April 26, 2002
LOS ANGELES, Calif. - The Santa Clara University baseball team dropped its series opener with Loyola Marymount by a score of 14-6 Friday afternoon at George Page Stadium in Los Angeles, Calif.
The Broncos (18-25, 8-10 WCC) started the game off well, scoring one run on two hits to give their ace, Joe Diefenderfer, a lead heading into the bottom half of the first. Jack Headley picked up the RBI with his team leading seventh sacrifice fly of the season, scoring Ryan Chiarelli who led off the game with a double down the left field line.
The Lions (17-25, 9-8 WCC) roared back in the bottom of the first, scoring three runs on three hits. Tommy Perez provided the big punch with a two-run double down the left field line to score Billy Lockin and Jonathan Higashi who both reached base with singles.
After Santa Clara went quietly in the top of the second, LMU added three more runs on three more hits. Locking and Higashi each scored again when Perez singled to left field, picking up his third and fourth RBI of the day.
Despite striking out four hitters, Diefenderfer was forced from the game after giving up six runs on six hits in two full innings of work. He was replaced by A.J. Ampi, who gave up three runs, only two of which were earned, in four full innings of relief.
In the seventh inning the Broncos scored their second run of the game when Joey Gomes doubled home Mark Folgner to reduce the Lions lead to 9-2. The double for Gomes was his 23rd on the year, moving him into a tie with Paul Chiaffredo for third place all-time at Santa Clara for doubles in a single season.
Thomas Van Buskirk came on in relief for the Broncos in the seventh inning and was tagged for five runs on three hits in just 1/3 of an inning pitched moving the LMU lead up to 14-2. The big blow for the Lions came on Sean Smith's three-run home run over the blue monster in left field.
Santa Clara chipped away at the LMU lead in the eighth inning, scoring four times on three hits to cut the Lion lead down to the eventual final score of 14-6. The biggest of the inning for the Broncos was a two-run pinch-hit triple off the bat of Scott Dierks, scoring Dan Vincenzi and Chiarelli on the play.
Randy Waite gave up the four runs for the Lions in the eighth inning and then gave way to Matthew Cova who threw a perfect ninth inning to finish out the game for Loyola Marymount. Vincent Cordova picked up his sixth win of the season after throwing seven innings in which he allowed only two runs on seven hits.
Perez finished the day for the Lions by going 3-for-5 with four RBI, while Smith went 2-for-5 with five runs batted in.
Chiarelli led the Bronco offense by going 3-for-4 with two runs scored and two runs batted in. Folgner and Gomes each went 2-for-3 with Gomes picking up an RBI and with Folgner scoring one run. Santa Clara reached double-digit hits for the fifth straight game and the seventh time in the last eight contests.
The Broncos and Lions will continue their three-game series with game two Saturday afternoon at 1 p.m. on the campus of Loyola Marymount.