April 17, 2003
PORTLAND, Ore. - The Santa Clara University baseball team won its series opener with the University of Portland by a score of 8-2 Thursday afternoon at Pilot Stadium in Portland, Ore. With the win, the Broncos move to 19-21 overall and 11-5 in West Coast Conference play while the Pilots drop to 8-27-1 overall and 4-11-1 in league action.
For the seventh time this season Scott Dierks led off the first inning with a home run for Santa Clara. Jack Headley promptly followed the Dierks blast with one of his own, giving the Broncos a 2-0 lead after one half inning of play.
The home run for Dierks was his 15th of the season, moving him into sole possession of fifth place in Santa Clara history for single season home runs. He is just four behind Gene Delyon for the all-time single season mark. Headley's shot was his third home run of the season.
Michael Thompson led off the second inning with an infield single and was driven home on the next batter by Joe Diefenderfer who connected on his first home run since his freshman season in 2000, belting the two-run blast over the right field fence. Headley picked up his second hit of the game just three batters later and was driven home from on a single to left field by Jim Wallace. Headley's run gave the Broncos a 5-0 lead heading into the bottom of the second inning.
A.J. LaBarbera led off the third inning with a walk, stole second and advanced to third on a wild pitch. He scored the sixth run for the Broncos on a Diefenderfer single up the middle, giving him three RBI on the day and moving Santa Clara's lead up to 6-0.
Portland got on the board in the bottom of the third inning as Trevor Hahn picked up the team's first hit, a leadoff double to left field. He moved to third base on a fielder's choice and scored one batter later as Gustaf Little picked up a RBI on a single up the middle, cutting the Bronco lead down to 6-1 after three full innings.
Headley doubled off the left field fence to begin the fourth inning and scored one batter later on a Jason Matteucci single to right field, giving the Broncos a 7-1 lead. The double was Headley's 12 of the year and gave his three-fourths of the cycle, needing a triple to complete the feat.
Matteucci singled up the middle to start off the Bronco half of the sixth inning and moved up to third on consecutive groundouts by Wallace and Will Thompson. After LaBarbera walked, Matteucci made the score 8-1 in favor of SCU after Michael Thompson picked up the RBI with a soft line drive single to left field, scoring his fellow freshman from third base.
Joe Watson had a two-out single up the middle to prolong the game in the Portland half of the ninth inning and would score on the next batter as Hahn doubled to left center, scoring Watson from first and cutting the Bronco lead down to 8-2. After another single by Brock Griffin, Santa Clara starter Matt Travis got the final out of the game as he got Justin Pierce to groundout to LaBarbera at second base.
Travis improved to 4-6 with his complete game seven-hitter. He allowed only two runs on those seven hits while walking only one and striking out eight. It was his third complete game of the season, which moved his record in league play alone to 3-2.
Stephen Ball took the loss for Portland and fell to 2-2 on the season after allowing seven runs on 10 hits in three plus innings of work. Joe Jones threw the final six innings for the Pilots, allowing one run on only three hits while walking four and striking out four.
Headley ended up a triple shy of the cycle while his three hits on the day was a team high for the Broncos. Diefenderfer was one of three Santa Clara players with two hits in the game but it was his three RBI that made his day stand out from the rest.
Santa Clara and Portland will play games two and three of their three-game set as part of a Saturday doubleheader. The first game of the twin bill is slated to begin at 11 a.m. The second game will begin 30 minutes following the conclusion of game one.