April 23, 2004
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The Santa Clara University baseball team scored six runs in the first two innings and that proved to be enough as the Broncos outlasted Saint Mary's College by a score of 6-5 in a West Coast Conference series opener Friday night at Buck Shaw Stadium.
The Broncos improved to 18-22 overall and 7-9 in WCC games with the win. Saint Mary's fell to 11-29, 5-11. Kellen McConnell earned the victory for the Broncos to move to 4-5 on the season and closer Anthony Rea earned his 11th save of the year, which ranks second in the nation among all Division I schools. Jordan Simo (5-5) took the loss for the Gaels.
The two teams will resume the three-game series Saturday with a 1 p.m. first pitch at Buck Shaw Stadium. The game will feature a celebration of National Student-Athlete Day. All Bronco teams and student-athletes in attendance will be recognized for their achievements in helping make Santa Clara athletics one of the nation's most respected institutions. The game will also feature live online coverage here.
The Broncos started the scoring early with Chiarelli singling to second base for Santa Clara's first hit of the game. He advanced to third on a Michael Thompson single to center field the scored when Will Thompson doubled to right center field. Michael Thompson scored when Nic Crosta reached on an error by Gael third baseman Bryan Byrne. Designated hitter Nathan Faulkner drove in Will Thompson and Crosta when his singled was mishandled by right fielder Preston Young, giving the Broncos a 3-0 lead.
After McConnell, who faced just 14 batters in the first four innings, forced the Gaels into a quick top half of the second inning, Michael Lange ledoff the bottom half of the inning with a double to left center field. After Perry reached on a fielder's choice, Chiarelli drove in both runners with a single deep to right field for the Broncos' final runs of the game.
Saint Mary's posted a comeback in the top of the fifth inning as it recorded its first back-to-back hits of the game with Gilbert Gil doubling down the left field line and Mike Sansoe singling to center field, which scored Gil. On the next play, Stefan Foushee doubled to right center field, scoring Sansoe. He then scored with back-to-back wild pitches by McConnell.
The Gaels added a run in the top of the sixth inning when left fielder Sam Carter hit a towering shot over the left field fence. They also scored in the top of the seventh.
McConnell came out of the game in the seventh with one out and reliever Thomas Van Buskirk went two-thirds of an inning and allowed just one hit. Rea came into the game for the top of the ninth and forced Sansoe into a fly to shallow right field then struck out Foushee and Adam Thompson.