May 7, 2004
SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. - The Santa Clara University baseball team found a way to hit the long ball Friday as the Broncos powered four homers en route to a 17-3 victory over the University of San Francisco in the first game of a three-game West Coast Conference series at Benedetti Diamond.
Santa Clara improved to 21-26 on the season and 10-12 in league play, while San Francisco dropped to 22-28 overall and 9-13 in the WCC. Santa Clara moved one game ahead of the Dons in second place of the WCC's West Division behind division leader Pepperdine.
Junior starter Kellen McConnell (5-6) earned the win for Santa Clara after he pitched seven full innings and allowed six hits and just two earned runs and struck out five USF batters. Kevin Rose, who had limited the Broncos to just one hit while striking out nine against SCU in the first meeting between the two teams in March, took the loss to drop to 4-7 on the season.
Every Bronco starter registered at least one RBI in the game led by freshman center fielder Robert Perry and second baseman Dustin Realini, who had three each. Ryan Chiarelli, Will Thompson and Jason Matteucci recorded two RBI apiece. Perry (7), Realini (3) and Michael Lange (2) each recorded home runs for the Bronco, while Perry's two homers in the game marked the first time the freshman had a multi-homer game as a Bronco.
Santa Clara jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the top of the first inning and never looked back as the Dons appeared a bit out of sync to start the game. With one out, Perry reached first base after striking out by advancing on a wild pitch by Rose. The next Bronco batter, Michael Thompson, reached on a throwing error by shortstop Armand Gaerlan, advancing Perry t third. Nic Crosta walked to load the bases then Realini singled to center field, scoring two Bronco runs. David Mandley stepped to the plate and singled to center field, scoring Crosta and Realini scored SCU's fourth run on a single by Matteucci.
McConnell limited USF batters without a hit until the third inning and faced the minimum 15 batters through the first five innings of the game. USF finally got on the board with a two-run sixth inning, but stranded runners on all three bases on a deep flyball by Stefan Gatrell to end the inning.
The two teams will meet again on Saturday and Sunday with single games beginning at 1 p.m.