April 29, 2005
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - In the final baseball game at Buck Shaw Stadium, the Santa Clara baseball team earned a 12-2 West Coast Conference victory over Gonzaga on Friday night. Playing in its home since 1963, SCU improved to 20-22 on the season and 5-13 in conference action. The Bulldogs, who currently lead the WCC's Coast Division, drop to 25-16 and 12-6 in WCC play.
Santa Clara scored eight runs over the first three innings to build a lead the Bulldogs could not overcome. In the bottom of the second inning, the Broncos put up two runs on back-to-back home runs. Eric Newton would hit his fifth round tripper of the season with one out in the inning before Kris Watts hit a towering shot over the right field fence a batter later. Watts' home run would prove to be the last one hit in the facility.
In the third frame, the Broncos added six runs to its total with seven hits in the inning. 11 batters made a trip to home plate in the inning as five different Broncos recorded an RBI in the frame. Three straight hits started the inning as Jason Matteucci triple scored Shawn Epidendio before a Michael Thompson double plated Matteucci. Watts added another RBI with a double to right field as Ryan Conan and Epidendio also drove in a run apiece.
Starter Adam Sanabria kept the Bulldogs off the scoreboard until the sixth inning when they scored their first run of the game. Sanabria picked up the win in his second straight decision to improve to 2-0 on the year. He struck out six batters in his six innings of work.
A three-run seventh inning by SCU put the game out of reach for Gonzaga. Thompson drove in two more runs with a double to left field as Matteucci and Epidendio once again crossed home plate. A hard hit double to left center field by Dustin Realini would later plate Thompson.
Reliever Scott Lonergan shut down the Gonzaga offense in the last three innings. He recorded five strikeouts, including the last batter at Buck Shaw Stadium, to pick up his first save of the season. He allowed one run, which was unearned, on four hits.
Many historic moments took place during the game to go along with Watts' home run and Lonergan's final strikeout. Matteucci was the last Bronco batter at Buck Shaw Stadium as he flied out to center field to end the bottom of the eighth inning. The final Bronco hit in the stadium was recorded by Epidendio, who hit a single to center field in the eighth.
Watts and Epidendio paced the potent SCU offense with four hits apiece. Thompson drove in a game-high three runs, while five different Broncos crossed home plate twice in the game.
Santa Clara will open Stephen Schott Stadium tomorrow in a sold-out 1 p.m. contest. Pre-game festivities will include Stephen Schott throwing out the first pitch and a blessing of the field by Santa Clara President Rev. Paul Locatelli, S.J.