Fuerst Hands Broncos 9-8 Extra Inning Win
May 10, 2008
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Brady Fuerst's extra innings three run double lifted the Santa Clara baseball team over Saint Mary's, 9-8, Saturday night. The junior registered a three-run double down the right field line in the 10th inning to give the Broncos the win.
SCU improved to 31-18 on the season and 11-6 in West Coast Conference play, while SMC dropped to 23-25-1 overall and 5-12 in league play. The win was awarded to Mark Willinsky (4-2) after 2.1 innings of work in which he allowed two runs and struck out two batters. The loss went to Alex Schmarzo (2-2).
Offensively, Jon Karcich went 3-for-5 with two runs, while Fuerst was 1-for-4 with three RBIs.
The Gaels opened Saturday's contest with a four run effort over the course of the first three innings. Ryan Mulligan singled to right field to bring home Kyle Jensen in the first inning. During its second outing Saint Mary's posted two runs to claim a 3-0 advantage.
Justin Fazio started off the inning with single to left field and then advanced to third on a Anthony Aliotti double. The designated hitter then scored on an error by Broncos' shortstop Karcich. Aliotti then followed on a Joel Staples base hit. SMC's fourth run of the game came in the top of the third as Jensen scored his second run of the game.
However, Santa Clara responded with four runs in their half of the inning to knot the score, 4-4. Ryan Conan posted a two-run single in the middle of the bottom of the third to bring home Matt Long and Tommy Medica. Both runners registered base hits to get on base. Karcich then drove home Conan with a base hit to left field.
The tying run was brought in by Curtis Wagner. He reached on an error by SMC's shortstop Daniel Alcaire and Karcich scored on the play.
After a quick up and down fourth inning, the Gaels claimed a two-run edge over the Broncos. Fazio tallied a two-run home run to right field that also brought home Mulligan. The catcher walked to get on base.
SCU chipped away at the lead recording runs in the sixth and seventh innings. Nathan Faulkner made it a one run game as he doubled down the right field line. The shot brought home Wagner to make the score 6-5.
In the bottom of the seventh inning, outfielder Evan LeBlanc launched a solo home run shot over the left field wall to knot the score, 6-6. It was his sixth homer of the season.
The game was taken into extra innings after both teams were held scoreless through the eighth and ninth innings. The Gaels did have the opportunity to take the lead in the eighth inning but reliever Willinsky successfully struck out Jensen for the final out of the inning with bases loaded.
In the ninth inning, the Broncos attempted to register the win as Fuerst advanced to second on a Long sacrifice. Yet, both LeBlanc and Medica were struck out to end regulation.
In the top of the 10th, Saint Mary's rallied to load the bases with two outs and the board and with a two RBI single from Jensen, the Gaels claimed an 8-6 advantage.
The Broncos crammed the bases in the bottom of the 10th with just one out on the board. Conan singled up the middle to get on and then James Heintz came in to run for the senior first baseman. Karcich followed suit with his own base it to left field and then Wagner walked. Gabe Alcantar's fly out was too shallow to bring in a run and two outs were put on the board.
But it was Fuerst's double down the right field line that sealed the win for Santa Clara. The junior second baseman launched the shot on a 1-2 count and drove in three runs.
The Broncos and Gaels bring the series to a close on Sunday, May 11. First pitch is scheduled for 2 p.m. at Stephen Schott Stadium.