February 28, 2010

Early Offense, Hughes Lift Santa Clara Past Houston

Feb. 28, 2010

Final Stats

HOUSTON, Texas - A resilient Santa Clara team bounced back from Saturday's tough loss by taking a quick 5-0 lead, then adding three more runs in the late innings to top Houston 8-7 Sunday and stave off a series sweep in the final game of a weekend set at Cougar Field.

Santa Clara (2-4) chased Houston starter Eric Brooks after just 2/3 of an inning, plating four runs in the first, highlighted by a 2-RBI single by Evan Peters. The Broncos totaled 14 hits, three by All-American Tommy Medica who also scored two runs and had two RBI.

"Our guys could have hung our heads after yesterday but they came out focused and with a purpose," said Santa Clara head coach Mark O'Brien. "I'm proud of them. This series ended up making us better. This is a tough place to play, a good environment to play in and winning close games is something we need to prove we can do."

Houston (2-4) - drawing over 1,000 fans for each game of the series - was unable to get much going against senior right-hander Alex Rivers on Saturday - or Sunday against freshman righty Jon Hughes.

Hughes (2-0) won his second consecutive start to begin his college career, working into the seventh. He was charged with just two runs on six hits. The SCU offense provided Hughes with a 5-0 lead after a five-hit, four-run first inning then tacking on another when Justin Viele scored on a sac-fly in the second.

Viele went 2-for-4 with a pair of runs while Medica finished 3-for-5 with a double. Peters and Ryan Rieger each added two hits.

"It's promising to see our freshmen playing well this early in the year," said O'Brien. "Viele has done a tremendous job. He's a guy who knows his role as our shortstop and is getting on base. (Pat) Stover is going to be a force hitting behind (Geoff) Klein and Medica and I think Rieger is going to have a good year for us."

O'Brien played eight freshmen Sunday. Sophomore J.R. Graham came on in the eighth to close the door, tagging Brooks (0-2) with the loss.

The Broncos will next play Friday night at Schott Stadium against local rival San Jose State (4-2). The Spartans rallied to win its weekend home series with UC Santa Barbara by scores of 0-7, 6-5 and 4-2.

Performances to note...
Jon Hughes (R-Fr., RHP)
Freshman Jon Hughes was sharp, improving to 2-0, pitching into the seventh inning and striking out six to allow Santa Clara a victory over Houston in front of 1,064 fans at Cougar Field on Sunday. Hughes was charged with just two runs, lowering his season ERA to 3.65. The high school All-American is off to a great start to his college career, he has 13 Ks in 12 1/3 innings in two winning starts.

Tommy Medica (R-Jr., UT)
All-America slugger Tommy Medica continues to rip opposing pitching, upping his season average to .417 (10-for-24) after a five-hit series at Houston. Medica hit two doubles, scored three runs and drove in four. Hitting in the heart of SCU's order, Medica is 4-for-5 this season with the bases loaded and 8-for-15 (.833 BA) with RISP.

WEST COAST CONFERENCE SCORES THIS WEEKED:
#25 SAN DIEGO 2, San Diego State 0 - FRI
rain-SAT
San Diego State 9, #25 SAN DIEGO 5 - SUN

(Peoria Spring Training Classic, Peoria, AZ)
Sacramento State 8, Gonzaga 2 - FRI
Kansas 9, Gonzaga 5 - SAT
rain-out SUN

CAL STATE NORTHRIDGE 3, Pepperdine 2 (12) - FRI
rain-out SAT
CAL STATE NORTHRIDGE 7, Pepperdine 6 - SUN

San Francisco 5, CAL POLY 0 - FRI
rain-out SAT
CAL POLY 7, San Francisco 3 - SUN
San Francisco 11, CAL POLY 5 - SUN

HOUSTON 17, Santa Clara 9 - FRI
HOUSTON 3, Santa Clara 2 - SAT
Santa Clara 8, HOUSTON 7 - SUN

rain-out FRI
PORTLAND 2, Seattle 1 (10) - SAT
PORTLAND 7, Seattle 5 - SUN
Seattle 5, PORTLAND 4 - SUN

(Cal State Bakersfield Tournament, Bakersfield, CA)
St. Mary's 8, CAL STATE BAKERSFIELD 4 (12) - FRI
California 5, St. Mary's 4 - SAT
Central Michigan 3, St. Mary's 1 - SUN

UC Riverside 8, LOYOLA MARYMOUNT 6 - FRI
rain-out SAT
LOYOLA MARYMOUNT 10, UC Riverside 3 - SUN