May 8, 2004
SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. - The Santa Clara University baseball team entered today's West Coast Conference game at San Francisco hoping its performance would mirror yesterday's 17-5 mauling of the Dons at Benedetti Diamond.
Unfortunately for the Broncos, a solid performance by USF starter Derek Tate (4-7) limited Santa Clara to just six hits in a 4-2 Dons victory. With the loss, Santa Clara dropped to 21-27 on the season and 10-13 in the WCC's West Division. San Francisco improved to 23-28 overall and an idential 10-13 mark in league play. The two teams are tied for second place in the division, behind leader Pepperdine, who knocked-off Portland 4-3 in Malibu today.
Starter Chad Fillinger took the loss for Santa Clara, despite a strong outing in which he allowed just seven hits and tied a career-high with nine strikeouts in a complete game performance. Fillinger dropped to 4-9 on the season.
The two teams will play the final game of the three-game set Sunday at 1 p.m.
As they have throughout most of the season, the Broncos struck first, scoring a single run in the top of the third inning. Catcher David Mandley and designated hitter Shawn Epidendio reached bases on singles to start the inning. Ryan Chiarelli's deep flyball to left field scored Mandley to give Santa Clara the early lead.
The Dons tied the game in the bottom half of the inning when shortstop Armand Gaerlan doubled down the left field line, scoring Royce Fukuroku from second base. In the bottom of the fifth inning, the Dons extended their lead to 3-1 when Fukuroku reached on an infield single then came around the bases on a Chris Genung home run.
Santa Clara's Nic Crosta ledoff the sixth inning with a solo blast that easily cleared the left centerfield wall and landed across Golden Gate Avenue, which borders Benedetti Diamond, and bounced well up the intersecting Annapolis Street.
USF added an insurance run in the bottom of the eighth on a Gaerlan homer to move ahead by two runs heading into the ninth inning.
After Will Thompson struck out to open the inning, second baseman Dustin Realini doubled to right centerfield on a high fly ball that right fielder Scott Cousins lost in the sun. Jason Matteucci, pinch hitting for Mandley, walked to put two runners on base with one out for the Broncos. Tate then gave way to reliever Patrick McGuigan, who threw just seven pitches to strike out Epidendio and pinch hitter Nathan Faulkner.