April 3, 2010

Portland Sweeps Santa Clara with 11-2 Victory

April 3, 2010

Final Stats |  Action Photos 

By, Brandon Rebboah '13

SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Santa Clara was unable to avoid a sweep in its 2010 West Coast Conference opening series against Portland. The Pilots held the Broncos to five hits, winning in a decisive fashion Saturday 11-2.

Santa Clara (12-14; 0-3 WCC) will try and snap a three-game losing streak when they host the University of Pacific Tuesday night at 6 p.m. The Broncos were outscored 26-10 during the three-game set with UP.

"It's pretty simple, Portland was in fast forward all weekend and it seemed like we were in reverse," said Santa Clara head Coach Mark O'Brien. "I thought we hit a lot of balls hard but we need to have more quality at-bats."

Portland (18-6; 3-0 WCC) has won eight straight and sits atop the WCC standings. The Pilots raced out to 6-0 lead in the third inning while starting pitcher Owen Jones retired the first eight batters in the Santa Clara lineup, which entered the weekend best in the WCC.

Jones (2-0) is off to a great start this season, pitching 16 2/3 scoreless innings before Tommy Medica hit a towering solo homerun in the fourth.

Medica's team-leading seventh homer made the score 6-1. The preseason All-American increased his current hit streak to 19 games. Medica's drive accounted for Santa Clara's only run until Pat Stover's RBI double in the eighth.

Freshman starter Chris Mendoza pitched scoreless innings in the fifth and sixth after being touched up for six early runs. Mendoza (2-1) gave up five earned runs on 11 hits and struck out five.

"I think Mendoza went out and competed like he always does. I have no problems with the way he pitched today," said O'Brien about his young pitcher.

The Broncos continue their homestand Tuesday night. Santa Clara will then look for its first conference win in its upcoming series against Pepperdine, which begins Friday April 9th.

GAME NOTES: The Broncos are 4-4 during their current 13-game homestand... UT Tommy Medica (.416 BA) now leads the team in batting average, RBI (33), HR (7), 2B (12), hits (47) and runs (31)... SS Justin Viele (.299 BA) did not play - he was hit by a pitch and left Friday night's game with injury in the eighth inning... Everyday second baseman Evan Peters (.337 BA) played shortstop, moving INF Blake Leyva (.389 BA) to second base... INF Matt Paradise (.333 BA) made his first start at third base... Medica was caught stealing for the first time this season; he is now 11-for-12 on the year - 11 steals is also a team-high... RH J.R. Graham (1-1; 5.40 ERA), RH Cory Hall (0-0 7.59 ERA)and RH Paul Twining (0-0; 6.75 ERA) all pitched in relief Saturday... The Broncos have just one left-handed pitcher on their roster... Saturday's game was only the fourth time Santa Clara has been held to five hits or less this season.