by Brandon Rebboah '13
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Seventeen hits and a seven-run first inning gave the Santa Clara baseball team an eight-run victory and its second home win of the year, topping San Jose state, 11-3, this evening at Stephen Schott Stadium.
Friday night's first inning was a wild one. Bronco starting pitcher Nate Garcia (1-2) got himself in an early hole allowing two hits and walking a batter.
"The first inning was a little crazy but I calmed down" said Garcia.
Garcia recovered and the defense came to his aid, halting the Spartans' progress at third base and leaving three runners on.
Then the offensive onslaught began. The Broncos overwhelmed San Jose State startng pitcher Esteban Guzman, scoring seven runs on seven RBI singles to take a 7-0 lead and chase Guzman from the mound. Guzman was replaced by John Austin after just 0.1 innings pitched.
The scoring continued for the Broncos in the second inning when second-basemen Evan Peters hit his first collegiate home run, a two-run shot to left center, to make the score 9-0.
"It's an awesome feeling to hit a home run, especially at home," said Peters. "I've been putting in a lot of extra work. I was just able to help the team get ahead."
San Jose State scored its first run on Michael Reiling's sacrifice fly to center in the sixth inning, scoring Craig Hertler who lead the inning off with a triple. The Spartans then added two more runs in the seventh inning to make the score 11-3 at the seventh-inning stretch.
Bronco first-basemen Curtis Wagner continued his hot streak at the plate, going 4-for-5 with two RBIs and two runs scored on the evening.
"I think Curtis had a renewed commitment level in the offseason. He had some struggles in a few different areas last season, but I think he's showed up every day with a business-like attitude," said head coach Mark O'Brien. "I think it's really paying off for him."
Garcia pitched eight innings and struck out nine batters, including two each in the fourth and eighth innings. He attributed his success to better command of his pitches.
"I felt 100-percent better tonight than the first two games," said Garcia. "I was able to work on my game tonight. I kept my fastball down and worked on my curveball. It's nice to get the first win under my belt."
Coach O'Brien was happy to get his second win at home of the season.
"San Jose State is a good program," said O'Brien. "A win is good no matter who it is against."
The Broncos play the second game of the series tomorrow at 1 p.m. at San Jose State. The closing game of the series will be bac at Schott Stadium on Sunday at 1 p.m.