April 9, 2008
BERKELEY, Calif. - The Santa Clara baseball faced a hard-fought 16-8 loss to fifth-ranked California Wednesday afternoon at Evans Diamond in Berkeley. With the loss, the Broncos dropped to 17-12 on the season, while the Golden Bears improved to 22-7-5 overall. The 2008 series between the two programs was split, 1-1, with the Broncos winning the first meeting on March 25 at Schott Stadium.
Evan LeBlanc led the Broncos offensive, going 2-for-4 with three runs, while Nathan Faulkner went 2-for-5 with a two-run home run. On the mound, Matt Wickswat was handed the loss. He is now 1-1 on the season. The win was awarded to Cal's Todd Fitzgerald. He improves to 1-1 overall.
The Broncos opened with two runs in the first inning and successfully held off the Golden Bears in their half of the inning. With LeBlanc on base, Tommy Medica singled up the middle bringing in the first run of the game. LeBlanc got on base with a single through the right side and then advanced to second on a wild pitch. Gabe Alcantar then produced an RBI single through the right side that brought home Medica.
Cal then produced a four run second inning. The Golden Bears gained a two-run lead, 4-2, as Brett Jackson, Dylan Tonneson, Blake Smith and Michael Brady all scored.
Santa Clara was only able to respond with one run in their half of the third inning to make the score, 4-3; however, Cal added two more runs to start widening the gap. In the third inning, LeBlanc scored his second run of the contest on a Ryan Conan groundout to Cal's shortstop Brady.
The Golden Bears went on to score for four consecutive innings to tale a 15-5 lead over the Broncos.
Santa Clara was unable to score anymore runs until the sixth inning when Faulkner launched a two-run home run to left centerfield to bring home Jon Karcich, who doubled to left field in the previous at bat, as well. It was Faulkner's second homer of the season.
In the seventh inning, LeBlanc scored his third run of the game on a Geoff Klein single through the right side. LeBlanc made his way around the bases by walking, advancing to second and third base on base-hits from Medica and Conan, respectively. SCU trailed 15-6.
It was relief pitcher Daniel DeMarco, who came in at the start of the bottom of the seventh, and the Broncos defense that was able to bring the Golden Bears' scoring tirade to a halt. DeMarco struck out one and allowed one hit, while plays at first and a fly out to left field finished out the inning.
However, Cal's Jeff Kobernus hit a solo homer to left field in the bottom of the eighth inning to make the score 16-6. In Santa Clara's final opportunity to score, the Broncos added on two runs but could not catch the Bears. With bases loaded, Klein walked to bring home Medica. He reached in the lead-off spot on an error by Cal's shortstop. Conan then scored the Broncos final run of the game on a Karcich groundout.
The Golden Bears out-hit the Broncos 21-to-15, while SCU committed only one error to Cal's two errors.
The Broncos return to action on Friday, April 11 against the Bulldogs of Gonzaga. First pitch in the three-game West Coast Conference series is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. in Spokane, Wash.