April 29, 2008
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Led offensively by senior Gabe Alcantar and junior Matt Long, the Santa Clara baseball team pushed its win streak to six games Tuesday night as the Broncos defeated the Hornets of Sacramento State, 7-6. SCU is now 27-16 on the season.
Reliever Mark Willinsky (3-2) earned his third win of the season after one and a third inning of work, allowing just one hit, one walk and striking out one. The loss went to Mike Weiss (0-1).
Outfielder Long went 4-for-5 against the Hornets. He was just a double shy of hitting for the cycle twice this season. Long also drove in four of the Broncos seven runs. Third baseman Alcantar went 2-for-3, with two runs.
Long started things off for the Broncos once again with a lead-off home run in the first inning. It was his third home run of Santa Clara's five-game home stand and his ninth of the season. SCU then added on two additional runs to claim an early 3-0 lead.
Evan LeBlanc scored his first of two runs on a Tommy Medica RBI single down the right field line. The outfielder walked to get on base. LeBlanc was followed late in the bottom of the first by Medica, who scored on a Jon Karcich sacrifice.
Although the Hornets rallied for two runs in their half of the second inning, the Broncos widened the gap by scoring three more runs in the bottom of the inning.
Long, who seemed to be attempting a reverse cycle, followed up his homer with a two-run triple down the right field line. Alcantar and Nathan Faulkner, who both registered singles, scored on the blast. Santa Clara led 5-2.
The Broncos' Monday night hero Ryan Conan, who scored the game-winning run, a solo home run, over No. 3 Stanford, drove in the final run of the inning with an RBI single up the middle. LeBlanc scored on the play. SCU held a 6-2 advantage.
Both teams were then held scoreless for four straight innings before Sac State began to chip away at Santa Clara's lead.
In the seventh inning, Brent Hottman scored on a David Flores sacrifice fly to right field and was followed by Gabe Jacobo, who brought the Hornets within two runs, as he drove home Hunter Martinez. The score was 6-4.
In their half of the eighth inning, Sac State knotted the contest with a two run effort. Wes Oberlin registered an unearned run as he scored on a throwing error by shortstop Karcich. The score was then tied, 6-6, as Martinez singled through the right side to bring home Jay Jennings.
Yet, Long's RBI single to centerfield put the Broncos back on top of the scoreboard and he drove Alcantar. Alcantar walked to get on base.
However, the game was not over quite yet. After Jacobo struck out swinging, Sac State began to rally in the top of the ninth as the bases were loaded with two outs on the board. Although the tying run was just 90 feet way, Brett Tanigawa popped up to Karcich, who made the final out of the game.
The Broncos return to West Coast Conference action this week as they travel to Los Angeles to face the Lions of Loyola Marymount. The three game series begins on Friday, May 2 at 3 p.m. at George C. Page Stadium. The weekend continues with 1 p.m. starts on both Saturday and Sunday on the campus of LMU.