April 30, 2005
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The Santa Clara baseball team opened Stephen Schott Stadium in a dramatic way as a bases-loaded RBI-single by Michael Thompson in the bottom of the 13th inning drove in the winning run in the Bronco's 3-2 victory over Gonzaga. With wins over the Bulldogs in each of the first two games of the series, SCU improves to 21-22 overall with a 6-13 mark in conference action. Gonzaga falls to 25-17 overall and 12-7 in WCC action.
Ryan Chiarelli led off the 13th frame with a single to right field before Kevin Drever's sacrifice bunt moved him to second base. Gonzaga would then intentionally walk both Shawn Epidendio and Jason Matteucci to load the bases with one out. Thompson, who was hitting clean-up in the contest, hit an RBI-single up the middle to bring Chiarelli across home plate for the win.
The game had been a pitcher's duel throughout as a pair of home runs scored the first three combined runs of the contest. In the top of the fifth inning, Aaron McGuinness became the first player to hit a home run in Stephen Schott Stadium with a solo round tripper to led off the frame.
In the bottom of the fifth, Kris Watts became the first Bronco to homer in SCU's new home with a two-run shot to right field. The home run also brought Eric Newton across home plate after he singled a batter earlier. Watts was also the final Bronco to hit a home run in Buck Shaw Stadium after hitting a home run the night before against the Bulldogs. At the end of five innings, SCU led 2-1.
In the top of the ninth inning, Gonzaga pushed its second run of the contest across home plate on a Bronco error. With a Bulldog runner on second base and two outs, it looked as if the Broncos would seal the win in the frame. However, two walks and a bases loaded error on a ground ball would allow pinch runner Brandon Blank to score the tying run.
Watts led SCU at the plate, going 2-for-5 with two RBI and a run scored. Chiarelli also posted a multiple-hit performance with a 2-for-4 contest.
Anthony Rea had a strong start as he threw 6.1 innings and allowed one run on six hits. Reliever Thomas Van Buskirk made his 23rd appearance of the season as he went 1.2 innings and forced the Bulldogs to hit into two inning-ending double plays.
The three-game series will conclude on Sunday with a 1 p.m. contest at Stephen Schott Stadium. General admission tickets are still available at the gate for Santa Clara Community Day.