April 9, 2009
PORTLAND, Ore. - Juniors Nate Garcia and Jon Karcich led the Santa Clara baseball team to a 6-4 victory at Portland Thursday afternoon. The win was the Broncos first in league play and snapped a 10-game losing streak. SCU is now 11-17 on the season and 1-6 in WCC action.
RHP Garcia (5-3) tossed his second complete game of the season, giving up four runs on nine hits and striking out eight along the way. The loss went to Mark Triolo (3-5). He went 1.2 innings and gave up two of the Broncos six runs.
At the plate, shortstop Karcich went 2-for-4 with three runs. He hit his first home run of the season to start things of for the Broncos. For the Pilots, Bryant Kraus went 3-for-4 with one runs and one RBI. Santa Clara out-hit Portland 11-9, while the Pilots committed two errors.
The Broncos dominated in the first three innings as they climbed to a 4-0 lead. In the first inning, with two outs on the board, Karcich homered to left field to get SCU on the scoreboard. It was his 17th career home run. In the second inning Juan Parra plated Andrew Biancardi to increase the Broncos' lead to 2-0. Biancardi was dealt a lead-off walk and advanced on a sacrifice bunt from David Abraham. With a Kevin Madden ground out, Biancardi reached third with two outs on the board. Parra then singled to center field to bring home the freshman DH.
Karcich scored run No. 2 of the game in the third inning as Fuerst singled to right field. For the second straight inning, the leadoff man was walked. The second run of the inning came as Biancardi had a base hit. His at bat drove in Geoff Klein, who doubled to get on base. The Broncos attempted to bring home Fuerst and Biancardi, but Pilot pitcher Matt Lange struck out two to end the inning. SCU led 4-0.
Portland broke through its stalemate in the fourth inning as the Pilots scored two runs to cut the lead in half. Santa Clara was held scoreless for four straight innings before widening the gap with a single run in the eighth inning.
With one out on the board, Madden reached on a throwing error by Pilot shortstop Kris Kauppila. The senior then swiped second and scored on a Long single up the middle. The Broncos lead 5-2.
However, the Pilots were not ready to back down and scored two runs in the home half of the eighth to make it a one-run game, 5-4.
Yet, the Broncos remained in control and made it a two-run game in the top of the ninth. Karcich registered his final run of the game after singling to get on base and stealing second. He advanced to third on a Klein groundout and scored on a sacrifice bunt from Fuerst.
Although he walked one, Garcia and the Broncos defense secured the win in the bottom of the ninth. Ryan Henricks grounded out to Garcia and Garrett Queen popped up to Abraham for the first two outs. Rocky Gale then struck out swinging to bring the game to a close.
The series with the Pilots will conclude with a doubleheader on Saturday, Apr. 11 beginning at 9 a.m.