March 23, 2003
SPOKANE, Wash. - The Santa Clara University baseball team split a Sunday doubleheader with Gonzaga, losing game one by a 9-7 score before winning game two 10-0 behind Joe Diefenderfer's complete game shutout. Santa Clara's record moves to 10-17 overall and 2-2 in the West Coast conference while Gonzaga's record goes to 9-11-1 overall and 1-4 in league play.
The Broncos started off the scoring in game two with five runs on four hits in the top of the second inning, highlighted by a three-run home run by Scott Dierks, his third of the day. Mark Folgner also had a big hit scoring Jack Headley and Michael Thompson with a soft-liner to right center field. The hit for Folgner was his first in the 2003 season.
Jack Headley increased the Santa Clara lead to 6-0 in the third inning with a solo home run to left field, his second on the day and third on the year.
SCU took advantage of a Gonzaga error in the top of the seventh inning, scoring two unearned runs on RBI singles by Will Thompson and Matt McColgan. Thompson's single plated Jason Matteucci who reached earlier in the inning on his third hit of the game while McColgan's shot up the middle scored Thompson.
Two more runs on four hits in the top of the eighth inning gave the Broncos a 10-0 lead. Shawn Epidendio knocked in both runs in the inning with his pinch-hit single up the middle on a drawn in infield with runners at second and third.
Diefenderfer was masterful on the afternoon, improving to 4-3 on the season after scattering six hits and striking out seven in his nine innings of work.
The Bulldogs took game one by a score of 9-7 despite five Bronco home runs. Gonzaga got the scoring started off in the bottom of the first inning as the first two batters reached base with a single and a walk before advancing one spot on a Matt Travis wild pitch. After back-to-back groundouts to the shortstop Gonzaga led 2-0 despite getting only a single during that span.
After giving up the early lead the Broncos relied on the long ball to catch up and eventually take the lead. Dierks got the team's first hit in the third inning, lining a two-out single to left field. Headley brought him home one batter later as he connected on his first home run of the year with a two-run shot that just cleared the left field fence.
With the scored tied at two in the top of the fifth inning, Santa Clara tooks its first lead of the game on a Michael Thompson home run to left field. Dierks picked up his second hit of the game later in the inning and gave the Broncos a 4-2 lead with a monstrous blast over the center field fence. The home run for Thompson was his second of the season while Dierks' blast was his fifth of the year.
Gonzaga played a little long ball of its own in the bottom half of the fifth inning as Gordon Corder connected on a two-run home run over the left field fence, scoring Brad Welker ahead of him who reached when he was hit by a Travis pitch. The two-run blast tied the score at four runs apiece.
Scott Shapiro connected on his second home run of the season with a solo shot over the left center field fence in the top of the sixth inning to give the Broncos back the lead at 5-4.
The Bulldogs exploded for five runs on four hits in the bottom of the sixth inning, highlighted by a two-run single by Sam Hess. Two Broncos errors led to three unearned runs in the inning as Gonzaga opened up a 9-5 lead heading into the seventh inning.
Dierks picked up his third hit of the game and second home run with another solo home run, this time a long drive over the left center field fence to narrow the Bulldog lead down to 9-6.
The Broncos trimmed the Zags' lead down to 9-7 in the eighth inning as they pushed across their first run in the game that was not the result of a home run. A.J. LaBarbera led off the inning with a single and moved to third base on a double down the left field line by Scott Shapiro. Jim Wallace picked up an RBI when LaBarbera came home on his groundout to third base.
Santa Clara would get no closer as Ed Clelland picked up his second save of the year after sending the Broncos down in order in the ninth inning. Gonzaga starter Errol Simonitsch improved to 4-2 on the season after throwing seven full innings in which he picked up six strikeouts.
Matt Travis fell to 1-5 after allowing six runs on seven hits in five plus innings of work. Chad Fillinger threw three solid innings of relief in which he allowed only three hits while striking out four.
Gonzaga and Santa Clara are scheduled to conclude their three-game series Monday afternoon at 2 p.m. before heading back home for a three-game series with Pepperdine next weekend in Buck Shaw Stadium.