March 6, 2014

Bronco Baseball Upended by Huskies 6-4 in First Game of Gifford Tourney

Watch EYEBRONCO's video of the postgame "Shave for Change" event, benefitting the Vs. Cancer Foundation!

SANTA CLARA, Calif. — The Santa Clara Broncos got on the board first in Thursday night's contest with Washington, but the Huskies rallied for five middle inning runs and held off a late Broncos rally to win 6-4 at Schott Stadium. The Broncos fall to 6-8 in the loss while the Huskies improve to 7-4-1 in the win. Santa Clara returns to action for the second game of the Jack Gifford Memorial Baseball Tournament tomorrow for a 4 p.m. first pitch against UC Davis.

Bronco starting pitcher D.J. Zapata (L, 1-3) tossed a 1-2-3 first, and faced the minimum in the second inning after an out, an error and a 4-6-3 inning-ending double play in his fourth start of the season. He finished the night with his second-longest outing of 2014 — 6.0 innings — and gave up five runs (four earned) on nine hits with no walks and four strikeouts.

Washington starting pitcher Jared Fisher (W, 1-1) allowed three earned runs on four hits, walked four and struck out five for his first win on the season. The right-handed throwing junior retired 11 batters in a row from the final out of the first to the first out of the fifth. 

Senior center fielder Greg Harisis led off the first with a four-pitch walk for the Broncos, and senior second baseman Zach Looney's RBI double to right center drove him in on a hit-and-run play.

The Huskies broke through against Zapata in the fourth when sophomore first baseman Branden Berry hit a ground ball to the shortstop with bases loaded to score junior second baseman Andrew Ely. Washington took a 3-1 lead in the fifth on an RBI single by sophomore center fielder Braden Bishop and an RBI double by junior shortstop Erik Forgione, before tacking on two more runs in the sixth to make the score 5-1.

Santa Clara loaded the bases with no outs in the seventh, and freshman shortstop Kyle Czaplak walked in Santa Clara's second run in the game. Freshman Rory Graf-Brennen picked up a pinch-hit RBI on a fielder's choice, and sophomore right fielder Kert Woods followed with an RBI single to right to pull the hosts within one run at 5-4. Woods and senior designated hitter Casey Munoz each recorded a team-high two hits in the loss.

Washington answered the next half inning with an RBI walk by Forgione to increase its lead to 6-4. Trevor Dunlap (SV, 3) allowed a leadoff single to senior first baseman Mac Hess in the ninth before retiring three in a row to end the game and earn his team-best third save of the season.

GAME NOTES: First pitch was at 6:05 p.m. … time of game was 3:05 … attendance was 224 … Fisher faced two batters in the sixth … Chris Heckert faced one batter in the eighth.