Broncos Come Back to Take Down LMU 7-6
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - In a thrilling game, Santa Clara baseball won by a final of 7-6 vs. LMU. The Broncos are now 26-27 and 5-18 in conference play while the Lions moved to 26-27 overall with a 13-10 mark in the WCC.
In his last start of the season, RHP Brock Simon (2-2; 5.40) picked up a no-decision while pitching 6.0 plus innings and allowing six runs. Simon surrendered eight hits with no walks and five strikeouts. LHP Max Deering (3-2; 4.62) got the win in 1.0 innings of relief while pitching out of a bases loaded no out jam. RHP Paul Twining (6-6; 3.62) picked up his eight save of the season. Quinton Perry led the offense by going 3-4 with two RBI, including a solo homer .
The Broncos wrap-up their season tomorrow, Sun., May 27 at 1 p.m. with a Senior Day celebration before the game.
"It's a blast being the closer," said Twining. "It's something I've been doing all year so the pressure wasn't there and I just did what I've been doing all year that's made me successful. [Matt Ozanne] is an unbelievable center fielder and as soon as the ball was hit I turned around and knew he had it. Not once in my head did I think it was going to drop."
LMU starter RHP Trevor Megill nearly had his head taken off when SS Justin Viele lined a single back up the middle to start the bottom of the third. 2B Greg Harisis laid down a sacrifice bunt and the throw to first was dropped to put two on with no outs. RF Stephen Takahashi couldn't get down a sacrifice bunt but with two strikes hit a weak chopper back to the pitcher that advanced both runners. LF Pat Stover popped up to second for the second out but 1B Andrew Biancardi missed a home run by a couple feet that resulted in a two-RBI double to give Santa Clara the lead 2-0. The inning ended when CF Matt Ozanne fouled out to the third baseman.
Perry launched a home run over the batting cage in left leading off the home half of the fourth. It was Perry's fifth on the season, tying him with Stover and Biancardi for the team lead. After two outs were recorded, Viele hit a ball between third and short that LMU shortstop Joey Boney backhanded and made a leaping throw to first that was just late. Harisis executed a perfect hit and run when Viele took off for second and the second baseman was pulled out of position as he went to cover the bag to put runners on the corners with two down. Harisis swiped second to put two in scoring position for Takahashi who came through with a two RBI double right over third base. Stover worked the count full before grounding out to third to end the inning with the Broncos leading 5-0.
Boney hit a high-hopper for an infield single with one out in the top of the fifth and CF Matt Lowenstein doubled to right center to bring in the first LMU fun and cut the Santa Clara lead to four. After a trip to the mound, Simon surrendered a RBI single to RF Zac Fujimoto. 3B Alex Guthrie hit a liner to center that Fujimoto misread and Ozanne gunned him down at first to complete the inning-ending double play.
1B Kyle Raubinger singled to right to lead off the top of the seventh inning. LF Mitchell Esser followed with an infield single to short and Boney was hit by a pitch to load the bases with no one out and the top of the order coming up. Lowenstein cleared the bases and tied the game with a triple to right field that chased Simon from the game. RHP Chris Heckert entered the game with the go-ahead run at third and still nobody out. Fujimoto walked on four pitches and Guthrie flipped a ball over shortstop to give LMU its first lead of the game at 6-5. Plaia was hit by a pitch for the second time on the day to load the bases again, still with no outs. Heckert was lifted for LHP Max Deering who escaped the jam by getting a lineout to Harisis at second base and a 6-4-3 double play.
With two down Stover drew a walk and Biancardi singled to left with Stover on the move to put the tying run just 90 feet away as LMU made a pitching change. LHP Ryan Hawthorne came in a got a grounder to third that was bobbled and the tying run came across. With runners on first and second and two down, Perry made the error really hurt as he singled in the go-ahead run, making the score 7-6 Broncos. Hawthorne loaded the bases by walking Looney. 3B Matt Glomb came up to take his first at-bat after replacing 3B Evan Peters in the top of the seventh and grounded out to short to finally bring the inning to an end.
Bronco closer RHP Paul Twining came out for his second inning of work in the top of the ninth to try and closeout the win. Lowenstein singled through the left side to start the inning for the Lions. A walk to Fujimoto put the tying run in scoring position for Guthrie who laid down a sac bunt, but with runners on second and third LMU's leading RBI man Plaia was intentionally walked. DH Tanner Donnels hit into a fielder's choice to keep the bases loaded and the score 7-6, now with two outs. Ozanne made a lunging catch in center field for the final out of the game.
Game Notes: First pitch was at 1:03 ... attendance was 293 ... Brock Simon threw only six pitches, all strikes, in the first inning ... Greg Harisis extended his hitting streak to 11 games with a single in the fourth ... LMU starter Trevor Megill graduated high school early and started at LMU in the winter so he could play baseball this year ... Stephen Takahashi pinch hit for Lucas Herbst in the bottom of the first after Herbst made a catch in the outfield in the top of the inning ... LMU third baseman Alex Guthrie made a great catch on a foul pop up as he leaped up and over the railing in the Lions' dugout ... Justin Gisch pinch ran for Quinton Perry in the bottom of the seventh ... Stephen Meade replaced Stephen Takahashi in right field in the top of the eighth ... Bronco closer RHP Paul Twining came in to pitch the top of the eighth and made a nice pick on a grounder back up the middle for the first out on the first pitch he threw ... Zach Looney gunned down a runner attempting to steal second to end the top of the eighth ... T.J. Braff pinch hit for Stephen Meade in the bottom of the eight.