March 13, 2004
COLLEGE STATION, Texas - The Santa Clara University baseball team fell by the narrowest of margins to No. 12 Texas A&M Saturday night, dropping game two of its three-game series by a 4-3 score in front of 4,114 fans at C.E. "Pat" Olsen Field. The loss moves the Broncos' record to 11-10 on the season while upping the Aggies mark to 17-2.
Much like the series opener, Texas A&M didn't take long to get things going offensively, scoring one run on two hits in the first inning as Erik Schindewolf singled back up the middle and came home on a Cory Patton double one batter later. Patton did not pick up the RBI on the play though as SCU right fielder Nic Crosta threw to second base in an effort to get Patton out, but as the throw came late, Schindewolf had enough time to come home for a 1-0 lead.
The Aggies added three more in the bottom of the third inning, two of which came on a two-run double to right-center field by Justin Ruggiano. His double plated Cliff Pennington, who began the inning with a single, and Patton, who reached on a walk, giving Texas A&M a 3-0 lead. Both Pennington and Patton moved up one base apiece on a sacrifice bunt by Coby Mavroulis. Ruggiano came around to score the fourth run of the game on a single to center field by Andrew Baldwin.
Santa Clara picked up one hit each in the fourth and fifth innings, but it wasn't until a Matt McColgan hit in the sixth led to the first run of the game for the Broncos. McColgan singled through the right side to lead off the sixth and was forced out on a fielder's choice by Eric Newton. Newton came around to score two batters later as a Shawn Epidendio fly ball was misplayed by the Aggies' right fielder, cutting the Texas A&M lead down to 4-1 on the unearned run.
SCU picked up two more runs in the top of the seventh inning as Will Thompson led off with a double and Dustin Realini followed with a single to shortstop. An errant throw by the shortstop on Realini's single allowed Thompson to come home. Realini came home on the next pitch as Michael Thompson singled to centerfield to make the score 4-3 in favor of Texas A&M.
Bronco starter Kellan McConnell started off rocky, allowing four runs in the first three innings, but settled down thereafter, allowing only one hit over the next four innings. He finished the game after throwing seven full innings in which he allowed four earned runs on seven hits while walking five and striking out eight, but fell to 1-3 on the year after taking the loss. Thomas Van Buskirk came on in the eighth inning and threw a perfect frame, inducing two groundouts and one fly ball to center field.
Aggie starting pitcher Zac Jackson went six full innings before being pulled, allowing three runs, only one of which was earned, on six hits with no walks and eight strikeouts. He gave way to Jason Meyer in the seventh who did not allow a hit in his 1 1/3 innings of work. Blake Rampy came on for A&M in the eighth inning and recorded the final two outs of the inning to quell a Bronco rally by stranding two runners on base. He then threw a perfect ninth inning to pick up his third save of the year, preserving the win for Jackson as he improved to 5-0 on the season.
The Broncos and Aggies conclude their three-game series Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m. Following that game, SCU will open up West Coast Conference play at Pepperdine on March 20-22. Saturday and Sunday's games with the Waves will begin at 1 p.m. while Monday's series finale is scheduled for a 2 p.m. first pitch.