Broncos Edge Dons 7-6 To Take WCC Series

April 20, 2008

Box Score

SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The Santa Clara baseball team moved into sole possession of third place in the West Coast Conference standings Sunday afternoon as the Broncos defeated the visiting Dons of San Francisco, 7-6, at Schott Stadium. With the win, SCU improved to 7-5 in league action and 21-15 on the season, while USF evened at 6-6 in WCC play and dropped to 22-17 on the season.

The win was awarded to starting pitcher Alex Rivers. He improved to 2-2 on the season after pitching 5.1 innings, striking out seven batters, which ties his career-high. Meanwhile, Mark Willinsky picked up his third save of the season after successfully holding off the Dons in the ninth inning. The loss went to Matt Lujan, who dropped to 4-2 overall after 3.2 innings and 18 batters faced.

Matt Long led the Broncos offense, going 4-for-5 with two runs and two RBIs. Ryan Conan also scored two of the Broncos runs, while Geoff Klein and Tommy Medica each drove in two runs.

For the ser Both teams had very productive at-bats in the first inning. USF posted three runs in their half of the inning, beginning with Joey Railey, who scored on a Kyle Morgan base-hit. The Dons registered their second run with Bobby Ethel's RBI single up the middle that sent Mitchell Bialosky home. With two outs on the board, Ryan Lipkin advanced home on a Derek Poppert double.

Yet, Santa Clara also registered three runs in the first inning to keep the contest tied. Long posted a leadoff double to get on base and then scored as Medica flied out to right field. Designated hitter Klein then drove in two runs with his single through the left side. Nathan Faulkner and Conan scored on the hit. Conan walked, while Faulkner doubled in his at-bat. The score was then tied, 3-3.

The Broncos then earned the one run advantage in the second inning. Gabe Alcantar gave Santa Clara the 4-3 lead as he reached home on a bunt single from Long. The third baseman got on base with a single to left field. The Broncos had seven of the leadoff batters all successfully get on base.

USF then tied the contest in the top of the fourth inning, but SCU quickly regained control of the scoreboard in the bottom of the inning. Jon Karcich scored the Broncos' fifth run of the contest on a Long single. Santa Clara led 5-4.

The Broncos then added an insurance run in the fifth inning to take a 6-4 advantage. Conan recorded the run for SCU on a Karcich base-hit.

The Dons attempted to catch the Broncos twice, first in the sixth inning and then in the top of the ninth, but were unable to do so. In the sixth inning, USF made it a one-run game once again as shortstop Tavo Hall scored on a Connor Bernatz sacrifice fly to make the score, 6-5. But, Santa Clara responded after a quick seventh inning with a run in the eighth inning to go back to a two-run edge, 7-5. Long scored late in the Broncos half of the inning on a Medica RBI single to third base. In the ninth inning, Railey scored on a Bialoksy two-out single through the right side to make the final score, 7-6.

The Broncos return to action on Monday, April 21 against the 10th-ranked Cardinal of Stanford. First pitch in the first of two nationally televised contests between the Bay Area rivals is scheduled 5 p.m. on CBS College Sports.