SURPRISE, ARIZ. — The Santa Clara Broncos built an early lead and used a career-best effort from Peter Hendron to pick up a 10-2 victory against Manhattan at the Sanderson Ford College Baseball Classic in Surprise, Ariz. Sunday. Santa Clara's overall record is now 6-6 while Manhattan is 1-6. The Broncos return to the diamond Tuesday at Cal Poly for a 6 p.m. first pitch.
Sunday's victory marked the 500th career win for third-year Bronco head coach Dan O'Brien. He won 454 of those games at his alma mater, UC San Diego, and now has 46 wins in his time with Santa Clara.
"There's been a ton of great memories and some big team wins in there, but I don't do this for the wins," O'Brien said. "I coach for the countless lifelong relationships I've developed over the years. Those mean the world to me."
Hendron (W, 2-1), the scheduled probable for Saturday's game which was cancelled due to rain, had his third start of the season start moved back to Sunday. Manhattan led off five of its first six innings against the right-hander with a hit — including four doubles — and Hendron held the Jaspers to two runs (one earned) on eight hits with two walks and a career-high seven strikeouts in a career-high eight innings.
"I'm used to rainouts and having to play the next day, so I know I can't be married to my routine," Hendron said. "I also made sure I had a great catch play and flat ground last night."
"Pete handled every adverse situation like a true Bronco today. He stayed composed and focused on execution," O'Brien said. "That's the key to a great competitor and Pete is proving to be just that."
Outside of the five leadoff hits, Manhattan recorded just three hits with Hendron on the mound and went 0-for-11 with runners in scoring position against the Bronco starting pitcher. Hendron has given up three earned runs in 20.2 innings for a 1.31 ERA in three starts this season.
"I think it was all composure and body language," Hendron said. "I didn't let the leadoff doubles frustrate me, rather I went right back to throwing strikes."
Jose Carrera led off the first with a ground rule double for the Jaspers, and scored on a sacrifice fly from Andrew Gorecki. After consecutive hit batters and an error loaded the bases with one out in the second, Santa Clara's Rory-Graf Brennen walked in a run for his third RBI of the season to tie the game at one.
Manhattan starter Maxx Feldman (L, 0-1) hit Zach Looney with a pitch to start the third and issued a 3-0 count to Stevie Berman before leaving the game with an injury. With runners on first and third and one out, Max Kuhns hit a two-RBI double to give the Broncos their first lead of the game at 3-1. Feldman finished with a line of 2.0+ innings, three runs (two earned) on no hits, four walks and two strikeouts.
Greg Harisis recorded his sixth RBI of the season on a sacrifice fly to score Kert Woods in the fourth and increase the lead to 4-1. Stevie Berman's seventh-inning RBI brought Harisis in to score Santa Clara's fifth run and Kuhns crossed home plate on a wild pitch in the eighth to make the score 6-1 Broncos. Harisis led the Broncos by going 2-for-5 with two RBIs and two runs scored, Kuhns recorded two RBIs, and Woods along with Mac Hess each had a pair of hits in the win.
Graf-Brennen, Zach Looney and Peter Summerville each delivered RBI singles in the ninth to give the Broncos a 10-2 edge. Reece Karalus took to the hill put two runners aboard before recording three consecutive outs to seal the victory.
"This weekend reinforced the importance of competing the same way every day," O'Brien said. "We were locked in on the process last weekend, and overly emotional and result-oriented this weekend. The results prove that, and we'll need to make an adjustment if we want to be consistently successful."
GAME NOTES: First pitch was at 11 a.m. MST … time of game was 3:09.