May 3, 2008
LOS ANGELES - The Santa Clara baseball team rebounded from Friday night's loss to storm past Loyola Marymount, 7-2, in West Coast Conference action Saturday afternoon at Page Stadium. The Broncos and Lions will battle in the rubber game on Sunday, April 4 at 1 p.m.
With the win, SCU improved to 28-17 on the season and 8-6 in league play, while LMU dropped to 22-25 overall and 6-11 in WCC action. Santa Clara has won eight of its last 10 contests.
Freshman Thain Simon improved to 9-2 on the season as he earned the win for the Broncos. The righty from El Dorado Hills, Calif., pitched 7.2 innings, striking out eight Lions. The loss went to Xavier Equivel. He is now 4-4 on the season.
Offensively, designated hitter Curtis Wagner went 4-for-5 for Santa Clara, scoring one run in his first collegiate start. Sophomore catcher Tommy Medica and senior outfielder Nathan Faulkner scored two runs each for the Broncos, while Faulkner drove in two. Medica, along with Brady Fuerst, also registered the only home runs of the game.
After three scoreless, four combined hit innings, the Broncos broke through the rut with two runs in the fourth inning. Two outs were quickly put on the board before Wagner stepped to the plate. The freshman from Manhattan Beach, Calif., singled through the left side to become the fourth Bronco to get on base Saturday afternoon.
Senior captain Gabe Alcantar then singled to center field and both players advanced an extra 90 yards on the throw from Angelo Songco. With runners in scoring position, Faulkner registered a two-run base-hit to left field that brought home both Wagner and Alcantar. SCU led 2-0.
Before the inning was brought to a close, Faulkner stole second and Fuerst continued his excellent weekend at bat as he registered his fifth home run of the season. The Broncos controlled the scoreboard 4-0.
Santa Clara increased its lead by one and successfully continued to hold off LMU through the fifth inning. Medica registered his second triple of the series and season to get on base. He was then brought home on a sacrifice from Ryan Conan. Jon Karcich and Wagner both followed with base-hits but were unable to score. SCU led 5-0.
The Lions got on base in the sixth inning with a lead-off walk to Michael Glomb. Glomb made his way to second on a steal as the first out was registered. The third baseman then scored on a Ryan Wheeler double to left field.
Yet, the Broncos responded in their half of the seventh inning to hold onto the advantage. Medica launched his fourth home run of the season, a solo lead-off shot over the left field wall. Santa Clara lead, 6-1.
The two teams exchanged runs in the seventh inning. Medica launched his fourth home run of the season, a solo lead-off shot over the left field wall, to give Santa Clara a 6-1 lead. However, LMU responded with a run in the bottom of the inning to make the score, 6-2. Andy Preston scored as Jonathan Johnson reached on a fielder's choice. Preston got on base with a double to right field.
Santa Clara continued to push a head with a long run in the eighth inning. Faulkner walked and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt from Fuerst. The outfielder then made his way to third when Matt Long grounded out to second base. Faulkner finally scored on a LeBlanc double down the left field line that made the score 7-2. LeBlanc unfortunately could not make it a six-run game as the finally out was tallied on a Medica ground out.
However, Simon continued to pitch through two-thirds of the eighth inning, before Matt Wickswat finished out the contest for the freshman righty. SCU struck out three and allowed just one hit in the eighth.
Wickswat and the Santa Clara defense kept the Lions at bay in the ninth inning to secure the 7-2 victory.
The Broncos and Lions finished out the weekend series with the rubber game on Sunday, April 4. First pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m. at Page Stadium.