

"Cory's mentality has been good since the start of the fall," said head coach Mark O'Brien. "He's grown up and become a very good competitor."

The Broncos got off to an early start, taking a 2-0 lead after the first inning on RBIs by DeMerritt and sophomore Matt Ozanne.

Albany answered with an RBI double by first baseman Greg Muller in the top of the second to close the lead to 2-1, but the Broncos came right back with an RBI single by freshman Zach Looney to give the Broncos a 3-1 lead after two innings.

The Bronco offense added another run in bottom of the fifth, when DeMerritt got his second RBI single of the game to give the Broncos a 4-1 lead.

"I was seeing the ball well today. Honestly, hitting is contagious, so the fact that our team was sticking to a great approach made it easy today," said DeMerritt. "I just stayed small and things fell in place."

Santa Clara extended its lead to 6-1 in the seventh inning when Curtis Wagner provided a two-RBI double.  

With one out in the eighth inning, Cory Hall gave up his second run and James Smith came into the game in relief and got out of the inning without giving up a run.

The Broncos poured on two more runs in the eighth and Smith continued his relief into the ninth inning and preserving an 8-2 Bronco victory.

Game Notes: The first pitch was thrown at 1:02pm, game duration 2:58 … freshman Zach Looney was in 3-for-5 in Game 1 … Albany starting pitcher Zach Kraham (0-1) pitched five and two-thirds innings allowing 3 earned runs, and nine hits while throwing 100 pitches… Kyle DeMerritt saved a run with a diving grab and a quick throw to first in the bottom of the eighth… Blake Levya entered the game at second base and Stephen Takahashi entered in left field in the ninth inning … Santa Clara had a season-high 14 hits.

Game 2

SANTA CLARA, Calif.- Homeruns by Curtis Wagner, Justin Viele and Andrew Biancardi  highlighted Santa Clara's (3-3) offensive performance which included 12 hits in a 11-1 win over Albany (0-4) in the second game of Saturday's double header.

Freshman starting pitcher, Powell Fansler (1-0) pitched well for the Broncos, going seven innings while giving up just one run on five hits and setting down five batters.

"Powell, in his first career start, I don't know if you can ask for much more," said the skipper, Mark O'Brien. "He's tough to run against, throws his strikes. He did a good job."

After two innings of scoreless baseball, Santa Clara got on the board when Zach Looney hit an RBI single to put the Broncos up 1-0.

In the bottom of the fourth, the Santa Clara added to its lead when Curtis Wagner hit a towering homerun over the right field fence.  Matt Ozanne then added a single, and then stole second and third. Patrick Terry executed a safety squeeze play to score Ozanne from third to give the Broncos a 3-0 lead after four innings.

Albany answered with a run after Joe Ilacqua hit a sacrifice fly in the fifth to close the lead to 3-1.

Justin Viele answered the Albany score with his first career homerun to lead off the fifth inning. Pat Stover drove in a run with a double to deep-center field to give the Broncos a 5-1 lead after five innings.

"I'd been struggling to get a good pitch to hit. I got one that I liked and put a good swing on it," said Viele. "I thought it was going to go foul, but I got a little lucky and it stayed fair."

In the seventh, Pat Stover went deep to center again, adding a two-RBI triple to extend the Santa Clara lead before scoring on a wild pitch to make the Santa Clara lead 8-1.

In the bottom of the eighth, Andrew Biancardi hit a pinch-hit homerun on the first ball he saw to make it 11-1 in favor of the Broncos.

Albany added one run in the top of the ninth to put the final score at 11-2.

The series finale is schedule for tomorrow, Sunday, at 1 p.m. at Schott Stadium.

"We have to do what we always do on game day, we have to prepare for the game. We have to try to finish out strong," said O'Brien.

Game Notes: The first pitch of game two was at 4:39 pm, game time was 2:57... Stephen Takahashi entered the game in right field during the fourth inning … freshman Zach Looney went a combined 4-for-9 in Saturday's double header … In the bottom of the eighth Santa Clara put in new batters: Brian Roby entered the game in the bottom of the eighth as the DH, Gregory Harisis pinch hit for Justin Viele, Drew Ozanne pinch hit for Kyle DeMerritt, Andrew Biancardi pinch hit for Curtis Wagner … Kevin Achbold (0-1) picked up the loss for Albany.