March 14, 2004
COLLEGE STATION, Texas - Despite a valiant effort, the Santa Clara University baseball team was swept in its three-game series at Texas A&M, as the Broncos dropped the series finale by a 5-4 score Sunday afternoon in front of 3,570 fans at Olsen Field. The loss drops SCU to 11-11 on the year while the 12th-ranked Aggies improved to 18-2.
Texas A&M got on the board first for the third-straight day, scoring one run on three hits in the bottom of the third inning for a 1-0 lead. Erik Schindewolf picked up the RBI as his single to center field scored Craig Stinson who reached two batters earlier on a single through the right side. Stinson moved to second base on a groundout by Travis Bartek before scoring on the sharp single by Schindewolf.
Santa Clara took its first lead of the series in the top of the fourth inning as Nic Crosta and Will Thompson led off the frame with back-to-back singles. The two scored two batters later as Mark Folgner stroked a two-run single to left field. That was followed by a double to right center by David Mandley, plating Folgner for a 3-1 advantage.
The Aggies re-took the lead in the bottom of the fifth inning as three-straight hits led to three A&M runs. The big blow came on a bases-loaded double by Cory Patton that brought in all three runs, giving the home team a 4-3 lead.
SCU tied the game in the top of the sixth inning as Mandley picked up his second RBI on his second double of the game, scoring Michael Thompson who reached two batters earlier on a single to right center.
Texas A&M secured the sweep in the ninth inning as a Justin Ruggiano sacrifice fly with the bases loaded gave the Aggies a 5-4 win. Travis Bartek scored the winning run after reaching on a walk to begin the inning.
Santa Clara starting pitcher John Redmond went seven full innings in which he allowed four runs on 11 hits with no walks and one strikeout. Thomas Van Buskirk came on in the eighth inning and did not give up a run despite allowing a single. After the first two batters reached base to begin the bottom of the ninth, Van Buskirk gave way to Anthony Rea who was making his first appearance of the series. Rea induced a fielder's choice and then issued an intentional walk before giving up the sacrifice fly that ended the game. Van Buskirk fell to 1-1 with the loss.
A&M starter Robert Ray lasted through only the first batter in the fifth inning as he was pulled after allowing three runs on six hits to go along with one walk and three strikeouts. Kyle Nicholson and Dan Donaldson combined to throw the next 3 2/3 innings, allowing only one run on two hits. Kyle Marlatt recorded the final out of the eighth inning and pitched a perfect ninth inning to improve to 2-0 on the year.
SCU returns to play next weekend, opening 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. The series is beginning a day later than normal to accommodate the final exam schedule for the Broncos.