Broncos, Aztecs Split Senior Day Doubleheader
May 2, 2009
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Junior RHP Alex Rivers tossed his first collegiate complete game as the Santa Clara baseball team snapped its nine-game losing streak with a 7-2 victory over San Diego State in game two of the Saturday doubleheader at Stephen Schott Stadium. The Aztecs won the first game of the day with a final score of 7-5.
Rivers evened his record to 4-4 as he went the full nine innings and struck out seven batters. He gave up two runs on four hits. The loss went to Jon Berger (3-5), who surrendered five of Santa Clara's seven runs. He struck out two Broncos. In game one, the win went to Ryan O'Sullivan (3-2), while the loss went to Thain Simon (3-5). Addison Reed earned his 15th save of the season.
The Broncos combined for 28 hits and 12 runs, while the Aztecs were limited to 13 hits and nine runs. SDSU also committed four errors compared the one from SCU. Junior Jon Karcich went 6-for-9 with a run and RBI. In the first game, the Belmont, Calif., native was a perfect 5-for-5 with a run and an RBI. He also hit his 20th double of the season and 46th of his career, which officially places him in the Bronco Record Books at tied for 10th both all-time and single-season. In game two, fellow junior Geoff Klein went 3-for-4 with two runs and two RBIs.
Saturday was also Senior Day for Santa Clara and several of the Bronco veterans had strong showings. Matt Long nearly hit for the cycle in game one. He was a home run shy of reaching the feat for the second time in his career. The Los Altos native compiled the cycle on April 26, 2008 against Hawaii-Hilo. His triple in game one was his sixth of the season and the 14th of his career. Long is now tied for second all-time. Kevin Madden had two runs and two RBIs on the day, while Kyle Van Dusen registered his second career home run in game two.
San Diego St. - 7
Santa Clara - 5
The Aztecs jumped to a quick 7-0 lead in the first three innings of game one. San Diego State tallied three runs in both the first and second innings, and additional run in the third inning. Santa Clara finally got on the scoreboard in the third inning as Long doubled down the right field line. He advanced to third on a Madden bate hit and then scored on a Karcich infield single.
Bronco pitching of Simon and Jason Westerberg successfully held the Aztec scoreless for the final six innings. Meanwhile, Santa Clara continued to fight and produced four more runs to reach the final score.
SCU created a two out rally in the fifth inning to register two runs. Madden singled to right field and then advanced to third on a Karcich double down the left field line. Both base runners then scored on a Klein single to right field. The score was 7-3.
The Aztec defense did a solid job of holding off the Broncos midway through the game as they turned four double plays. It wasn't until the ninth inning that the Broncos had an opportunity to knot the score and potentially win the game. Senior Jim Heintz came in to pinch run for Chris Morton and then scored on a Long triple to right centerfield. Madden then notched his third base hit of the game to plate Long for the team's fifth run of the game. Despite just one out on the board, the Broncos were not done ready to stop there. Shortstop Karcich successfully tallied a hit for the fifth time to put the game-tying run on base and bring up the game-winning run to the plate in catcher Klein. However, Klein flied out to centerfield and Fuerst struck out to bring the game to a close.
San Diego St. - 2
Santa Clara - 7
Santa Clara got off to a rocky start in the first inning as starter Rivers quickly surrendered two runs and two walks. However after a quick mound visit from head coach Mark O'Brien the junior ace proved why he wears the No. 1. He went on to give up just two more solo base hits and successfully retired his last 13 batters to earn his first collegiate complete game and the win.
Yet, the Broncos continued their hit parade and this time were able to drive home the runs.
In the first inning, Madden cut the lead in half as he scored on a Klein base hit. The Broncos trailed 2-1. Then in the second inning, third baseman Van Dusen hit his second long ball of the season to knot the score, 2-2. Santa Clara was quickly retired in the third inning. It was one of two innings that the Broncos did not register a hit. The second time would occur in the eighth inning.
Klein then scored what would prove to be the game-winning run in the fourth inning. He started with a leadoff single to right field and then advanced around the bases on back-to-back groundouts. Klein was then driven home on a two-out base hit from Wagner. Santa Clara led 3-2.
The Broncos then rallied in the fifth inning to widen the gap by two more runs. The Broncos had four singles in the inning beginning with Long's to left field. SCU's centerfielder then advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt from Madden and made his way to third on a Karcich groundout. Klein then drove in his 49th RBI of the season with a single to right field. He plated Long and then scored later on a Morton single to right centerfield. The Broncos led 5-2.
Santa Clara produced its final two runs in the sixth inning. Wagner launched a leadoff double down the left field line. J.R. Graham then singled to right center field and advanced to second on an error by the Aztec centerfielder Josh Chasse. Wagner scored on the error. After a pitching change, Long flied out to centerfield to advance Graham to third. The freshman outfielder then scored on a suicide squeeze for the final run of the game.
The Broncos and Aztecs bring the series to a close on Sunday, May 3. First pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m. at Stephen Schott Stadium. Sunday is Fan Appreciation Day with tons of fun prizes and giveaways all game long.