by Joey Karp
SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Santa Clara (13-17) took the opening game of their first West Coast Conference road series from Saint Mary's (14-14) on Friday night behind the terrific pitching of RHP Cory Hall and a four run sixth inning. Both Curtis Wagner and Lucas Herbst provided the Broncos with 2 RBI. Cory Hall (4-4) threw a complete game gem for the Santa Clara, allowing just two runs on five hits while fanning nine batters. Hall's performance was his second complete game of the season.
Lucas Herbst lead off the game for the Broncos with a single to left field. Following a strike out, Kyle DeMerritt was hit by a pitch and Patrick Terry singled through the right side. Curtis Wagner grounded out to second base to knock in the first run of the game.
Cory Hall had a perfect 1-2-3 innings in the home half of the second while striking out his second batter of the game.
Santa Clara struck again in the top of the third when Just Viele lead off with a double. Wwo batters later Curtis Wagner drove him in with a base hit up the middle.
Cory Hall downed the Gaels in order in both the bottom of the third and fourth innings.
Brenden Kalfus lead off the bottom of the fifth inning with a single up the middle. Kalfus stole second and third and Michael Gastelum walked to put runners on the corner with one out. Cory Hall induced a double play ball to end the threat.
The Broncos exploded in the top of the sixth inning for four runs. Wagner lead off with a walk and advanced to second on a bunt by pinch-hitter Stephen Takahashi. Drew Ozanne was then hit by a pitch and Looney singled to center to load the bases. Blake Leyva was hit by a pitch to bring home the Broncos' first run of the inning. Herbst knocked in two with a single up the middle, followed by an RBI single by Justin Viele.
Cory Hall had a shutdown inning following the Broncos' outburst, recording his fourth 1-2-3 inning of the night in the bottom of the sixth.
Hall continued his strong performance with yet another perfect inning.
Viele and DeMerritt had back-to-back two-out singles in the top of the eighth but the Broncos were unable to capitalize.
For only the second time on the day Saint Mary's got their leadoff hitter on when Tim David had pinch hit single to open the home-half of the eighth. Hall responded by getting two groundouts and a strikeout to get out of the inning.
Andrew Biancardi drew a two-out pinch-hit walk, but was stranded on first.
Markus Melgosa was hit by a pitch to lead off the bottom of the ninth and Danny Hayes followed with a double to right field. Patrick Wisdom hit a sacrifice fly to centerfield to knock in the first Gaels' run of the night. Greg Ditmer made it back-to-back sacrifice flies to bring the score to 6-2. After a single by Kalfus, Cory Hall struck out Riley Heinzer to finish off his gem.
The series continues tomorrow with a 1 p.m. game in Moraga, Calif.
GAME NOTES: Seven different Broncos recorded hits...Wagner's two RBI ties him with Kyle DeMerritt for the most on the team with 19 RBI...Cory Hall has twice pitched complete games, while also pitching nine innings in a 13-inning win.