by Brandon Rebboah
SANTA CLARA, Calif.- Santa Clara (14-17) won its second straight conference game, defeating West Coast Conference rival Saint Mary's in a hard-fought game that went to extra innings. Freshman Kyle DeMerritt knocked in the only run of the game with a RBI single in the tenth inning. J.R. Graham started his second game of the season, tossing seven scoreless innings and allowing three hits. Brock Simon picked up the win for the Broncos, allowing no runs on four hits through three innings of work. Simon's performance was highlighted by a dominant tenth inning in which he induced a fly ball, struck out a batter and started a pickoff play to end the game.
Santa Clara was unable to muster any offense in the first inning. Graham responded by striking out the first batter he faced. After a one-out single by Justin Fazio, Graham forced a pop out followed by a pickoff to end the inning.
In the second, Curtis Wagner was hit by a pitch with one out and advanced on a groundout. However, the Broncos couldn't knock him in.
Graham retired the side in both of the third and fourth inning, while picking up his second strikeout of the game.
In the bottom of the fifth, Graham pitched his way out of a jam. With one-out, Brenden Kalfus singled and advanced on a balk. Graham forced a groundout which advanced Kalfus to third. Despite having a runner on third, Graham got a groundout to end the inning.
In the home half of the seventh, Graham again provided a 1-2-3 inning.
After pitching seven scoreless innings, Graham was lifted in favor of Brock Simon. Graham finished his day allowing three hits and striking out five batters.
The game remained scoreless after nine innings.
The Broncos offense got going in the tenth. Stephen Takahashi singled to lead off the inning then advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Blake Leyva. Jordan Mills walked Lucas Herbst to put runners on first and second. With one out, Kyle DeMerritt came to the plate for the Broncos. DeMerritt roped down the left-field line to score Takahashi. Going into the bottom of the inning holding a, 1-0, lead.
After the Broncos scored, Simon returned to the mound in pursuit of the win. Simon forced a fly ball for the fist out. Kalfus doubled to put the tying run in scoring position, O'Brien singled to put runners on the corners for the Gaels. Simon fanned DeMello to get the second out of the inning. Simon then started a 1-6-3-2-5 pickoff play to end the game.
Game Notes: Kyle DeMerritt's game-winning RBI gives him 20 on the year…DeMerritt was 2-3 at the plate…Patrick Terry was 1-4…Takahashi was 2-4…Martin Agosta pitched eight innings for the Gaels…Keane pitched 0.1 innings and picked up the loss…Drew Ozanne walked twice...Gregory Harisis entered the game as a left fielder in the ninth inning.