March 22, 2004
MALIBU, Calif. - The Santa Clara University baseball team dropped its series finale at Pepperdine, losing the rubber match by a 9-2 score Monday afternoon at Eddy D. Field Stadium. The loss moves the Broncos' record to 12-13 overall and 1-2 in West Coast Conference play while the Waves improve to 8-13 overall and 2-1 in league action.
Pepperdine got things started in the first inning, scoring two runs on four hits to take the early lead. David Uribes and Steve Kleen led off with back-to-back singles and each moved up a base on a sacrifice bunt by Patrick Rooney. Catcher Chad Tracy came to the plate two batters later and delivered a bloop single to center that scored both Uribes and Kleen for the 2-0 advantage.
Santa Clara trimmed the Waves' lead in half during the top of the second inning as a pair of singles led to Dustin Realini touching home on a sacrifice fly to center field by David Mandley. Realini had reached earlier on a fielder's choice after a Michael Thompson single. He advanced to third on a high chopper through the right side by Jason Matteucci before being plated on the sharply hit fly ball by the Bronco catcher. The RBI for Mandley was his fifth of the season.
A pair of Bronco errors in the bottom of the third inning led to Pepperdine's third run of the game as Kleen reached on a fielding error by Dustin Realini and advanced to third on a single to right field by Rooney. Kleen came home and gave the Waves a 3-1 lead on a sacrifice fly ball by Brent Lewis that was dropped in left field by Matteucci. The errors were Santa Clara's first two in the series.
SCU put itself in a good position to at least draw within one in the fourth inning as Will Thompson led off with a single and moved to third on a double to the left field wall by Michael Thompson, putting runners at second and third and no outs. After Realini grounded out sharply to the pitcher, Matteucci stepped to the plate and sent a ball into left field where it was caught by Pepperdine left fielder Cory Brightwell. After the catch Brightwell immediately relayed the ball to third baseman Nick Kliebert who fired the ball home to cut down Will Thompson at the plate who was trying to tag up on the play. The double play quelled the brief Bronco rally.
Pepperdine's good defense in the top of the frame led to a productive offensive inning in the bottom of the fourth it added three runs on only two hits, the biggest coming off the bat of Rooney who powered a three-run home run over the netting atop the left field fence for a 6-1 Waves lead. His third home run of the season brought home Uribes and Kleen who reached earlier in the inning on a fielder's choice and walk, respectively. Kliebert had an infield single earlier in the inning but was erased on Uribes' fielder's choice.
The Waves added two more runs in the bottom of the fifth inning as Tracy and Brightwell each led of the inning with singles and advanced one base when Kliebert drew a walk. Uribes delivered a two-run single down the left field line, scoring both Tracy and Brightwell to give Pepperdine an 8-1 lead.
Kliebert's walk knocked Santa Clara starter John Redmond from the game as freshman Bryan Fleming entered and promptly gave up the double to Uribes on his first pitch. Fleming induced a fly ball to right field from Kleen on the very next pitch to end the inning. Redmond gave up seven earned runs on 10 hits in the outing to go along with two walks and three strikeouts.
Tracy added another run to the Pepperdine total in the bottom of the sixth inning as he blasted his fifth home run of the season over the left field fence. The big fly from the catcher increased the Waves' lead to 9-1.
Michael Thompson led off the Bronco half of the seventh inning with his third hit of the game, a line drive homerun over the left field fence to narrow the Pepperdine lead down to 9-2. The homerun was his second of the season and moved him just a triple shy of the cycle on the day after picking up a single in the second and a double in the fourth.
James Johnson picked up his first win of the season for Pepperdine as he tossed five full innings in which he allowed only one run on five hits with one walk and two strikeouts. Reliever Brandon Boesch and closer Steve Kleen combined to throw the final four innings for the Waves. Neither reliever qualified for a save.
Redmond fell to 3-1 on the year for the Broncos, as the senior from Canton, Ohio had his worst outing since his first appearance this season in which he allowed six runs on four hits in 1 2/3 innings at UC Riverside.
Michael Thompson was the only SCU player to have a multi-hit day, picking up his fourth hit in the ninth inning, a double to left field. He finished the day by going 4-for-4 with two doubles, a homerun, one run scored and one RBI.
Santa Clara returns to Buck Shaw Stadium this week for the start of a seven-game homestand beginning on Wednesday, March 24, as SCU welcomes in top-ranked Stanford for a 6 p.m. game. Following that game the Broncos will host San Francisco in a three-game weekend series beginning Friday evening at 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday's games will both begin at 1 p.m.