Santa Clara Baseball Can't Avoid Sweep at Gonzaga

SPOKANE, Wash. - In a game that saw both starting pitchers go the distance, Santa Clara baseball lost to Gonzaga by a final of 4-1. Santa Clara is now 18-15 overall with a 1-8 mark in conference play while Gonzaga moves to 25-9 with a 6-3 record in the WCC.

RHP Mike Couch (1-5; 4.38) threw his second career complete game, both this season, for the Broncos but it wasn't enough to avoid picking up the loss. He allowed four runs on seven hits with five strikeouts while walking none. The Santa Clara offense was limited to just six hits, half of which came from 2B Greg Harisis who was 3-4 with a double and scored the only Bronco run.

Santa Clara plays a midweek game Tue., April 17 at Cal at 6:10 p.m. and returns home to Schott Stadium for a three game series vs. Pepperdine Fri.-Sun.

Santa Clara was able to jump out to an early 1-0 lead in the first inning when Harisis led off the game with a double to right field. RF Stephen Takahashi sacrificed Harisis to third and CF Matt Ozanne knocked him in with a ground out to second. A fly ball to right field by LF Pat Stover ended the inning.

In the top of the second 1B Andrew Biancardi led off with a walk and moved to second when DH C.J. Jacobe laid down a sacrifice bunt. C Zach Looney walked but 3B Evan Peters flied out to center and SS Justin Viele grounded out to end the inning without a run coming across.

The top of the fourth saw the Broncos threaten to extend their lead. After two quick outs Looney singled to right field and Peters followed with a single to right center to put runners on the corners. Viele was unable to knock in a run as he popped out to shortstop for the third out.

The Zags broke through in the bottom of the fifth with three runs. 2B Alex Stanford was hit by a pitch with one out and SS Steven Halcomb followed with a single to left center. After a fielder's choice for the second out and a steal of second base by RF Billy Moon, LF Brock Slavin whacked a homer over the left field wall to put Gonzaga ahead 3-1.

In the bottom of the eighth the Bulldogs added an insurance run. Slavin singled to left center to start the inning and went to second on a sac bunt by C Maxx Garrett. 3B Eric Lane hit an infield single to advance Slavin to third with only one out. 1B Marco Gonzales came up and hit a sacrifice fly to center to bring the score to 4-1.

Santa Clara went down 1-2-3 in the top of the ninth to wrap-up the series sweep for Gonzaga.