April 2, 2010
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Portland jumped out to a seven-run lead and held on for an 11-6 win over Santa Clara Friday night at Steven Schott Stadium.
Off to their best start in school history, Portland (17-6; 2-0 WCC) has won seven in a row. Pilot sophomore starter Kyle Kraus won his fifth-straight decision and Portland totaled 13 hits, including hitting a pair of homers.
Santa Clara (12-13; 0-2 WCC) was trying to even the three-game series after losing Thursday night's opener 4-2. Tommy Medica extended his hitting streak to 18 games. Medica hit two doubles and drove-in two runs to up his WCC-leading RBI total to 32.
However it was the Pilots providing most of the offense, scoring four times in the third inning and twice more in the fourth off SCU starter Alex Rivers (2-4).
Costly Santa Clara fielding errors helped Portland build its early lead. Five of UP's runs were unearned, including a pair that scored on Tyler Thompson's two-out, two-run triple off Rivers in the third.
Thompson had initiated the scoring with a solo drive in the top of the second. Thompson finished the night 2-for-3 with three RBI. Third baseman - and No. 9 hitter - Matt Mardesich added three hits, tripled and scored twice.
Trailing 7-0 in the fourth, Rivers was lifted in favor of freshman Brock Simon. It was the second time in three starts Rivers received no run support. By the time Curtis Wagner doubled and scored in the fourth the Broncos were facing a huge deficit. Justin Viele and Medica hit RBI-doubles but Santa Clara would get no closer than trailing 8-4 in the fifth.
The Pilots broke the game open in the seventh when designated hitter Kevin Armijo hit a towering two-run homer to leftfield. Kraus (5-0) struck out five in five innings then watched four relievers allow two runs through the final four innings.
The weekend set in Santa Clara marks the beginning of the 2010 West Coast Conference schedule. Game Three is scheduled for a 12 p.m. first-pitch on Saturday.
GAME NOTES: A light rain fell in the second and third innings... 2B Evan Peters (.352 BA) owns a 9-game hitting streak... The Broncos' streak of having 11 or more hits extends to nine straight games... The Broncos committed four errors and hit into three double plays... SCU head coach Mark O'Brien was ejected for arguing an obstruction call in the fifth inning... Peters, SS Justin Viele (.299 BA) and 1B Curtis Wagner (.430 BA) are the only SCU players to start all 24 games at their respective positions.