Santa Clara Baseball Falls To Portland 3-1
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - In a pitchers' duel to open the home portion of its WCC schedule, Santa Clara baseball lost to Portland by a score of 3-1. The Broncos were handcuffed by Portland starter RHP Kyle Kraus who picked up the win. Santa Clara is now 15-8 and 0-4 in the WCC while Portland is 15-5 and 2-2 in conference play.
Bronco starter RHP Tommy Nance (3-1; 3.09) allowed three runs on eight hits with one walk and four strikeouts, picking up the complete game loss. It was the first career complete game for Nance. Making his first career start, RF Greg Harisis led the offense by going 2-3 with a run scored. 1B Andrew Biancardi and LF Pat Stover had the only other Bronco hits.
Santa Clara returns to the field tomorrow Sat., Mar. 31 at 1 p.m. against Portland. The series concludes on Sun., Apr. 1 at 12 p.m.
"Kraus did a great job of throwing strikes tonight," said Santa Clara hitting coach Eddie Smith. "He came into the game allowing five walks in 45 innings all year and he stuck to that tonight. For the first eight innings of the game he was in command of three pitches, throwing them for strikes when he wanted to. We hit some balls hard tonight and the reality is tomorrow they'll fall, that's baseball. Tomorrow we're going to have the approach that we'll compete on every pitch. We're not going to change our approach too much and just stay on our plan."
The Pilots scored first when DH Turner Gill led off the top of the second inning with a walk. LF Caleb Whalen showed bunt but pulled the bat back and roped a double down the left field line on the first pitch he saw to put runners on second and third with no outs. RF Chet Thompson grounded out to shortstop to bring in the first run of the game. A groundout to third put a runner on third with two outs. C Beau Fraser hit a bouncer back to the mound that Nance reached up for but was only able to knock it away and the second run of the inning scored. 3B Zack McCoy was caught looking to end the inning.
The Broncos put together a two-out rally in the bottom of the third to make the score 2-1. Harisis beat out an infield single to shortstop for the first base runner for Santa Clara. SS Justin Viele reached on an error as the left fielder slid to make the catch but the ball kicked off the heel of his glove to put runners on the corners. Viele attempted a delayed steal and the Portland catcher threw the ball into center field to let the run score.
After two quick outs in the top of the six, Whalen crushed a home run over the batting cages beyond the left field fence to make the score 3-1 Portland.
Stover smacked a two-out double over the head of the right fielder to give the Broncos a rare scoring chance in the bottom of the eighth. DH Peter Summerville grounded out to third on the first pitch to end the inning.
In the bottom of the ninth Biancardi led off with a sharp line drive to left field that was caught. Pinch hitter Kyle DeMerritt came in to pinch hit for 3B Matt Glomb and was hit by a pitch. Quinton Perry replaced CF Stephen Meade as a pinch hitter which prompted Portland to pull Kraus. RHP Own Jones' first pitch got away from the catcher and DeMerritt advanced to second. Perry fisted a ball behind second base that the shortstop was able to track down. Pinch hitter C.J. Jacobe represented the last chance for Santa Clara. He struck out looking to give Portland the win.
Game Notes: First pitch was at 6:06 ... Matt Ozanne was originally in the starting line-up but did not start due to an injury.