by Brandon Rebboah
SANTA CLARA, Calif.- Despite out-hitting Portland, Santa Clara dropped the series opener to Portland 5-3. Cory Hall (4-7) was tagged with the loss, while Kyle Kraus picked the win after pitching a complete game for the Pilots. Hall pitched seven innings, allowing four runs on nine hits while striking out three batters. Offensively, Santa Clara was led by Drew Ozanne who amassed two hits, a RBI and scored a run. The teams will meet tomorrow in the second game of the series.
The Broncos struck first, scoring two runs in the second inning. Patrick Terry and Drew Ozanne provided back-to-back singles to begin the inning. Andrew Biancardi laid down a sacrifice bunt to advance the runners to second and third. Zach Looney hit a RBI groundout to score Terry and give the Broncos their first run of the game. Justin Viele added to the lead with a RBI single through the left side of the infield.
Portland struck back in the home half of the second. Tyler Thompson hit a leadoff-double to begin the frame. After a sacrifice bunt advanced Thompson to third, Craig Smith hit a RBI single.
In the third, Santa Clara responded with another run. Lucas Herbst bunted his way to first with one out. Terry beat out a throw to record an infield-single that advanced Herbst to second. Drew Ozanne picked up his second hit of the day with a RBI single. Entering the bottom of the third, Santa Clara led 3-1.
In the bottom of the inning, back-to-back doubles scored the Pilots' first run in a three-run frame. The Pilots added two more runs on a Riley Hendricks sacrifice fly and a RBI single by Brian Frantalli.
UP added another run in the fourth to lead, 5-3.
After a rain delay, Mike Couch took the mound for the Broncos to start the bottom of the eighth inning. Couch pitched a flawless inning.
The series continues tomorrow, Sat., May 28 at 1 p.m.
GAME NOTES: The first pitch was thrown at 3:00 p.m…. at 4:59 p.m. the game was delayed due to weather, play resumed at 6:05 p.m….Santa Clara totaled 11 hits…Portland amassed nine hits.