SANTA CLARA, Calif. - On a good night for offense, Santa Clara baseball lost to Saint Mary's by a final of 11-6. Santa Clara knocked around RHP Martin Agosta of Saint Mary's, a projected first-round pick in the 2012 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft in June, tagging him for six runs on nine hits, including three home runs but the Gaels' offense was too much. The loss moves the Broncos to 19-19 overall and 2-11 in WCC play. Saint Mary's is now 20-19 overall with a 4-9 mark in conference play.
RHP Tommy Nance (4-3; 3.24) made the start for Santa Clara and went 6.2 innings, picking up a loss. He allowed seven runs, only four of which were earned, on 10 hits with no walks and three strikeouts. The top two hitters in the Bronco lineup led the way on offense. Lead-off man RF Greg Harisis went 1-4 while DH Lucas Herbst went 2-3. Both players had a home run and two RBI while Herbst added a walk.
The two teams will play Sat., April 28 at 1 p.m. and Sun., April 29 at 1 p.m. at Schott Stadium to wrap-up the season series.
"The count got to two strikes and I was just thinking about putting a good swing on the ball," said Harisis about his home run. "He got the ball up a little and I got just enough to get it out, even though I thought it was going to go foul. Lately at the plate I've just been relaxing and trying not to take myself so seriously. I just to keep things in perspective and it keeps me consistent."
RF Brenden Kalfus led off the top of the second with a bloop double down the left field line. DH Nick Rosso followed with a single up the middle to put Saint Mary's ahead 1-0 in the early going. Rosso moved into scoring position on a wild pitch. A liner hit Nance and he threw wide to first to allow 2B Chris Murphy to advance to second and Rosso to score the second run of the inning. After C Toby DeMello laid down a sacrifice bunt, SS Ricky Boas popped out in foul territory for the second out but CF Donald Collins poked a single to right field for a RBI. The inning finally ended on a fielder's choice with the score 3-0.
The Broncos tied the game in the bottom of the third on back-to-back home runs by Harisis and Herbst. 3B Matt Glomb led off the inning with a base hit up the middle and moved up on a ground out by SS Justin Viele. Harisis followed with his first collegiate home run, a bomb to right field. Herbst followed with a homer of his own over the right field fence.
Glomb got the offense going in the bottom of the fifth when he singled into center field with no one out. Glomb stole third on a swinging strike three to Viele to put a runner in scoring position for the red-hot Harisis. After Harisis grounded out to second to put a runner on third with two outs, Herbst singled softly over the second baseman's head to put Santa Clara on top for the first time in the game. CF Matt Ozanne went down swinging for the third out of bottom of the fifth.
The third Bronco error of the night put Kalfus on first when Nance couldn't handle a swinging bunt down the first base line. Rosso singled to right to put runners on the corners and a wild pitch tied the game and put the lead run in scoring position with no outs. Murphy popped up to first base for the first out of the inning before DeMello knocked a single to right field to put the Gaels back on top 5-4.
LF Pat Stover tied the game on a home run he crushed to left field that was initially ruled foul. After the umpires met in the middle of the infield, the call was overturned and Stover had his fourth home run of the season. After back-to-back strikeouts by Agosta, 1B Andrew Biancardi singled up the middle and was lifted for pinch-runner Drew Ozanne. Glomb popped out to end the inning.
1B Collin Ferguson knocked a one out single to right field and moved to second on a passed ball with two outs. Kalfus knocked in Ferguson with a single to right. The throw beat Kalfus to the plate but C Quinton Perry couldn't get a handle on the ball and the runner was safe to put Saint Mary's back on top 6-5. Nance was taken out of the game and LHP Max Deering came in and gave up an infield single to Rosso. With two outs and runners on the corners, Murphy worked the count full before slicing a double to the left-center field gap to bring in two more runs. After DeMello drew a walk, Boas came to the plate and flew out to center for the third out.
Harisis reached second on an error with one out and moved to third on a Herbst ground out. A wild pitch let Harisis score to make the score 8-6 in favor of the Gaels.
Kalfus led off the ninth with a hard grounder to third that a diving Glomb was unable to snag. After a strikeout and sacrifice bunt, DeMello was hit by a pitch to put two on with two out. Boas doubled to left to bring in two more runs and extend the Saint Mary's lead to 10-6. The 11th run came in on a RBI single to right by Collins that was just out of the reach of a fully extended DeMerritt.
Santa Clara went down quietly in the bottom of the ninth to give the Gaels the win.
Game Notes: First pitch was 6:03 ... attendance was 354 ... first start for Lucas Herbst since Mar. 27 vs. Brown ... Santa Clara has two runners thrown out trying to advance to second in the bottom of the second inning ... a delay of game was called on Martin Agosta in the fourth when home plate umpire Ruben Candelaria ruled Agosta took too much time getting on the mound ... C.J. Jacobe pinch-ran for Kyle DeMerritt in the bottom of the eighth and was caught stealing.