April 17, 2004
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Freshman Robert Perry's two-run blast over the right centerfield fence propelled the Santa Clara University baseball team to a 7-5 come-from-behind West Coast Conference victory over Loyola Marymount Saturday afternoon at Buck Shaw Stadium.
Santa Clara improved to 17-22 on the season and 6-8 in WCC games. Loyola Marymount fell to 21-17-1 overall and 12-5 in league play. The win snapped a season-long six-game losing streak for the Broncos. The two teams each have one win in the three-game series with the finale scheduled for Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m.
Perry and junior transfer Nic Crosta led the Broncos offensively, combining for six hits, three RBI and four runs scored. Bronco reliever Thomas Van Buskirk was credited with the win to improve his overall record to 4-1 on the season after pitching one-and-two-thirds innings and allowing just one hit. Junior Anthony Rea earned his 10th save of the season after entering the game in the ninth inning and forcing three of the four batters he faced out to end the game.
LMU's reliever, Matt Cova (1-1), received the loss for the Lions.
Cova entered the game in the top of the eighth inning with the score tied at five runs apiece. He struck out shortstop Michael Lange then forced reserve catcher David Mandley to fly out to right field for two quick outs to start the inning.
After second baseman Eric Newton walked, the Lions brought in reliever Gabriel Bueno to face Perry. The freshman from nearby Sunnyvale then hit a deep fly ball into right centerfield that carried over the fence for the game-winning two-run homer.
Following Perry's heroics, Rea came into the game to pitch for Van Buskirk. He forced right fielder James Cooper to hit a weak grounder back to the mound, which he easily fielded to first baseman Will Thompson. After LMU's Clint McGill reached first base ona single to right centerfield, he advanced to second on a Rea wild pitch. The Palo Alto, Calif. native then forced LMU catcher Jonathan Higashi to hit a pop fly to first base then he struck out third baseman Jonathan Oller to end the game.
LMU scored first in the game, putting up one run in each of the first two innings. Bronco starter Kellen McConnell gave up a single to right field to shortstop Billy Lockin to open the game, then a balk advanced the runner to second base. Lockin advanced to third on a fielder's choice grounder by Clint McGill then scored on a wild pitch that got past catcher Matt McColgan.
In the second, the Lions scored when Oller doubled down the right field line to score Higashi from first base. The Broncos responsded with a single run in the bottom half of the inning when Nic Crosta scored from first base on a throwing error by LMU's right fielder James Cooper.
The Lions put single runs on the board in the top of the fourth and fifth innings to take their biggest lead of the game at 4-1 going into the bottom half of the inning. Santa Clara responded with two runs when Mandley and Perry each reached on singles then scored when Michael Thompson hit a deep flyball to center field that was mishandled by LMU's Joe Frazee.
The Broncos tied the score at five-apiece in the bottom of the seventh inning. Down 5-4, Perry opened the inning doubling to right centerfield and advanced to third on a Ryan Chiarelli grounder to second base but was thrown out at home by the second baseman McGill. Michael Thompson came around to score when Crosta doubled to left centerfield.