May 9, 2008
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - A seven run outing in the second inning was enough to give the Santa Clara baseball team the West Coast Conference win over Saint Mary's Friday night. The final score was 12-6.
With the win, the Broncos improved to 30-18 on the season and 10-6 in WCC action, while the Gaels dropped to 23-24 overall and 5-11 in league action. It is the first time since the 2003 season that Santa Clara has compiled a 30 win season.
The Broncos exploded for seven run in the second inning to take an early lead against the Gaels. After Jon Karcich was caught stealing for the first out, Wagner singled to centerfield and then advanced to third on a Gabe Alcantar double down the left field line. Wagner scored the first run of the game as Nathan Faulkner grounded out to second base. Alcantar then reached home on a Brady Fuerst base hit. Santa Clara led 2-0.
Two outs remained on the scoreboard as Evan LeBlanc loaded the bases for SCU with a single. Long, who reached on an error by SMC's Joel Staples, advanced to second and Fuerst occupied third. Medica then singled to center field to drive in two runners, Long and Fuerst. The Broncos held a 4-0 edge. The bases then reloaded as Ryan Conan walked.
Back to the start of the inning, Karcich posted a two-RBI single to centerfield that brought home Medica and LeBlanc. The final run of the inning was scored by Conan, who advanced home on a Wagner single. Santa Clara led 7-0.
The Gaels responded in the top of the third inning with a two-run effort. Kyle Jensen scored on a Randy Wells sacrifice to centerfield for the first run. Meanwhile Kenny Fuglerud stole home for run No. 2. The Broncos continued to lead 7-2.
After being held scoreless in the third the Broncos climbed to a 10-2 lead in the fourth inning. Conan registered his third home run of the season, a two-RBI shot to left field. LeBlanc, who singled to get on base, also scored on the play. Karcich then tallied a base hit but advanced to second on an error and then to third on the throw. With Wagner's groundout to first base, Karcich scored.
Yet, Saint Mary's put up three more runs in the fifth inning to cut the score in half. Anthony Aliotti walked after Fuglerud struck out swinging. Fazio then doubled to left field to advanced Aliotti to third. Both runners then scored on a Wells single up the middle. The final run of the half came on a sacrifice fly by Scott Schneider. Wells scored on the play.
The Broncos went scoreless for three straight innings, while the Gaels were kept quiet through two. Matt Wickswat replaced Friday starter Nate Garcia at the start of the inning before SMC began to chip away at SCU's lead in the eighth inning. With two outs on the board, Schneider walked and advanced to second on a Ryan Mulligan single to left field. He then scored the lone run of the inning on a Jensen double down the left field line.
The bases then loaded for Aliotti after Fuglerud walked. Reliever Mark Willinsky entered the game to finish out the inning and successfully struck out Aliotti to end the inning before any more damage could be done. The score was 10-6 going into the bottom of the eighth.
The Broncos responded with a two run bottom half. Matt Long scored first on a Medica base hit. Long walked to get on base, advanced to second on a balk and then made his way to third on a LeBlanc sacrifice bunt. Medica tacked on run No. 12 for Santa Clara as Wagner was put out at first. SCU led 12-6.
Santa Clara earned the win after a quick 1-2-3 top of the ninth from the Broncos defense and pitcher Daniel DeMarco.
The Broncos and Gaels return to action in game two of the three game WCC series on Saturday, May 10. First pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m. at Stephen Schott Stadium.