SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Looking for its first sweep of 2013, Santa Clara baseball lost to Northern Colorado 3-2 on Sunday. The loss puts the Broncos at 6-6 while the Bears are now 3-4.
Santa Clara returns to the field on Tues., March 5 at 6 p.m. vs. No. 14 Stanford at Schott Stadium.
"We've just got to keep working in practice on our situational offense and count on that carrying over to the field," said Bronco hitting coach Keith Beauregard. "We need to enjoy being in those situations and love the battle. We'll get there and we're going to be fine. It's a matter of being consistent and we were early on but today it didn't happen. But it'll happen."
Tommy Nance (1-1, 1.38) started for Santa Clara and went 5.0-plus innings while picking up a loss Nance allowed two runs on three hits, all in the first inning, with one walk and three strikeouts. The offense was led by Greg Harisis and Zach Looney, who each hit solo home runs. Harisis was 2-4 while Looney was 1-1. Quinton Perry collected two hits as well.
Nick Miller (2-0, 2.13) started for Northern Colorado and threw 6.0 innings while surrendering one run on five hits with three walks and five strikes in the win. Kevin Willman (0-0, 1.42) picked up his second save while throwing 3.0 innings and allowing one run on two hits with two walks and two strikeouts. Colby Harrison led the Bears' offense by going 1-3 with a double and a RBI. Miller was 1-3 with a run sored and a RBI while Dylan Banach knocked in a run as well.
Northern Colorado took its first lead of the series in the top of the first. Netzel doubled to right center with one out and scored on a single by Miller. Jensen Park laid down a sacrifice bunt and Harrison doubled to left to make the score 2-0. Nance got a strike out on a pitch in the dirt to end the inning.
With two down in the bottom of the first, Harisis smacked his first home run of the season to left field and off the batting cages to get the Broncos on the board. Perry and Casey Munoz hit infield singles around a Matt Ozanne walk to load the bases with two down for T.J. Braff but Braff grounded out to end the inning.
Miller drew a walk to start the top of the sixth and Park attempted to sacrifice bunt but Nance's throw to first was dropped by Perry to put two on with no out. Nick Medeiros came in and threw a wild pitch to advance both runners. After a strikeout by Colby Harrison, Brooks Schneider walked to load the bases and Medeiros was lifted for Max Deering who got a strikeout on a 3-2 pitch. Deering got out of the jam with a grounder to third.
Deering pitched around an error by new second baseman Kyle DeMerritt in the top of the eighth to keep the Bronco deficit at one.
Harisis was hit by a pitch to start things in the home half of the eighth for Santa Clara to bring the Broncos leading home run hitter in Perry to the plate. Perry chopped a single to left with Harisis on the move to put runners on the corners with none down. Perry stole second and with a 3-2 count M. Ozanne went down looking for the first out. Munoz was walked intentionally to load the bases for Braff who struck out looking as well. DeMerritt hit into a fielder's choice to end the inning without a run coming across.
Pinch-hitter Harrison Lambert blooped a single to center to lead off the ninth and Rob Cashel came in to pinch-run. Ryan Yamane grounded out to second with Cashel on the move to put a runner in scoring position. Banach singled to right center with two down to extend the Bears' lead to two runs at 3-1.
Looney led off the bottom of the ninth with a solo homerun to left to get Santa Clara back within one for the top of the lineup. Willman retired the next three batters in order to pick up the save.
Game Notes: First pitch was at 1:01 … Time of game was 2:42 … Attendance was 354 … Nick Miller started on the mound and hit third for Northern Colorado … Santa Clara scored in the first inning in all three games … Zach Looney came in to catch for Kyle Cortopassi in the top of the fifth … Kevin Willman came in to pitch for Northern Colorado in the bottom of the seventh … Kert Woods pinch-ran for Drew Ozanne in the bottom of the seventh … Derek Baum came in to catch in the bottom of the ninth for the Bears.