May 11, 2002
SPOKANE, Wash. - The Santa Clara University baseball team evened up its weekend series with Gonzaga at one game apiece with a 12-10 victory Saturday afternoon at August/A.R.T. Stadium in Spokane, Wash.
The Broncos (24-28, 14-12 WCC) opened up the high scoring affair in the first inning when A.J. LaBarbera deposited his fourth home run of the season over the left center field fence, giving the Broncos a 1-0 lead.
The Bulldogs (24-26, 12-14 WCC) answered right back in the bottom of the first inning as Eric Rodland scored with the bases loaded when Pat Peavey booted the ground ball hit to him by clean-up hitter, Nate Richardson.
Santa Clara starter Joe Diefenderfer worked out of the bases-loaded no-out situation after getting a fielder's choice ground out and two strikeouts in the next three batters.
The Broncos added one more in the second and three more in the third with Shawn Epidendio, Joey Gomes and Pat Peavey each picking up a RBI, giving Santa Clara a 5-1 lead heading into the bottom of the third.
Gonzaga answered right back with three of their own in the bottom of the third inning with John Gebbers delivering the biggest blow, singling home Brian Munhall and Sam Hess.
The Bulldogs took their first lead of the game in the bottom of the fifth inning, scoring five times to give them a 9-5 lead heading into the sixth inning. Gebbers again came up with the big hit, doubling to left field to score Jeff Culpepper and Munhall.
Santa Clara reclaimed the lead in the sixth inning after scoring five runs on five hits, the two biggest hits of the inning coming off the bats of Jim Wallace on Mark Folgner. Wallace connected on his 12th home run of the season to begin the scoring in the sixth, while Folgner connected on his first career home run to conclude the Bronco scoring in the inning.
The Broncos added two more runs in the seventh inning to increase their lead to 12-9 heading into the bottom half of the seventh inning.
Grant Feichtmeir, who came on in relief of Diefenderfer in the fifth inning, shut down the Bulldogs in his 3 1/3 innings of work, allowing only one run on one hit. Chad Fillinger relieved Feichtmeir after only one batter in the ninth and closed out the game to give him his third save on the season. Feichtmeir improved to 2-4 on the season after his longest outing of the season.
Folgner, a freshman from Reno, Nev., had his best day as a collegiate player on Saturday, finishing the day with four hits, including a double, home run, two RBI and three runs scored. LaBarbera went 3-for-6 in the win with two RBI and two runs scored for Santa Clara, while Gomes went 2-for-3 with a double, his 30th of the season, two RBI, two intentional walks and one run scored.
Gebbers finished the day for Gonzaga by going 2-for-5 with four RBI and one run scored, while Kevin Cave went 2-for-3 with two RBI after coming into the game in the fourth inning.
Eric Dworkis takes the loss for the Bulldogs after throwing 2 2/3 innings of relief in which he allowed three runs on five hits. Gonzaga starter, Errol Simonitsch lasted four full innings in which he allowed five runs on seven hits before giving way to Brad Welker who gave up four runs on four hits in his 1 1/3 innings of relief.
Santa Clara and Gonzaga will play the rubbermatch of their three-game series Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m.