May 9, 2010

Bronco Seniors Make Most of Final Home Game, Drop Dons 12-6

Final Stats |  Action Photos 

SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Geoff Klein and Tommy Medica celebrated Senior Day by hitting homeruns to help Santa Clara University beat rival University of San Francisco 12-6 Sunday afternoon at Stephen Schott Stadium. Klein's opposite-field drive scored Medica in the sixth. Medica then added a three-run shot to seal the win during a five-run eighth. The two former WCC batting champs were playing their final home game at SCU.

"In my last game here at Schott Stadium it was great to go deep," said All-America senior catcher Geoff Klein. "It was awesome that Tommy (Medica) and I both hit homers. We came in as catchers together and we're so close, it's like we're brothers."

Santa Clara (21-26; 6-12 WCC) also received a run-saving defensive play from senior second baseman Ian O'Connor. Medica - one of the most accomplished hitters in Bronco history - went 4-for-5 with a double and homerun No. 12. Medica's two-out RBI-single in the seventh allowed SCU a one-run lead prior to the offense erupting for five in the eighth.

"The senior ceremony was emotional," said Santa Clara head coach Mark O'Brien. "They have all done a lot for this program. They're all good human beings and they all have had special careers. I can't say enough about them."

San Francisco (24-24; 7-7 WCC) was denied the weekend sweep. USF scored 24 runs on 27 hits in victories Friday and Saturday. The Dons are in third place in the WCC standings behind league-leading and No. 22 University of San Diego (30-16; 15-0 WCC) and the University of Portland (31-12; 12-3 WCC).

Trailing 2-1 in the fifth, USF tied the game on an RBI-single by Jason Mahood. The Dons would have taken the lead later in the inning if not for a diving play by O'Connor. The defense supported the effort of SCU freshman starter Chris Mendoza, paying immediate dividends in the bottom of the inning when a two-run homer by Matt Ozanne put the Broncos back in front 4-2.

Medica led off the bottom of the sixth with his team-leading 18th double and trotted home moments later when Klein hit a 1-2 pitch from Matt Hiserman (1-3) on top of the batting cages beyond the fence in leftfield.

The Dons strung together four straight hits in the seventh off Mendoza and reliever Jon Hughes, including a triple by junior Stephen Yarrow. The SCU lead was sliced from 6-2 down to one, 6-5 but Hughes used a pair of strikeouts to get Mendoza out of the inning.

Mendoza (4-4) worked into the seventh allowing four earned runs to even his 2010 record. J.R. Graham appeared with two-on and one-out in the eighth and closed the door, retiring the final five batters needed to save his fourth game.

In the meantime, Ozanne and Medica provided SCU with five insurance runs with two outs in the bottom of the eighth. Ozanne hit a 2-RBI single and Medica lifted a 2-2 offering from reliever Haden Hinkle down the line in left. Ozanne collected four RBI, scoring twice, going 3-for-4.

"It's been pretty special being around these guys for the last four years. We've really grown up together since our freshman season," said senior pitcher Steve Kalush reflecting on the end of the 2010 home season.

GAME NOTES: Sunday's game featured a series of promotions and a pregame ceremony surrounding Mother's Day, Fan Appreciation Day and the recognition of Santa Clara's six final-year student-athletes (Tommy Medica, Geoff Klein, Nate Garcia, Alex Rivers, Steve Kalush and Ian O'Connor)... freshman INF Drew Ozanne (.333 BA) made his first start at third base Sunday - Ozanne and his twin brother OF Matt Ozanne (.396 BA) figure to be a big part of SCU's future, emerging as everyday players in late-April and early May... Matt Ozanne's two-run homer Sunday was his second in as many days... counting two `neutral site' games SCU played during the Jack Gifford Memorial Tournament in March, the Broncos finish their 2010 home schedule 15-15.