March 25, 2008
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Junior Matt Long's two-run home run to right field in the tenth inning gave the Santa Clara baseball team a 7-5 victory over 11th-ranked California in 10 innings Tuesday night at Schott Stadium. With the triumph, the Broncos enter West Coast Conference play with a 12-8 overall record. Freshman Thain Simon (6-0) earned his sixth win of the season after pitching 2.0 innings, striking out four batters and allowing not hits or runs.
The Broncos had five players register doubles, with Ryan Conan notching two. All of Santa Clara's hits prior to ninth inning were doubles. Conan was 2-for-4 Tuesday night, scoring two runs, while Long also went 2-for-4 with three RBIs and two runs.
Cal opened the game with a two-run homer by Josh Satin in the first inning, but the Broncos tied the game in the bottom of the second inning. Santa Clara scored two runs, Conan and Gabe Alcantar, on five consecutive walks. SCU then took a one-run lead on a Geoff Klein ground out to third base that brought home Conan. Yet, the Golden Bears rallied in the fourth to take the lead once again. Rich Gorman hit a two-run home run to center field that allowed Michael Brady to score as well. Cal led 4-3.
Both teams were held scoreless through the sixth inning. Then, in the bottom of the seventh, the Broncos knotted the game once again. Conan tallied an RBI double to left field, scoring Evan LeBlanc. LeBlanc got on base with his own double to left field. The score was tied 4-4.
In the eighth inning it was Long who put the Broncos on top with his double down the right field line. He was then brought home on a Brady Fuerst double to right center. Santa Clara led 5-5. However, a sacrifice fly from Satin to center field allowed Cutler to score and tie the score, 5-5.
After a quick top of the 10th inning pitched by Simon, Santa Clara got back to work. Klein put the Broncos on base with a single through the right side. James Heintz then entered the contest to pinch run for Klein and earned the game-winning run shortly after. Heintz advanced to third on a sacrifice from Jon Karcich, which brought Long to the plate. The junior outfielder launched the homer to right field that lifted the Broncos to victory.
With the win, Santa Clara improved to 2-2 against ranked opponents and is 2-0 in extra inning contests.
The Broncos return to action on Friday, March 28 as they open the WCC season with a three-game series on the road. Santa Clara will battle No. 14 San Diego at 2 p.m. at Cunningham Stadium in San Diego. The two teams will then play on Saturday and Sunday at 1 p.m.