SANTA CLARA, CALIF. — The Santa Clara Broncos managed five hits and threatened in the latter innings of Tuesday night's contest, but lost to the No. 26 Cal Poly Mustangs 8-0 at Schott Stadium. The loss drops the Broncos to 1-4 while the Mustangs improve to 4-0. Santa Clara begins a nine-game road trip Thursday as it takes on Notre Dame at 5:00 p.m. PST for the first game of the Irish Baseball Classic in San Antonio, Texas.
Reece Karalus (L, 0-1) made his first start of the season for Santa Clara and threw 2.2 innings, giving up three runs (three earned) on three hits, two walks and four strikeouts. The sophomore from North Bend, Wash. threw two perfect innings to begin the game, including back-to-back swinging strikeouts to end the second and two more strikeouts before exiting in the third.
Mustang starter pitcher Justin Calomeni (W, 1-0) struck out at least two in each of his first three innings and retired 15 of the first 16 batters he faced. The lone Santa Clara hit in that span was a one-out, second-inning double to right field by designated hitter Casey Munoz. The Cal Poly right-hander finished his collegiate debut with a line of 5+ innings, one hit, one walk and nine strikeouts.
Cal Poly left fielder Zach Zehner hit the first pitch of the top of the third over the right field wall to give the visitors a 1-0 lead. The Mustangs used a one-out single and consecutive walks to load the bases before right fielder Nick Torres hit a two-run, line drive double just beyond the reach of Bronco third baseman Max Kuhns. Jason Seever took the hill with two outs and got second baseman John Schuknecht to fly out to center with bases loaded for the final out of the inning.
The Mustangs added their fourth and fifth runs on RBI sac flies in the fifth and seventh innings, and tacked on three more runs on the strength of three RBI doubles in the ninth to take an 8-0 advantage.
Kuhns sparked a two out rally in the home half of the seventh with a single and catcher Peter Summerville followed with a double down the left field line to put a pair of runners in scoring position. The Broncos called on Stevie Berman to pinch hit, and the freshman hit a hard ground ball out to second to end the inning. Santa Clara put two runners on base in the fifth, sixth, and seventh innings, and had pinch hitter Luke Huerta reach third with one out in the ninth.
The home team made a call to the bullpen six times, and got a three-strikeout effort from Seever as well as 1-2-3 innings from Kenny Treadwell and Michael Westra. Kyle Czaplak reached base twice for the Broncos off the bench with a single and a walk.
Game Notes: First pitch was at 6:02 p.m. ... time of game was 3:10 ... attendance was 287 … Jason Seever entered the game to pitch in the third with two outs and runners on second and third … Kyle Czaplak pinch hit for Seaver Whalen in the sixth … Justin Calomeni faced two batters in the bottom of the sixth before being replaced with Taylor Chris … Chris Hoo entered the game at catcher at the same time as Taylor Chris … Chris Heckert came in to pitch in the top of the seventh … Stevie Berman pinch hit and Tyler Meditz pinch ran in the bottom of the seventh … 17 players were brought off the bench in total.