Baseball Drops Series Opener, 4-3 at Portland
April 1, 2005
PORTLAND, Ore. - The Santa Clara baseball team's late inning comeback came up short as the Broncos dropped a 4-3 West Coast Conference contest at Joe Etzel Field on the campus of the University of Portland on Friday afternoon. The Broncos are now 13-14 on the season with a 0-6 mark in conference action. The Pilots improve to 10-16 and 1-6 in WCC play.
The Pilots got on the scoreboard first with two runs in the bottom of the second inning. A one-out solo home run by Justin Pierce accounted for the first Portland run before Nik Kosach scored on a Bronco error later in the frame.
Portland added a run in both the third and fifth innings to build a 4-0 advantage over the Broncos. However, SCU would answer back, cutting the Pilot lead in half in the top of the sixth.
Jason Matteucci started the one-out rally with an infield single and moved to second on an errand throw. Robert Perry put two Broncos in scoring position a batter later with a double down the left field line. Matteucci then scored on a sacrifice fly by designated hitter Nic Crosta. A single to center field off the bat of Kris Watts would bring Perry in from second base and reduce the Pilot lead to 4-2, heading into the bottom of the sixth.
In the top of the eighth inning, Santa Clara made it a one-run game, pushing another Bronco run across the plate. Perry was issued a leadoff walk to start the frame. The center fielder would then take second and third on a pair of balks by Pilot reliever Justin Ehlers. After a Bronco strikeout, Perry scored on a ground-out by Watts.
Santa Clara threatened to tie the score in the top of the ninth inning with two runners on base and two outs. However, a line-out to the pitcher would end the rally and the game for SCU.
Anthony Rea suffered the loss to fall to 2-3 on the season. He allowed four runs on 11 hits and recorded 11 strikeouts.
Watts led all players with two RBI, while Perry went 2-for-3 at the plate with two runs scored.
The three-game conference set will continue tomorrow at Joe Etzel Field. First pitch is set for 1 p.m. as freshman right-hander Mike Stutes gets the start on the mound for the Broncos.