March 1, 2008
SAN JOSE, Calif. - The Santa Clara baseball team faced its first lost of the season in a hard-fought nine inning battle against San Jose State Saturday afternoon at Municipal Stadium in San Jose. The Broncos and Spartans are now tied in the 2008 Rivalry Series and head into the final game with identical 5-1 records.
The Broncos jumped to a 5-3 lead in the second inning as a walk dealt to Matt Long with bases loaded allowed Geoff Klein to score. Outfielder Evan LeBlanc posted a grand slam with his home run to left field allowing Long, Brady Fuerst and Patrick Glenn to score as well.
However, the Spartans answered back with a three-run performance in the bottom of the third to take a one run lead, 6-5. Scoring for San Jose State was Michael Drake, Corey Valine and Sonny Garza. The latter two runs were unearned. SJSU then earned insurance in the fifth inning Garza hit a solo home run. The Spartans led the game 7-5.
The Broncos tied the score in the sixth inning, 7-7. Catcher Tommy Medica doubled down the left field line to send Long and Fuerst home. The game remained tied through the eighth inning as both teams tacked on two runs each. Once again Long and Fuerst scored for the Broncos on a Ryan Conan single to center field.
However, it was San Jose State who capitalized in the ninth as John Shaffer's two-out single up the middle sent Garza home from third to give SJSU the win.
Winning the pitching battle for the Spartans was Ryan Shopshire (2-0), while redshirt sophomore Mark Willinsky received his first lost of the season.
The Broncos and Spartans return to Stephen Schott Stadium Sunday afternoon for the final game of the 2008 Rivalry Series. The deciding game of the series is expected to feature a match-up of left-handed starters, with junior Donald Brandt making his second start of the season against sophomore transfer Max Peterson.