April 13, 2008
SPOKANE, Wash. - Sophomore Jon Karcich homered twice to help the Santa Clara baseball team to a 9-5 victory over Gonzaga in West Coast Conference action Sunday afternoon in Spokane, Wash. With the win, the Broncos improved to 19-13 on the season and 5-4 in league action, while the Bulldogs dropped to 18-16 overall and 2-6 in WCC play.
The win was awarded to starting pitcher Thain Simon. He tossed 5.1 innings and struck out three Zags in his first collegiate start. The save was given to Mark Willinsky, who came in late in the seventh inning. He pitched 2.1 innings, allowing just one hit and striking out three batters.
Offensively, Karcich led Santa Clara going 3-for-4 with three runs and three RBIs. Matt Long also went 3-for-4 with one run, while Brady Fuerst was 2-for-3 at the plate scoring one run and driving in two.
The Broncos began their scoring in the first inning with an RBI single up the middle from Tommy Medica that brought home Long. Long got on base with a leadoff double to center field. Santa Clara then took a 2-0 lead with a solo home run from junior Fuerst. It was his third homer of the season and second in the series against the Bulldogs. Friday night Fuerst has launched his first collegiate Grand Slam to help the Broncos to a 12-4 triumph.
Santa Clara successfully held of Gonzaga in the first two innings, but the Bulldogs got on the scoreboard in their half of the third inning. Bryan Winston scored on a Bronco throwing error early in the inning. Then Drew Heid tied the score, 2-2, later in the inning on a Marcus McKimmy single. Both runs were unearned.
Yet, the Broncos responded with two runs in the top of the fourth inning to regain control of the contest. Nathan Faulkner hit a sacrifice fly to bring home designated hitter Geoff Klein. Klein got on base with a leadoff double to left field. Two at-bats later, Fuerst flew out to centerfield for the sacrifice to bring home Karcich. He got on base with a single up the middle. SCU led 4-2.
However, the Zags kept the score tight and made it a one-run game in their half of the fourth inning. Mark Castellitto scored on a Winston single to right field. He got on base with a walk early in the inning. The score was now, 4-3.
But, Santa Clara remained on top with back-to-back home runs in the top of the sixth inning. Karcich and Faulkner both hit solo home runs to left field to give SCU a 6-3 lead.
The Broncos then added three more runs in the seventh inning to reach their final tally of nine runs. Medica scored on a Klein sacrifice before Karcich launched his second homer of the game. The sophomore's home run also brought home Gabe Alcantar, who was intentionally walked.
Although, the Bulldogs added two more runs in their halves of the sixth and seventh innings, they were unable to catch the Broncos and SCU earned the 9-5 victory.
The Broncos return to action on Monday, April 14 against local bay area rival Cardinal of Stanford. First pitch in game one of the four single-game series is scheduled for 6 p.m. at Sunken Diamond in Palo Alto.