Feb. 15, 2003
SAN DIEGO, Calif. - The Santa Clara University baseball team evened up its three-game series with San Diego State at one game apiece following its 9-6 win Saturday afternoon in front of 1,208 fans at Tony Gwynn Stadium.
Santa Clara got on the board in the top of the first inning as A.J. LaBarbera reached on a walk and advanced to third on two-straight wild pitches. He scored two batters later as Scott Shapiro picked up the RBI on a fielder's choice, giving SCU the 1-0 lead.
The Broncos extended their lead to 3-0 after the top of the second inning as Eric Newton and Michael Lange each scored on a LaBarbera single to left field. Newton reached on a walk and was followed by Lange who was hit by a Ronnie Lindsey pitch. Each player moved up a base when Joe Diefenderfer was hit by another Lindsey pitch. With the bases loaded LaBarbera's sharp single through the left side easily plated the runners on second and third.
LaBarbera continued his big game in the fourth inning as he connected on his first home run of the season, driving in Diefenderfer ahead of him, giving the Broncos a 5-0 lead. Diefenderfer reach ahead of LaBarbera on a soft line drive single to left field. Through the first four innings LaBarbera had racked up two hits, four RBI and two runs scored.
San Diego State got on the board for the first time in the bottom of the fourth inning as a Rielly Embry triple to right center field scored Jake McLintock and James Guerrero. McLintock singled to right field after Guerrero had walked two batters before him with each easily scoring on the line drive off Embry's bat that reached the wall in right center. Embry scored on the very next at bat as Garrett Cook doubled to the right field wall. Cook advanced to third on an Andrew Slorp wild pitch and scored a few pitches later as Steve Boggs singled to right field, trimming the Bronco lead down to 5-4.
SCU got two runs back in the very next half inning as Jack Headley singled up the middle scoring David Mandley and Thompson. Mandley reached on a walk and was moved to second base when Thompson singled to right field. Both runners moved up one base when Eric Newton laid down a perfect sacrifice bunt. Headley's two-run singled increased the Bronco lead to 7-4.
The Aztecs added two runs of their own in the bottom half of the fifth inning as Peter Stonard scored Anthony Gwynn with a single to center field. Embry picked up his third RBI of the game two batters later, as his groundout to shortstop scored Guerrero and cut the Bronco lead down to 7-6.
After two full innings of scoreless baseball the Broncos added another run in the top of the eighth inning as Jack Headley reached base on a fielding error by Stonard. He then stole second base and advanced to third on a throwing error by the catcher, Josh Allen. Headley improved the SCU lead to 8-6 just two pitches later when Diefenderfer singled through the right side for his second hit of the day.
Santa Clara added to its lead in the ninth inning as Mandley led off with a double to left field, advanced to third on a wild pitch and scored on a balk. Thompson followed the balk with a single to left field but was stranded at first as Ben Leuthard came on in relief and retired all three batters he faced.
Bronco closer Patrick Overholt came on in relief and pitched a perfect ninth inning to pick up his second save of the season. Diefenderfer came on in relief in the fourth inning to pick up the win, pitching four full innings in which he allowed two runs on three hits to go with one strikeout. Starter Andrew Slorp threw 3 2/3 innings of work, allowing four runs on six hits in his first collegiate start.
Ronnie Lindsey took the loss for the Aztecs and fell to 1-2 on the season after allowing three earned runs on only one hit in 1 2/3 innings of work. The Broncos took advantage of six walks allowed by the SDSU pitching staff and four errors by the Aztec defense.
The win improved the Broncos' record to 6-5 on the season while San Diego State drops to 4-5 on the year. The same two teams will meet in the rubber match of the three-game set on Sunday, with the first pitch from Tony Gwynn Stadium scheduled for 1 p.m.