Santa Clara Wins Rubber Match, Downs San Jose State, 6-3, To Take Series

Santa Clara Wins Rubber Match, Downs San Jose State, 6-3, To Take Series

SAN JOSE, Calif. – The Santa Clara baseball team (6-5) defeated No. 30 San Jose State (8-3), 6-3, this afternoon at Municipal Stadium, taking the second of three games to win the series against the Spartans.

Freshman Powell Fansler improved to 2-0 with the win on the mound after relieving starter Chris Mendoza in the fifth inning.  Junior J.R. Graham earned his second save of the year.  Junior Lucas Herbst (3-for-5, 1 RBI), sophomore Matt Ozanne (2-for-4, 1 RBI), sophomore Blake Leyva (2-for-5), and senior Curtis Wagner (2 RBIs) fueled the offense in the first road win of the season for the Broncos.

After an uneventful first inning, San Jose State nearly took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second, but freshman Kyle DeMerritt chose to throw to fellow rookie Zach Looney at the plate to throw out Kerry Jenkins and save the run.  After that, Mendoza got two timely strikeouts, sending both Michael DiRocco and Nick Borg down swinging to get out of the inning.

In the top of the third, Leyva singled to reach and was driven in by Herbst's single up the middle for the first run of the game.

San Jose State tied it up in the fourth inning when Caleb Natov's single through the right side scored Danny Stienstra.

Santa Clara responded in the fifth by taking back the lead with one run to make it 2-1.  Spartan starting pitcher Andy Hennessey walked three batters to load the bases with two outs.  Esteban Guzman came in to pitch but hit Pat Stover with a pitch to score the run.

SJSU went up 3-2 in the fifth, scoring two unearned runs on two hits and one error.   Fansler relieved Mendoza to get the final two outs of that innings.  Mendoza pitched 4.1 innings, striking out three batters while giving up seven hits and one earned run.

Fansler was replaced by freshman Max Deering midway through the sixth inning.  Deering went 3.1 innings and only gave up two hits, walking one and striking out another.

The Broncos' bats came alive in the top of the sixth, as SCU scored three runs on four hits.  Leyva singled to reach, but SJSU picked up two outs on sophomore Justin Viele and senior Patrick Terry's fly-outs.  Herbst hit his second single of the game and DeMerritt got his only hit of the game, an RBI-single to drive in Leyva.   D.J. Slaton then came in to pitch for Guzman and immediately gave up a two-RBI double to Wagner to make it 5-3 Broncos.

Wagner's hit would hold up as the game-winner, but Santa Clara scored its final run of the game in the bottom of the eighth on Ozanne's RBI-single that scored Terry.

Graham picked up his second save of the year after he was called on to get the final two outs of the ninth inning.  He struck out one of two batters faced.  Guzman's (0-1) loss was his first decision of the year.  Santa Clara left 15 runners on base compared to San Jose State's seven.  The Broncos also turned two double plays in the game.

The Broncos will take on California Tuesday afternoon in Berkeley at 1:30 p.m. in the first of two games against the Golden Bears this season.

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