by Michelle Schmitt
SANTA CLARA, Calif.- Despite a strong outing from ace Cory Hall, Santa Clara (17-28) dropped its mid-week game with UC Davis (16-27) 5-0. Hall (4-6) allowed two runs on nine hits in six innings of work, striking out six batters. Scott Chew improved to 1-0, pitching a complete game for the Aggies. J.R. Graham continued his dominance, pitching his sixth-straight perfect inning over his last three appearences.
Santa Clara went down in order in the first inning. In the bottom of the home team's first, UC Davis' Brett Morgan pushed the ball through the right side for a single to start the game. Scott Heylman doubled to right with Morgan moving to third. After Cory Hall struck out David Popkins, Scott Lyman hit into a fielder's choice, scoring Morgan. Eric Johnson ended the inning with a strikeout looking.
With Scott Chew, the Aggies 5-9 left-handed pitcher from Milpitas, on the mound Santa Clara went down in order in the first three and two thirds. Lucas Herbst broke the perfect game with a single to left field with two outs in the top of the fourth. Herbst was thrown out trying to steal second in a run down to end the inning.
Hall struck out two batters before Justin Andrade singled and stole second before being thrown out at the plate trying to go extra bases on Ryan Allgrove's single.
Morgan swung out swinging to start the bottom of the third – giving Hall four strikeouts early on the day. With two out the Aggies started to rally. Popkins singled to left and stole second. Lyman walked and Johnson singled past the third baseman to load up the bases. Hall left the inning without further damage on the scoreboard as Kalush grounded out to the shortstop in a fielder's choice to end the bottom of the third.
Hall scored his fifth strikeout to start the Aggie fourth inning. Allgrove picked up his second hit of the game with two outs, but was gunned down by Bronco catcher Zach Looney trying to steal second for the third out.
Patrick Terry led off the top of the fifth with a single for the Broncos' second hit of the game, but he was thrown out at second on Curtis Wagner's fielder's choice to the shortstop. Drew Ozanne grounded into a double play to end the inning.
After two Aggies grounded out in the infield back-to-back, Popkins hit a double to left. Lyman singled up the middle to score Popkins. Johnson's grounder forced Lyman to be thrown out at second to end the inning.
The Broncos went down in order in the top of the sixth with Stephen Takahashi and Looney both flying out to start the inning and Blake Leyva. Kalush and Cepin and then Andrade struck out swinging as Hall picked up his sixth strikeout on the day and the 71st of the season.
Herbst scored a two-out walk in the Bronco seventh, but was thrown out in a fielder's choice by Terry to end the inning.
Chris Mendoza took over for Hall in the bottom of the seventh. Hall pitched six innings, striking out six while giving up nine hits and two runs, both earned, and a walk. Allgrove singled to left for his third base hit on the day to start the bottom of the Aggie's seventh and advanced to second when Morgan grounded out. Allgrove singled, advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt and took third on a wild pitch. After a walk, Mendoza was lifted in favor of Max Deering who struck out the only batter he faced. Brock Simon game in to pitch to the right-handed Lyman. After a walk, Johnson hit a bases-clearing triple to extend the Aggies' lead to 5-0. Scott Kalush was hit by a pitch to put runners on the corners. Simon induced a groundout to end the inning.
In the eighth inning, Ozanne provided a one-out single to give the Broncos a baserunner. However, a 6-4-3 double play ended the frame.
J.R. Graham entered the game for Santa Clara in the ninth. Graham extended his perfect-inning streak to six with a 1-2-3 inning.
Despite a ninth-inning double by Blake Leyva, the Broncos ultimately fell 5-0.
The Broncos have a break in action this weekend and will resume play at Cal Poly next Tuesday at 6:00 p.m.