Broncos Forge Hard-Earned WCC Series Win

March 28, 2004

Final Stats

SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Sophomore second baseman Michael Thompson went 3-for-5 at the plate and drove in three runs to propel the Santa Clara University baseball team to a 7-5 West Coast Conference win over the University of San Francisco Sunday at Buck Shaw Stadium.

With the win, Santa Clara moves to 14-15 on the season and evens its WCC record to 3-3. San Francisco dropped to 13-14 on the season and 4-2 in league play. The Broncos return home Friday for the first game of a three-game series against the University of Portland. For tickets, contact the SCU Athletic Ticket Office at 408/554-4660.

Of the five Bronco pitchers used in the game, reliever Thomas Van Buskirk (2-1) shined brightest in earning his second win of the season. The Arvada, Colo. native went two full innings, faced seven batters and allowed just one hit during a key stretch for the Broncos in the seventh and eight innings. He appeared in all three games of the series and allowed just two hits and struck out three in five full innings for the weekend.

Anthony Rea was credited with the save for Santa Clara after coming into the game for the ninth inning with the Broncos owning a 7-4 lead. Nick Pereira (0-3) was charged with the loss among the five pitchers who made appearances for San Francisco.

In addition to Thompson's fine performance at the plate, leadoff hitter Robert Perry went 2-for-4 and designated hitter Shawn Epidendio went 2-for-2 to lead Santa Clara offensively. The Broncos pounded-out a series-high 12 hits in the game.

After three-and-a-half scoreless innings to start the game, Santa Clara opened the scoring when Nic Crosta doubled to right field to open the inning. Epidendio's sacrifice bunt moved him to third before catcher Matt McColgan flied out to left field to push him across the plate.

The Dons returned the favor in the top half of the fifth, scoring four runs as the Broncos made two pitching changes during the stanza. Nick Cirbo started the inning with a walk then moved to second base on a wild pitch by SCU starter John Redmond. Jonnie Knoble singled to the shortstop, which moved Cirbo to third before Royce Fukuroku tapped a single to centerfield to earn USF's first run of the game.

After a single to left field by Andrew Smith scored Knoble, Redmond made way for righthanded senior Patrick McBride's seventh appearance of the season. McBride gave up a single by Craig Click and Fukuroku scored on a throwing error by Crosta, giving San Francisco a 3-0 lead with no outs in the inning.

Armand Gaerlan- grounded into a double play but Smith advanced to third then scored when Chris Genung singled to right field. Redshirt freshman Scott Lonergan came relived McBride and forced Scott Cousins to ground out to first baseman Will Thompson to end the inning.

The Broncos regained the lead in the bottom half of the inning. Eric Newton singled to left center and moved to third when Perry doubled down the right field line. The Dons made a pitching change, replacing starter T.J. Franco with Brian Borgmann, who immediately walked Ryan Chiarelli. Michael Thompson then doubled down the left field line, scoring all three runners. Then inning ended when McColgan was called for a check swing third strike. A discussion between Mark O'Brien and the first base umpire resulted in the dismissal of the Bronco head coach for the remainder of the game.

Santa Clara rang-up three more runs in the bottom of the eighth inning. Epidendio opened the inning with a double down the right field line and scored when Jason Matteucci singled down the middle. He scored on a wild pitch by USF's Pereira. After Perry was hit by a pitch and Chiarelli was walked by reliever Ryan Muller, David Hoffmire scored on a passed ball for the Broncos final run of the game.

Rea came into the game to close the ninth inning and immediately dispatched of the first two batters, forcing Craig Click to flyout to left field and Gaerland to watch a called third strike. After Genung doubled down the left field line, Joe Jacobitz singled to right field to knock-in the USF run. Cousins struck out swinging to end the game.