April 11, 2003
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The Santa Clara University baseball team dropped its series opener with the University of San Diego by a 16-5 score Friday evening at Buck Shaw Stadium.
The loss dropped the Broncos' record to 16-21 overall and 8-5 in West Coast Conference play while improving the Toreros' mark to 19-21 overall and 9-7 in league games. The loss was even more costly for Santa Clara than just losing the series opener as Pepperdine defeated Loyola Marymount to take a two game lead on SCU in the Coast Division while LMU's lead in the West Division of the WCC fell to just ½ game over USD.
Tony Perez led off the game with a home run to left field on the first pitch from Matt Travis to give the Toreros a 1-0 lead after the first half inning of play.
Not to be outdone, Scott Dierks took Kyle Collins' first offering over the left field fence for his 14th home run of the season, tying the score at one apiece and giving Dierks six leadoff home runs this season. The blast also moved him in to a tie for sixth place on the Santa Clara all-time single season home run list.
Travis cruised through the next four innings for the Broncos giving up only three more hits heading into the top of the fifth inning. In the top half of the fifth USD exploded for six runs on six hits, knocking Travis from the game and giving the Toreros a 7-2 lead. The big hit came from Josh Hansen who sent a bases loaded double to left center.
Perez led off the top of the seventh with a deep fly ball that caromed off the left center field wall allowing him to cruise into third base. Joey Prast then sent a shallow fly ball into left field that a diving Joe Diefenderfer could not hold onto; allowing Perez to scored the Toreros' eighth run of the game.
Dierks picked up his second RBI of the game as he singled to center field Diefenderfer from second who reached on a walk earlier in the bottom of the seventh inning. Diefenderfer moved up to second on a single through the left side by Michael Lange before cutting the lead to 8-3 with his run scored.
After Jason Matteucci led off the bottom of the eighth inning with a double to right center, he came home on the next batter as Jim Wallace sent his fifth home run of the season deep over the left center field fence to cut the USD lead down to 8-5.
San Diego put the game out of reach in the top of the ninth inning, scoring eight times on four hits. Zach Dobek picked up his second hit and second RBI in only three plate appearances with a single to center field scoring Gavin Ng who reached on a fielding error by A.J. LaBarbera. Dobek scored one batter later on a single by Ben Quinto, giving the Toreros a 12-5 lead. The big blow of the inning came off the bat of Freddy Sandoval as he connected on a two-out grand slam to give USD a 16-5 advantage.
Travis took the loss for the Broncos and fell to 3-6 on the season after allowing six runs on eight hits in 5 1/3 innings of work. Chad Fillinger threw 1 2/3 innings in which he allowed two runs on four hits while striking out three. Fillinger gave way to Scott Shapiro after he hurt himself on the third pitch of the inning.
Kyle Collins moved to 6-2 on the year after allowing only three runs, two of which were earned, on six hits while walking two and striking out seven. Tony Perez came in from center field to get the final out of the eighth inning before heading back out to left field in the ninth when Brian Jones came on to get the final three outs of the game.
The same two teams are scheduled to play game two of the three-game series Saturday afternoon at 1 p.m. at "The Shaw."