April 13, 2014

Baseball Falls to Gonzaga 2-1 in Series Finale

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SPOKANE, Wash. — In the shortest ballgame of the 2014 campaign for Santa Clara baseball, the Broncos lost to the Gonzaga Bulldogs 2-1 Sunday afternoon. Starting pitchers Steven Wilson and Andrew Sopko each threw 8.0 innings in a contest that spanned two hours and two minutes at Washington Trust Field.

Each of the three games in Spokane was decided by a single run and Gonzaga won the weekend series two games to one.

Wilson (L, 1-3) allowed two earned runs on nine hits with one walk and two strikeouts for the Broncos (14-21, 5-7 WCC). He faced more than four batters in only one inning Sunday, giving up a two-out, two-RBI double to Gonzaga sophomore catcher Joey Harris in the second. The Littleton, Colo. native recorded strikeouts as part of 1-2-3 fourth and seventh innings, and issued inning-ending double plays in the fifth and sixth.

Sopko (W, 3-2) allowed one unearned run on three hits with one walk and six strikeouts for the Bulldogs (12-22, 8-7 WCC). He retired 14 of the first 15 Santa Clara batters, allowing only a second-inning single to senior designated hitter Quinton Perry in that span. The sophomore recorded streaks of 10 straight batters retired from the second to the fifth and nine straight batters retired over his last three innings.

Trailing 2-0 with two outs in the fifth, senior left fielder Casey Munoz singled and senior second baseman Zach Looney walked to give the Broncos a pair of baserunners. Sophomore third baseman Kyle Cortopassi flew out to center to end Santa Clara's biggest threat through the first five innings.

Sophomore right fielder Kert Woods reached on a fielding error by Gonzaga senior Payden Lamb to lead off the sixth. Woods' deep fly ball to the warning track forced Lamb to retreat, and the right fielder had the baseball pop in and out of his glove, allowing Woods to make it to second base. Senior center fielder Greg Harisis hit a bunt single to put runners on the corners with no outs, and sophomore shortstop Jose Vizcaino, Jr. laid down an RBI sacrifice bunt to make the score 2-1. Sopko retired the next two batters with Harisis at second base to hold Santa Clara to one run.

Freshman catcher Stevie Berman was the last Bronco to reach with a leadoff single in the ninth. Gonzaga's Karl Myers (SV, 2) — who pitched in all three games of the series — issued a 4-6-3 double play ball on the next pitch, and Perry struck out swinging to end the game.

The Broncos return to Schott Stadium for a 6 p.m. first pitch Tuesday, April 15 against cross-town rival San Jose State. Santa Clara travels south next weekend for a three game set against the San Diego Toreros. Start times are set for 6 p.m. April 17-18 followed by a 1 p.m. first pitch April 19 in a Thursday-Saturday series.

Game Notes: Attendance was 691 … first pitch was at 12 p.m. … time of game was 2:02.