April 13, 2004
STANFORD, Calif. -- The Santa Clara University baseball team dropped a 12-3 decision to the second-ranked Stanford Cardinal tonight in a mid-week non-conference game at Sunken Diamond.
Santa Clara dropped to 16-20 overall with the loss. Stanford improved to 26-5 on the season. Bronco starter Kellen McConnell took the loss for Santa Clara and dropped to 3-5 on the year. Stanford's Matt Leva (3-0) earned the win for the Cardinal to remain undefeated on the year.
The Cardinal started off the game strong offensively, touching McConnell for five runs in the bottom of the first inning. After walking two of the first three batters in the game, McConnell gave-up a home run in left centerfield to Stanford's Danny Putnam to give the Cardinal a 3-0 lead. John Mayberry, Jr., who reached base after being hit by a pitch, and Chris Carter both scored when catcher John Hester got his first hit of the season, a single to right field.
Santa Clara got on the scoreboard quickly in the top of the second inning when leadoff batter Nic Crosta singled to left field then crossed the plate on Nathan Faulkner's second career home run. Faulkner went 2-fof-4 with two RBI and a run scored in the game to lead Santa Clara offensively.
With the score 5-2 in its favor, the Cardinal returned the favor in the bottom half of the inning. Third baseman Jonny Ash ledoff the inning with a walk before second baseman Jed Lowrie hit his 10th home run of the season, which ranks second in the Pac-10 Conference, one ahead of teammate Mayberry, Jr.
After the Broncos added a run in the top of the third inning, Stanford reliever Greg Reynolds walked three-straight batters before Crosta hit a sacrifice fly to left field to score Ryan Chiarelli from third base.
Stanford added three runs in the bottom of the fourth off reliever off Bronco reliever Andrew Slorp. The Bronco highlight of that inning, however, was a line drive catch by third baseman Michael Thompson, who was starting only his second game at the position this season. David Hoffmire, the team's starter in the previous eight games, moved to second base against the Cardinal.
Thomas Van Buskirk came on in relief of Slorp in the sixth inning and immediately struckout Carter and shortstop Chris Minaker to open the inning. Hester reached on a single up the middle, then Sam Fuld was hit by a pitch. Ash then singled up the middle to score Hester and Lowrie doubled off a fly ball down the left field line to score Fuld and give the Cardinal a 12-3 lead.
Closer Anthony Rea entered the game in the bottom of the seventh inning and limited the Cardinal to just one hit while striking out three in two full innings on the mound.
The Broncos return to action Friday night with the first of a three-game West Coast Conference series against Loyola Marymount. First pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m. at Buck Shaw Stadium. The two teams will also meet on Saturday and Sunday with 1 p.m. starts each afternoon. For ticket information, call 408/554-4660.