March 21, 2004
MALIBU, Calif. - Kellan McConnell threw eight full innings in which he struck out 10 batters as the Santa Clara University baseball team won its first West Coast Conference game of the season by a 3-1 score over Pepperdine University Sunday afternoon at Eddy D. Field Stadium. The win improves the Broncos record to 12-12 overall and 1-1 in league play while the Waves fell to 7-13 overall and 1-1 in the conference..
SCU squandered a scoring opportunity in the third inning as Matt McColgan was thrown out at home as he tried to score from second base on a double by Robert Perry. McColgan ran through third base coach Mike Oakland's stop sign and was out by 10 feet after a good relay throw from Pepperdine second baseman David Uribes was right on target.
Santa Clara took advantage of its scoring opportunity in the fifth inning, however, as Dustin Realini scored on an Eric Newton fielder's choice for a 1-0 lead. Realini reached on a single through the left side to begin the inning before stealing second to get into scoring position. He advanced to third on a soft line drive single to left field by Jason Matteucci before coming home on Newton's high chopper to third that led to Matteucci's putout at second base.
For the third time in the series, the Broncos squandered a bases loaded situation, this time in the top of the sixth inning with less than two outs. After both Nic Crosta and Will Thompson singled and Mark Folgner drew a walk, Pepperdine starter Kea Kometani buckled down and struck out Realini looking and got Matteucci to fly out to right field to quell the Bronco rally. SCU left the bases loaded twice in Saturday's series opening 7-0 loss to the Waves.
The momentum that the Pepperdine defense gained from stranding the bases loaded in the sixth inning carried over to the bottom half of the sixth as the Waves tied the score at one apiece on a sacrifice fly by Patrick Rooney. His fly ball to left field was deep enough to plate David Uribes who was hit by a pitch with one out earlier in the inning. Uribes advanced to second on a stolen base and moved up to third on a wild pitch, making the game-tying RBI from Rooney possible.
The Broncos regained the lead in the top of the seventh inning as Newton scored on a passed ball for a 2-1 advantage. Newton reached on a single through the left side with one out and moved to second when Perry was hit by a pitch. Both advanced one base on a Paul Coleman wild pitch, setting up the go ahead run when Coleman's pitch could not be handled by Pepperdine catcher Chad Tracy.
Santa Clara added to its lead in the top of the ninth inning as back-to-back doubles from McColgan and Newton gave the Broncos a 3-1 lead.
Junior Anthony Rea came on in relief for the Broncos the ninth inning and recorded three outs in the four batters he faced for his fifth save of the season.
McConnell allowed only one run on four hits with only three walks while his 10 strikeouts set a new career-high. He improved to 2-3 on the season with the win and lowered his season ERA down to 3.89, which ranks second on the team behind only Rea.
Kometani fell to 1-4 on the season despite allowing only one earned run on the day. He did give up eight hits in his 6 1/3 innings of work while walking two and striking out seven. Paul Coleman came on in relief and allowed one run on two hits with no walks and four strikeouts.
Santa Clara and Pepperdine conclude their three-game series Monday afternoon at 2 p.m. Following that game the Broncos will return to Buck Shaw Stadium for a seven-game homestand beginning on Wednesday, March 24, as SCU welcomes in top-ranked Stanford for a 6 p.m. game.