March 26, 2010
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Nate Garcia matched a career-high with 13 strikeouts and the Bronco offense battered Princeton pitching in Santa Clara's 19-4 series-opening win over the Tigers Friday night at Stephen Schott Stadium.
"We came out ready to play tonight, that's what we've been preaching all week," said Garcia. "I was just trying to go pitch-by-pitch. I was honestly just trying to pitch for contact and keep my fastball down. I was able to locate my breaking ball and keep them off balance."
Garcia - the West Coast Conference strikeout leader in 2009 - fanned 13 of the 25 batters he faced. Garcia upped his season record to 2-4, allowing just three hits and two earned runs in six innings.
Santa Clara (9-10) batted-around and scored six times in the sixth, taking a 15-3 lead to the late innings. Pat Stover went 3-for-4 and scored three times. Lucas Herbst, Blake Leyva and Geoff Klein each added two hits.
The Broncos totaled 17 hits, seven for extra-bases, contributing to a long night for the Tigers who traveled 3,000 miles to play four games against SCU this weekend. Princeton (4-11) - who began the year 0-6 - committed four errors behind four different pitchers.
"I think we had good plate discipline, that helped us out," said Santa Clara head coach Mark O'Brien about the 17-hit night. "Nate got back on the horse but I think he has the capability to be even better. I'm happy to take a win. I also think we can play a little better defense and have better at-bats in certain situations."
Ryan Rieger hit a two-out triple in the first inning to stake SCU to an early 3-0 lead. The Broncos tacked on two more in the second, thanks to an RBI sac-fly from Curtis Wagner after two walks by Princeton starter Dan Barnes.
Barnes (1-1) worked 3 2/3 innings in his fourth start, surrendering a season-high nine runs (six earned). Barnes left the bases loaded before leaving in the fourth, trailing 8-1.
Meanwhile Garcia was racking up strikeouts, fanning 9-of-12 Tiger batters in innings 2 through 4.
With SCU leading 9-3, Stover led off the bottom of the sixth with his first triple. The Broncos had three more extra-base hits in the inning, which included back-to-back doubles by Klein and Tommy Medica.
The Broncos took a 12-run lead into the seventh and would score four more times in the eighth.
GAME NOTES: The Broncos have outscored their opponents 26-3 in the first inning this year... Nate Garcia increased his career strikeout total to 290 - just four pitchers in SCU's 125-year baseball history have reached 300... SCU's 17 hits gave the team 15+ hits for the seventh time this season... In the SCU seventh inning, Matt Ozanne's first career double scored his brother Drew from first base... The Broncos used a season-high 12 subs, including Patrick Terry, who supplied his team-best sixth pinch-hit, a two-RBI single in the seventh... Redshirt freshman pitcher Mike Couch made his collegiate debut in the eighth.