April 10, 2004
SAN DIEGO, Calif. - For the second consecutive game, a big inning doomed the Santa Clara baseball team as it dropped a 12-1 seven-inning decision to the University of San Diego in the second game of a West Coast Conference doubleheader Saturday at Cunningham Baseball Stadium.
San Diego scored nine runs in the bottom of the fifth inning to break open a tight game to claim the victory and a series sweep.
The Broncos fell to 16-19 overall with the loss and 5-7 in league play. San Diego improved to 20-17 on the season and 7-8 in WCC games. The game was ended after the seventh inning by mutual consent due to SCU's travel plans.
In the first game of the doubleheader, the Toreros took an 8-5 victory after scoring six runs in the first three innings of the game.
Like the first game of the day, the Broncos got on the scoreboard first. Will Thompson opened the inning with a double down the right field line. He advanced to third base on a ground out by Jason Mattteucci to first base. Thompson scored on a single up the middle by Michael Lange to give the Broncos a 1-0 lead.
To open the bottom half of the inning, the Broncos made two of the outstanding defensive plays of the season. Ryan Chiarelli robbed USD left fielder Josh Hansen of a home run with a leaping catch over the top of the fence. On the next play, catcher Jordan Ambruzzo lined a shot into right centerfield and attempted to stretch the hit to a triple. However, right fielder Matteucci's throw from the fence was cutoff by second baseman Michael Thompson and rifled to David Hoffmire just in time at third base to get the putout.
Freshman Jared Hughes, earning the fifth start of his career and the first since Feb. 22, was only able to manage one-and-one-third inning on the mound after loading the bases with two outs in the bottom of the second. John Redmond came on in relief and forced designated hitter Shane Buschini to fly out to right field to end the inning.
After holding the Toreros to just one hit over the next two innings, the flood gates opened for the Toreros. Redmond grazed Bruschini to send him to first base then Tom Caple doubled to left center. Keoni Ruth then singled through the left side of the field for USD's first run of the game. Sandoval then hit a sacrifice fly to centerfield, scoring Capel. Two batters later, Jordan Ambruzzo lined to left field to score Ruth and give the Toreros a 3-1 lead.
With two outs in the bottom of the fifth, Redmond gave way to freshman reliever Scott Lonergan. The nearby Poway, Calif. native received a bit of bad luck on the first batter he faced. Joey Prast's shot down the left field line made contact with third base and went into right field, allowing pinch runner Joseph Wickman to score. The Torero scoring binge continued as Jose Ortega hit a hard shot just past second baseman Michael Thompson to score Randy Curtis.
USD eventually scored nine runs in the inning to take a 9-1 lead after the bottom of the fifth inning.
Santa Clara returns to action Tuesday with a single game at South Bay rival Stanford. The Broncos then host Loyola Marymount in a three-game WCC series beginning Friday at 6 p.m. at Buck Shaw Stadium. For tickets, call 408/554-4660.