March 7, 2010

Broncos Sweep Spartans, Winning in Extra-Innings Sunday

March 7, 2010

Final Stats |  Action Photos 

By Brandon Rebboah `13

SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Santa Clara beat local rival San Jose State Sunday in extra innings 9-8, sweeping Spartans at Stephen Schott Stadium. SJSU had rallied from a four-run deficit in the eighth but Bronco All-American catcher Geoff Klein won it for Santa Clara in the tenth.

After two wins against San Jose State on Friday and Saturday, Santa Clara (5-4) was looking for the sweep Sunday and its fourth-straight victory. Bronco starter Jon Hughes dug himself into a hole early, but survived the early innings without giving up a run. Hughes lasted 7 2/3 innings, allowed just six hits and fanned nine.

"Jon is a competitor; he gave us a chance to be where we needed to be. I'm very happy with what he did," said Santa Clara head coach Mark O'Brien about his unbeaten Sunday starter.

Before Hughes ran into some trouble and was eventually pulled with SCU leading in the eighth, the Broncos and Spartans traded homeruns in the fifth, making the score 5-3 SCU. San Jose State catcher Corey Valine hit a two-run homerun in the top of the inning. Santa Clara's Tommy Medica answered with a towering shot over the centerfield wall in the bottom of the frame.

"I've been seeing a lot of good pitches, and haven't been ready to hit them. I decided not to guess pitches and just reacted. I was just happy I made solid contact," said Medica, who had four hits in the series.

The Broncos had taken command, 7-3, going into the eighth. However, the Spartans (4-5) rallied to take the lead on a 3-RBI double by Zack Jones.

In the bottom of the eighth, the Broncos responded by tying the game, 8-8, on an RBI-single by Justin Viele. The single by Viele was the highlight of an outstanding day by the freshman shortstop. He went 4-4 with three RBI.

"I was getting some good pitches to hit. I was lucky that I came up to bat with guys on base. I was just thinking small, just base hits to knock in a run," said Viele.

Nine innings of baseball was not enough to decide the game. Bronco pitcher Steve Kalush (1-0) retired the Spartans in the tenth and would pick up the win after Klein won it for SCU moments later.

"You always dream of that situation," said Klein who came up with the winning hit with the bases loaded. "It's a great feeling to be that guy. I'm glad I could help this team win."

The Broncos will travel to play a midweek game at Fresno State on Tuesday, March 9.