March 15, 2009
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Led by senior Brady Fuerst's game-high four hits and three RBIs, the Santa Clara baseball team defeated Cornell 12-10 to sweep the non-conference series at Stephen Schott Stadium. The Broncos evened their record to 7-7, while the Big Red fell to 2-4.
Fuerst was 4-for-4 and also scored two runs. Freshman DH Andrew Biancardi went 2-for-2 with two runs and two RBIs and junior catcher Geoff Klein scored a game-high three runs. Sophomore Chris Morton, who made his first career start at first base, drove in two runs for SCU, while junior Michael Santia made his first ever appearance late in the game at second base.
For Cornell, centerfielder Nate David drove in a game-high five runs.
On the mound, junior RHP Alex Rivers (1-0) earned his first win of the season after six innings of work. He allowed just one run, three hits and struck out four. In relief, freshman Paul Twining made his first appearance as a Bronco. The loss went to Corey Pappel (0-1). He tossed 3.1 innings, allowed three runs and walked four.
It was a quiet start for both teams and wasn't an easy victory for the Broncos as the Big Red came extremely close to knotting the score in the eighth inning.
After three and a half innings of just two-hit ball, the Broncos tallied three runs to get things rolling. Jon Karcich opened the inning with a single down the left field line and Klein followed with his first of two hit by pitches. The runners then advanced on a Biancardi sacrifice bunt. Karcich scored the first run of the game on a Fuerst single to right centerfield. The bases loaded as Morton walked and as J.R. Graham was hit by a pitch, Klein registered the second run of the game. Bases remained full and as Juan Parra was then hit by a pitch, Fuerst crossed home.
Cornell put up one run in the top of the fifth, but Santa Clara responded with two more runs to take a 5-1 lead heading into the sixth inning. The Broncos runs were scored by Klein and Biancardi as Fuerst singled up the middle and Big Red second baseman Matt Langseth incurred an error.
Rivers then tossed a quick top of the sixth, allowing the Broncos to pick up where they left off with another five runs in the bottom of the inning. With the top of the order, Matt Long was hit by a pitch and then stole second. David Abraham then had a solid base hit to right field to move Long to third. The bases then loaded once again for the Broncos as Klein was walked. Biancardi then plated Long and Abraham with his single to left field. Fuerst followed suit with a double to center field allowing Klein to score, and with a two RBI single from Morton, Fuerst and Biancardi were driven home for the final two runs of the inning.
Santa Clara led 10-1.
However, the Big Red took charge and scored nine runs in the next two innings. Cornell's three runs in the seventh made it a 10-4 outing. Nate David homered to left field, bringing home Frank Hagar and Scott Hardinger with him.
The Broncos responded with their final two runs of the game in the bottom of the seventh. Long launched a far shot to right field that nearly cleared the wall but instead turned into a triple for the senior. Then, as Abraham nicely placed a base hit over the head of Cornell's first baseman, Long scored. Kyle Van Dusen, who came in as a defensive replacement at third base, then drove home Abraham with a base hit. SCU led 12-4.
Yet, the Big Red tallied six runs in the eighth to come within two of Santa Clara. Catcher Brandon Lee cleared the bases with just on out on the board with a double to right field. He drove in three run with the shot. Then, David stuck again with another home run to left field. Lee also scored on the shot. Graham, who allowed the home run, then quickly struck out the next to batters to get out of the inning.
The Bronco defense in Santia, Van Dusen, Morton and Lucas Herbst quickly helped SCU close out the game with two groundouts and a fly out.
Santa Clara returns to action next weekend at Schott Stadium against another Ivy League opponent, Dartmouth. SCU opens the three-game series with a single game on Saturday, March 21 at 1 p.m. and brings it to a close with a doubleheader on Sunday, March 22 beginning at 1 p.m.