SAN DIEGO, Calif. — The Santa Clara Broncos completed a three-game sweep of the San Diego Toreros Saturday with a 5-3 victory in 11 innings at Fowler Park. Santa Clara trailed from the first to the seventh, and took its first lead of the ballgame with two runs in the top of the 11th en route to its third straight win.
The Broncos entered the series with a record of 3-27 in their last 30 games against San Diego from 2003-13, and matched that win total with three wins from Thursday through Saturday.
Freshman starting pitcher Steven Wilson allowed one earned run on three hits with one walk and no strikeouts in his only inning of work for the Broncos (17-22, 8-7 WCC). Senior Max Deering entered the game and pitched 4.1 innings of extended relief, giving up two earned runs on four hits with three walks and one strikeout. Sophomore Reece Karalus (W, 4-1) retired six of the seven batters he faced in the 10th and 11th to earn his fourth win of the season.
"These guys really care about each other, and have been stepping up for one another all year, so I'm fired up, but certainly not surprised that Max and the pen picked up Wilson today," head coach Dan O'Brien said. "It's just a special group of guys who want to go to battle for one another."
San Diego senior starting pitcher Louie Lechich threw 6.0 innings and allowed two earned runs on six hits with three walks and five strikeouts. Senior Josh Goossen-Brown (L, 1-2) — who started the game at first base — allowed three runs (two earned) on five hits with three walks and three strikeouts.
The Toreros (25-14, 11-7 WCC) plated one run in the first and two in the second to take a 3-0 lead early in Saturday's contest. Santa Clara got its first run of the game on an RBI sacrifice fly by sophomore right fielder Kert Woods in the top of the third to make the score 3-1. The Broncos pulled even at 3-3 in the seventh on back-to-back RBI singles from freshman catcher Stevie Berman and senior left fielder Casey Munoz.
Sophomore Jacob Steffens entered the game with no outs and a runner on first in the seventh, and issued a pop-up and an inning-ending double play for the Broncos. In his third appearance of the series, Steffens retired all eight batters he faced and struck out two in 3.0 innings.
Sophomore shortstop Jose Vizcaino, Jr. scored the game-winning run on a wild pitch in the 11th to put the Broncos ahead 4-3, and Berman scored when junior first baseman T.J. Braff hit into a double play to make the score 5-3. Munoz led the Broncos with three hits, while Berman and Vizcaino, Jr. added two hits apiece.
"The middle of the lineup guys had quality at-bats all weekend," O'Brien said. "The whole lineup, in fact, did a great job of setting the table and giving us consistent chances to score. They were relentless."
Karalus allowed only a two-out walk to junior center fielder Grant Melker in the 11th, and struck out freshman right fielder Colton Waltner to end the game and complete the sweep. The sophomore picked up two saves and a win in the series.
Santa Clara returns to Schott Stadium for a Tuesday, April 22 game against the Stanford Cardinal at 6 p.m. The Broncos host the LMU Lions April 25-27 in their next WCC series.
Game Notes: First pitch was at 1:05 p.m. … time of game was 4:04 … attendance was 699 … the Toreros brought 10 position players off the bench … the Broncos brought four position players off the bench … San Diego head coach Rich Hill attempted to pull Brandon Show in the seventh on a 3-2 count to Munoz. Show had not yet faced a batter, and after an appeal from Bronco head coach Dan O'Brien, Show was called out of the dugout by home plate umpire Anthony Prater to finish the at-bat. Show walked Munoz and was pulled for Max MacNabb ahead of T.J. Braff's at-bat.