SANTA CLARA, Calif. – On a picture-perfect day in the Silicon Valley, Santa Clara baseball lost to San Diego by a final score of 7-4. The Broncos are now 9-27 overall and 0-14 in conference while the Toreros are 23-15 and 8-6 in WCC action.
The Broncos return to the field tomorrow, Sun., April 21 at 1 p.m. to wrap-up the series with USD.
Mike Couch (3-6, 3.87) started for Santa Clara and picked up a loss in 7.2 innings. Couch allowed six runs, five earned, on eight hits with six walks and two strikeouts. The offense was led by T.J. Braff who was 2-4 with a double and two RBI. Justin Viele was 2-4 with a home run while Greg Harisis was 2-3 with a walk and three runs scored.
Dylan Covey (3-3, 4.27) started for San Diego and got a win in six-plus innings. Covey allowed two runs on five hits with two walks and five strikeouts. Trevor Bayless (2-2, 1.17) picked up his second save of the season. The offense was led by Kris Bryant who was 3-3 with a double, a home run, a RBI, a walk and two runs scored. Logan Davis was 2-4 with doubles while Dillon Haupt was 2-4 with a home run, a walk and two RBI.
A.J. Robinson led off the game with a home run just over the right field wall and inside the foul pole to put the Toreros up 1-0. Bryant followed with an infield single between the pitcher and second base. After Lucas Hagberg reached on a fielder's choice, Andrew Daniel drew a walk to put two on. Troy Conyers hit into a fielder's choice to put runners on the corners for Conor Joe who flipped a ball to center for a RBI before Couch ended the inning with a grounder to second.
Harisis got Santa Clara started in the bottom of the second with a bloop single to center. Harisis stole second and moved to third when the throw went into center. T.J. Braff got the Broncos on the board with a RBI groundout to short. After a strikeout by Kyle DeMerritt, hit a sharp single through the right side but was caught stealing to end the inning.
Bryant smacked a double on the first pitch of the third inning that went off the glove of a sprawled out Justin Gisch in left center field. Hagberg walked and Daniel sacrificed the runners to second and third. Conyer hit a sac fly to deep center that put the lead back at two and moved Hagberg to third with two down. Joe hit a routine grounder to third that should have ended the inning but Jose Vizcaino, Jr. hurried the throw and Braff was unable to pick the ball in the dirt. The second run of the inning came across and Joe moved to second. The inning ended on a groundout to short by Austin Green.
Braff led off the home half of the fifth with a single but was picked off. DeMerritt walked and Jacobe followed with a single to left to put two on with one down. Covey was able to get out of the inning without either runner advancing.
Haupt led off the sixth with a four-pitch walk. Logan doubled to right to put two runners in scoring position with no outs for the top of the order. Robinson grounded out with the infield in for the first out of innings. Bryant was intentionally walked for the second time on the day to load the bases. After a mound visit by Santa Clara pitching coach Gabe Ribas, Couch got Hagberg looking for the second out and Daniel to hit into an inning-ending fielder's choice.
Santa Clara had a golden opportunity to add a run with Viele on third and only one out. Bryant fielder a chopper and quickly tagged Viele trying to get back to the bag and threw across the diamond to get Munoz.
Harisis took a lead off walk in the bottom of the seventh that ended the day for Covey. Homick came in to pitch and Harisis stole his second base of the game. He moved to third on a fly ball to right by Braff and DeMerritt walked. With DeMerritt on the move, Jacobe grounded one to first where the first baseman stepped on the bag and fired home but Harisis made it just under the tag to cut the Bronco deficit to two at 4-2. Drew Ozanne went down looking for the third out.
Haupt cleared the batting cages beyond the left field wall on the first pitch of the eighth to put San Diego back on top by three. With two out, Bryant crushed a hanging slider to left for his second bomb of the series. Couch was lifted for Peter Hendron who got the final out.
Viele joined in on the home run fun by blasting one of his own to left field to make the score 6-3.
Conyers doubled to right center with one out in the top of the ninth. Louie Lechich drew a walk with two down and Haupt singled to right field to bring in another run. Both runners advanced on the throw to the plate that sailed over the cutoff man. Max Deering came in to record the third out of the inning.
Harisis led off the bottom of the ninth with a single through the right side and Braff followed with a RBI double to center. DeMerritt walked on four pitches to bring the tying run to the plate in the form of Jacobe. Jacobe went down swinging for the first out. Bayless entered to pitch and got the second out on a pop up to first by Peter Summerville. Pinch hitter Ben Wright came to the plate as Santa Clara's last chance and struck out looking to end the game.
Game Notes: First pitch was at 3:01 … Time of game was 2:52 … Attendance was 383 … Mike Couch had a five-pitch 1-2-3 second inning … Jose Vizcaino made a bare-handed play on a bunt to end the top of the fourth and prevent a run from coming in … It was the first multi-hit game of the season for C.J. Jacobe … Drew Ozanne came in to play third in the top of the seventh … Zach Looney moved from catcher to third base and Peter Summerville came in to catch while Drew Ozanne left the game in the top of the ninth.