by Joey Karp
MALIBU, Calif. – Santa Clara (17-27; 4-11 WCC) topped Pepperdine (19-25; 5-7 WCC) by a score of 5-4 on Sunday. Patrick Terry picked up two RBIs and Lucas Herbst had three hits to lead the offensive for Santa Clara. J.R. Graham (3-3) was dominant in the start for the Broncos. He pitched three innings without allowing a base runner and Paul Twining (1-0) pitched 4.2 shutout innings to pick up the win. Chris Mendoza picked up his first save of the season.
The Broncos struck early with a two-run first inning. Matt Ozanne led off the game by reaching on a throwing error by third baseman Miles Silverstein. Lucas Herbst followed with a single through the right side to advance Ozanne to second. After a failed sacrifice bunt attempt by Kyle DeMerritt, catcher Patrick Terry doubled to left center to knock in both runners. Despite loading the bases later in the inning, the Broncos were unable to push across any more runs.
Santa Clara struck again in the top of the fourth inning. Matt Ozanne drew a one-out walk and scored when Herbst and DeMerritt hit back-to-back singles. Terry walked to load the bases and Curtis Wagner hit a sacrifice fly to center field to extend the lead. Drew Ozanne singled to center field on the very next pitch to put the Broncos ahead 5-0.
Powell Fansler came in to relieve J.R. Graham and immediately ran in to trouble. The first three Waves players hit singles, including two infield singles. After getting a pop-out and an RBI groundout Fansler served up a homer to Joe Sever which made the score 5-4. Paul Twining came in to get the last out of the inning.
Twining entered the bottom of the ninth with a one-run lead and got the first out of the inning on a fly out to center. Nate Johnson followed with a single to left center and went to second on Server's single up the middle. Chris Mendoza entered the game and threw a wild pitch that advanced both runners. To setup the double play, he intentionally walked Sam Meyer. Cody Yount came in to pinch hit for Zach Vincej but grounded into a 4-3 double play to end the game and give the Broncos the win.
Santa Clara's road trip continues with a game on May 11 at UC Davis and a May 17 game with at Cal Poly before returning home for the last three home games of the season, May 20-22 vs. San Diego.
Game Notes: First pitch was thrown at 1:00 p.m… game time was 3:02… 211 fans came out to Eddy D. Field Stadium to watch the game… Chris Mendoza picked up his first career save… the top three hitters for the Broncos all scored at least one run...Patrick Terry hit .333 during the week (5-15) with 4 RBI.