April 25, 2004
April 25, 2004
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - To say that junior outfielder Nic Crosta was hot this weekend would be a gross understatement.
The transfer from the University of Texas hit two home runs for the second consecutive game and drove in eight Bronco runs as the Santa Clara University baseball team overwhelmed Saint Mary's in a 14-6 West Coast Conference victory Sunday at Buck Shaw Stadium.
The Broncos, who amassed 18 hits on the afternoon while limiting the Gaels to just eight, improved to 19-23 on the season and 8-10 in WCC games. Saint Mary's fell to 12-30 overall and 6-12 in league play. Santa Clara hosts second-ranked Stanford Tuesday night at 6 p.m. before traveling to Spokane, Wash. to face Gonzaga in a three-game league series next weekend.
Crosta's 4-for-5 performance overshadowed Santa Clara's solid relief pitching during the game. John Redmond (4-2) received the win after allowing just one hit in four-and-a-third innings after he came into the game for starter Scott Longergan in the middle of the second inning. Freshman Bryan Fleming came on in relief to pitch the seventh inning and gave-up just two hits and one run, while sophomore Andrew Slorp closed out the win by going the final two full innings and allowing just one hit and facing just eight total batters.
Saint Mary's reliever Matt Dolen (0-2) took the loss for the Gaels after giving-up 10 hits in 3.2 innings. Starter Dane Dobrinich went just four-and-a-third and scattered eight Bronco hits and gave-up nine runs.
In the three-game series, Crosta proved to be the Broncos' most reliable hitter, batting .615 in the series and amassing 10 RBI and scoring six runs. His four home runs in the final two games of the series (he hit two in Saturday's 9-5 SCU loss) ties him for the team-high with eight on the season. The Seattle, Wash. native went to the plate 13 times in the three games and hit safely on eight occasions.
Santa Clara posted three runs in the top of the first inning. After Ryan Chiarelli, batting in the leadoff position for the first time this season, grounded out to shortstop Gil Gilbert, Robert Perry singled to right field then advanced to second on a Michael Thompson single to center. Both runners scored when Crosta hit his first home run of the game over the right field fence to give the Broncos a 3-0 lead.
The Gaels answered with an explosive five-run top of the second inning to take their only lead of the game. Preston Young homered for the second straight game to start off the inning before Gil flied out to center and Mike Sansoe struck out.
With two outs and nobody on base for Saint Mary's, catcher Stefan Foushee singled to left field then scored when Michael Harris doubled to left center field. Designated hitter Adam Thompson then walked before third baseman Bryan Byrne homered over the right center field fence to give the Gaels a 5-3 lead.
Redmond came on in relief of starter Scott Longergan and ended the inning. Saint Mary's only scored one more run the rest of the way, as Harris singled the scored on a Thompson double to left center field.
Santa Clara clinched the game with a six-run bottom of the fifth. Chiarelli started the inning with a double down the left field line. Michael Thompson singled to third base and Will Thompson walked to load the bases with one out. Crosta then singled up the middle to score two runs.
The Gaels then brought Dolen on in relieve and Will Thompson immediately scored on a wild pitch. Designated hitter Faulkner singled to right and advanced to second on a fielding error, scoring Crosta. After Newton singled, Lange doubled down the left field line to score Faulkner. Newton advanced to home on a sacrifice bunt to catcher Matt McColgan.
The Broncos added one run in the bottom of the seventh the another deuce in the bottom of the eighth. Crosta's second homer of the game in the eighth scored Will Thompson who reached base on his second hit of the game, a single to right field.