Broncos Outdone by Aztecs in Close 4-3 Contest Wednesday
SAN DIEGO, Calif. — The Santa Clara Broncos scored three runs in the fourth inning of Wednesday afternoon's game at Tony Gwynn Stadium and the San Diego State Aztecs answered with runs in the sixth and eighth to win 4-3. The Aztecs took both games of the midweek series to improve to 19-6 (5-4 MWC) while the Broncos fell to 9-16 (0-3 WCC).
Senior starting pitcher D.J. Zapata threw one inning for the Broncos and allowed two runs to San Diego State in the first. Freshman Jason Seever (L, 1-2) threw 3.0 innings of relief for the Broncos with two strikeouts and Aztec freshman Cody Thompson (W, 3-0) earned the win in 4.2 relief innings.
The Aztecs put their first three batters of the game aboard and scored runs on sophomore third baseman Ty France's RBI infield single and sophomore left fielder Seby Zavala's sacrifice fly to take a 2-0 lead. Zapata finished the inning by retiring three straight batters after Zavala's trip to the plate.
Santa Clara tied the game at two with RBIs from sophomore shortstop Jose Vizcaino, Jr. and freshman third baseman Kyle Czaplak in the fourth. Vizcaino, Jr. scored on a wild pitch during sophomore center fielder Kert Woods' at bat to put the Broncos ahead for the first time at 3-2.
Sophomore Reece Karalus held the Aztecs to one hit in 3.0 shutout innings of relief between the second and fourth.
With runners on first and third and no outs in the sixth, Seever made a pickoff move to first as Aztec senior second baseman Tim Zier broke for second. Senior first baseman Mac Hess threw short of second base, and the only error of the game allowed junior center fielder Greg Allen to score and tie the contest at three.
The Broncos used three different pitchers to the first three batters in the bottom of the eighth, and Zavala hit the game-winning single through the left side to drive Allen in and make the score 4-3.
Senior designated hitter Quinton Perry led off the ninth with a single for the Broncos, and freshman pinch runner Rory Graf-Brennen advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by freshman pinch hitter Luke Huerta. San Diego State junior closer Michael Cederoth (SV, 9) recorded consecutive outs after the sacrifice for his ninth save of the season.
Santa Clara next heads to Pacific for a Friday-Sunday West Coast Conference series March 26-28. First pitch Friday between the Broncos and Tigers is scheduled for 6 p.m.
Game Notes: First pitch was at 3:07 p.m. … time of game was 2:22 … attendance was 360 … Seever faced one batter in the eighth.