Baseball's Rally Comes Up Just Short
March 4, 2003
STOCKTON, Calif. - The Santa Clara University baseball team's rally fell just short against Pacific Tuesday evening at Billy Hebert Field in Stockton, Calif., as the Broncos fell to the Tigers by a 5-4 score.
The Broncos (8-12) got on the board in the first inning after Joe Diefenderfer reached on an error by the shortstop and moved up to second base on a balk. He score two batters later when Will Thompson send a ground ball to first base that was mishandled allowing Thompson to reach base and Diefenderfer to score, giving the Broncos a 1-0 lead.
Kellan McConnell went two strong innings on the mound to start the game for Santa Clara, going three up and three down in both innings on only 28 pitches. Andrew Slorp came on in the third inning and promptly gave up two runs to the Tigers (14-5), only one of which was earned as Scott Dierks and Joe Diefenderfer collided in left center field allowing Nicholas Sekiya to reach on the dropped fly ball.
Scott Shapiro came on in relief in the fourth inning and induced a 4-3 groundout before giving up three consecutive hits and two runs, including a RBI triple from Sekiya. Anthony Rea relieved Shapiro with one out in the fourth and gave up a single to Evan Bishop, which moved Octavio Amezquita to third base. Bishop was thrown out at second base on a fine play but Matteucci but the single proved costly as Amezquita scored on a Rea wild pitch two batters later, giving the Tigers a 5-1 lead after four full innings.
Matt Travis came on in the fifth inning for SCU, looking sharp and recording the first 1-2-3 inning for the Broncos since McConnell did it in the first and second innings.
Pacific starter Sergio Silva threw five dominant innings, allowing only the one unearned run on two hits while walking no one and striking out five. But in the sixth inning he began to show some fatigue as he gave up a solo home run to Dierks and a single to Diefenderfer just three pitches later. After fielder's choice, A.J. LaBarbera scored on a RBI double by David Mandley, forcing Silva from the game. Joel Lozano came on in relief and struck out Matteucci to end the inning, but not before the Broncos cut the Tiger lead down to 5-3.
Chad Fillinger threw the sixth inning for Santa Clara and allowed a single, double and an intentional walk before inducing an inning ending double play to keep the Tigers lead at only two.
Joe Diefenderfer came on to pitch in the seventh inning after spending the first six innings in center field. He looked sharp in his one inning getting two groundouts and one strikeout for the third straight three-up and three-down inning in a row.
Diefenderfer started the Bronco offense in the eighth inning, singling sharply to left field with one out. He advanced to third on a two-out double to left field by Will Thompson but both runners were stranded on their respective bases after Ryan Chiarelli grounded out to the pitcher to end the inning.
After Diefenderfer recorded three outs in four batters in the bottom of the eighth inning, Santa Clara began a ninth inning rally as Matteucci reached on a fielding error and moved to third on the very next batter as Michael Thompson doubled to left field. After a Jim Wallace strikeout, David Hoffmire singled to right field, driving in Matteucci and moving Michael Thompson up to third. Hoffmire moved up to second base on a throwing error by the right fielder.
After a Dierks walk, the rally was cut short as Diefenderfer struck out and LaBarbera lined out to the rightfielder to end the game.
Silva improved to 2-1 on the season with the win for Pacific while Shapiro fell to 0-1 for SCU after giving up three runs on three hits in just 1/3 of an inning pitched.
The Broncos return to action this weekend with a three-game series against San Jose State. Friday and Sunday's games are at SJSU while Saturday's game is at Buck Shaw Stadium.