Feb. 20, 2009
RALEIGH, N.C. - The Santa Clara baseball team started the 2009 season on a strong note with a 3-0 shutout of Xavier in the first game of the Summit Hospitality Invitational hosted by NC State. With the win, Bronco skipper Mark O'Brien became the third baseball coach in SCU history to reach a 200 career victories.
"It's exciting," said O'Brien. "I'm really happy that our players got the job done today. They were the ones who helped me reach that milestone. I'm glad they were rewarded with the win for their efforts today."
Junior RHP Nate Garcia earned his first win of the season after tossing 7.0 no-run innings, allowing just three hits and striking out eight batters. Fellow junior Steve Kalush took over the pitching duties and earned his fifth career save after 2.0 no-run, no-hit innings.
"Our pitching and defense really helped us with that game," said O'Brien. "We played very good defense in the infield and outfield. Nate also threw quality strikes, as did Steve. We have a lot of quality at bats. We only struck out twice."
Santa Clara out-hit Xavier 6-3 and had several opportunities to get on the scoreboard early on. In the second inning, senior Kyle Van Dusen got into scoring position after advancing on a wild pitch with just one out on the board. However, SCU could not capitalize. Then in the bottom of the fourth, junior Geoff Klein registered a base-hit and junior Jon Karcich walked to get two men on base. Sophomore Curtis Wagner loaded the bases after walking with two outs on the board. Yet, once again, the Broncos could not bring anyone home.
It wasn't until after six and a half innings of scoreless play that the Broncos were able to take the lead. Van Dusen started the inning off being hit by a pitch and then advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt from freshman Lucas Herbst. Senior Juan Parra then doubled to left center field, moving Van Dusen to third. Preseason All-American Tommy Medica intentionally walked to load the bases for the second time of the game. Then, Klein doubled to left field, scoring Van Dusen, Parra and a speedy Medica.
The Broncos continue action at the first annual Summit Hospitality Invitational on Saturday, Feb. 21 against the Rams of the University of Rhode Island. First pitch is scheduled for 8 a.m. PT at Doak Field in Raleigh, N.C.