SAN DIEGO, Calif. — The Santa Clara Broncos went ahead in the first inning of Friday night's game at Fowler Park and led the entire way in a 2-1 victory over the San Diego Toreros. The Broncos won for the second time in as many nights to claim the series victory behind 7.0 shutout innings from sophomore starter Peter Hendron and error-free baseball.
Hendron (W, 4-3) allowed no runs on five hits with one walk and one strikeout for the Broncos (16-22, 7-7 WCC). He retired the first eight San Diego batters and allowed only three runners into scoring position while giving up no extra-base hits to the Toreros (25-13, 11-6 WCC). He outdueled San Diego starter Lucas Long (L, 3-2), who threw 8.0 innings and allowed two unearned runs on seven hits with three walks and nine strikeouts.
"We got a huge performance once again out of Pete tonight," head coach Dan O'Brien said. "He's a model of consistency for this ball club and it's no surprise to anyone who's seen him work and prepare. He's earned every bit of his success."
Senior center fielder Greg Harisis led off the first with a single and sophomore right fielder Kert Woods hit a sacrifice bunt to move him to second. With two outs, senior left fielder Casey Munoz hit an RBI single to drive in Harisis and make the score 1-0.
After six scoreless frames, the Broncos increased their lead to 2-0 on an RBI single from junior first baseman T.J. Braff, who now has five RBIs for the series. San Diego scored its only run of the game on an RBI single by junior left fielder Austin Bailey in the bottom of the inning.
The Broncos used a couple of great outfield plays to keep late-inning Torero rallies at bay. With two outs and a runner on second in the seventh, Munoz sprinted to the left field wall and made a catch on the warning track off the bat of sophomore third baseman Jerod Smith.
"I'm so proud of our defense," O'Brien said. "To start the season so poorly and to face that adversity and work tirelessly in practice to turn it around says a lot about the guys on this ball club. They're winners — and I'm not talking about our win-loss record — they're just winners."
One inning later, Harisis made a sliding catch in center with one out and runners on the corners to prevent the game-tying run from scoring. The center fielder, who also went 2-for-3 with two walks and a run scored, robbed junior catcher Jesse Jenner of a base hit to keep the Broncos ahead 2-1.
"I was tracking his swing all game, he was looking in that right center gap," Harisis said. "I got a real good jump on it and sold out. It was either going to be a catch or an inside-the-parker."
Harisis' catch marked the first of five straight outs recorded by Reece Karalus (SV, 8), who has notched a save for the Broncos in the first two games of the series.
The Broncos and Toreros finish the three-game set with a 1 p.m. first pitch tomorrow at Fowler Park. Steven Wilson (1-3, 3.98 ERA) is scheduled to take the mound for Santa Clara against San Diego's Louie Lechich (7-1, 2.18 ERA).
"It's good for our confidence as a team," Harisis said. "We've all worked hard since August and we all trust each other out there. It doesn't matter what kind of game it is; we know we can go out there and win it."
Game Notes: First pitch was at 6:03 p.m. … time of game was 2:42 … attendance was 1,029 … Seever faced one batter in the eighth … the Broncos used the same starting nine and defensive alignment as in game one of the series.