SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Santa Clara baseball dropped game two of the series against San Francisco on Saturday night by a score of 4-2. USF starting pitcher Thomas Ponticelli threw a complete game for the Dons and struck out 10 batters. Santa Clara did record 11 hits on the night but went 2-for-8 with runners in scoring position and left seven runners on base.
Santa Clara (8-29, 4-10 WCC) took a 1-0 lead in the first inning on San Francisco (20-20, 6-11 WCC) but was held scoreless until the eighth inning as Ponticelli (2-1) threw a complete game for the Dons. USF scored an unearned run in the fourth to tie the game and then two runs in the seventh to give Ponticelli the lead. He had zero walks and 10 strikeouts in 101 pitches.
The Broncos loaded the bases with no outs in the first inning but were able to just bring one run across. Sophomore third baseman John Cresto was thrown out at home on a ground out for the first out of the inning. Senior left fielder Tyler Meditz was hit by a pitch and drove home freshman center fielder Andre Nnebe to put SCU up 1-0. USF then recorded a 1-2-3 double play to end the inning.
USF tied things up at one in the top of the fourth inning on a Ross Puskarich bloop single that gave the Bronco defense some issues. With two outs, Michael Perri was running on contact and as the pop up fell to the ground he continued home to score.
The Dons added two runs in the top of the seventh to take a 3-1 lead. Matt Sinatro hit a two-RBI triple to left center to give USF its first lead in the series.
Freshman right-handed pitcher Grant Nechak (1-5) was handed the loss for SCU but he had a strong outing, throwing 7.0 innings, allowing just three hits and two earned runs (three total). He walked two batters and struck out four.
Santa Clara pulled a run back in the bottom of the eighth inning on an RBI single by junior first baseman Jake Brodt to score Nnebe from second base.
USF hit a solo home run to lead off the top of the ninth inning courtesy of Puskarich as he put the Dons up 4-2.
Up Next: Santa Clara will play the series finale on Sunday at 1 p.m. PT.
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