April 5, 2002
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The Santa Clara University baseball team scored five runs in the fifth inning and held on for a narrow 7-6 win over the University of San Francisco in the first game of a three-game set at Buck Shaw Stadium Friday night.
Santa Clara (13-19, 4-5 WCC) fell behind by a score of 2-0 after the top of the third inning, as San Francisco (8-25, 1-11 WCC) pushed across one run in the first and one more in the third. The Broncos rallied for two runs of its own in the bottom half of the third when Joey Gomes singled home A.J. LaBarbera just two batters after Dan Vincenzi scored on a throwing error by Dons pitcher Bryan Williams.
USF came right back just one half inning later, scoring two more runs, both of which were unearned after Vincenzi allowed the leadoff hitter to reach base on a fielding error.
After the Broncos went hitless in the fourth and the Dons couldn't score in their half of the fifth, Santa Clara came to bat in the bottom of the fifth inning and broke the game wide open with five runs on five hits. David Mandley began the series of hits with an infield single and scored just one batter later when Gomes laced a double to the left center field wall. Pat Peavey singled home Gomes before scoring himself on a single by Shawn Epidendio. After catcher Jim Wallace singled for the Broncos fifth straight hit, Epidendio scored one batter later when Vincenzi reached on a San Francisco error.
A.J. Ampi, who came on in relief in the top of the fifth inning, held USF in check until the ninth inning when the Dons pushed across two runs on two hits. Despite the two runs, Ampi picked up his first win of the season after throwing four full innings of relief in which he allowed only two runs on four hits while striking out five.
Williams took the loss for San Francisco, throwing 4 2/3 innings of work in which he allowed seven runs, only three of which were earned, on seven hits while walking three and striking out three. Jeremy Kinney threw the final 3 1/3 innings for the Dons, allowing no runs on two hits while striking out four.
Gomes ended the day for the Broncos by going 3-for-4 with two doubles and three runs batted in. The senior improved his team-leading doubles total to 16 and his RBI total to 27 on the night. Peavey and Epidendio each went 1-for-4 with a RBI and a run scored.
The Broncos and the Dons will continue their three-game set on Saturday, with the second game of the series slated for a 1 p.m. first pitch from Buck Shaw Stadium.