May. 1, 2005
SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- Three was the key number of the day for the Santa Clara University baseball team as the Broncos used a three-run second inning and a three-hit effort from starter Kellen McConnell to earn a 4-1 victory and a three-game sweep of Gonzaga Sunday afternoon in front of 998 fans at Stephen Schott Stadium.
Santa Clara improved its record to 22-22 on the season and 7-13 in the WCC's West Division and recorded its first series sweep since taking a three-game set from Utah Feb. 4-6 at Buck Shaw Stadium. Gonzaga, which entered the weekend as the Coast Division leaders of the WCC, fell to 25-18 overall and 12-8 in league play.
The Broncos return to action next weekend when they host a three-game WCC series against Bay Area rival San Francisco. Friday's game is scheduled for a 6 p.m. first pitch, while Saturday and Sunday's game will begin at 1 p.m. at Schott Stadium. Tickets are on sale through the SCU athletic ticket office at 408/554-4660 or by clicking here.
Following a scoreless first inning, Santa Clara put three runs on the board in the bottom of the second off Bulldog starter Bobby McEwen (1-3). Second baseman Eric Newton ledoff the inning with a single to left field but was thrown out at second on catcher Carl Bacon's grounder to GU shortstop Aaron McGuinness. After advancing to second on a passed ball, Bacon scored when Bronco senior centerfielder Ryan Chiarelli singled through the right side of the infield.
SCU shortstop Kevin Drever then registered his second triple of the season after driving a hard hit ball through right centerfield, which scored Chiarelli. Left fielder Shawn Epidendio's fly out to right field sent Drever across the plate to close out the Bronco scoring.
McConnell, a senior right-hander, moved to 3-6 on the season by limiting the Bulldogs to just three hits and striking out four of the 21 batters he faced in six full innings. He only walked one Bulldogs before providing Chris Stansbury a relief opportunity to open the seventh inning. Stansbury allowed one hit and struck out two batters in two full innings before Thomas Van Buskirk came in to finish the game in the ninth.
In the Broncos' eighth, Epidendio ledoff the inning with a single to centerfield then advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt to Jason Matteucci. After Michael Thomas lined out to left field, Dustin Realini singled to score Epidendio from second base.
Gonzaga earned its run in the top of the ninth inning off closer Van Buskirk. The Bulldogs loaded the bases with three straight singles to open the inning. Catcher Kyle Thibault then grounded into a double play to second base, scoring Darin Holcomb from third. Van Buskirk then struck out first baseman Bobby Carlson to end the game.