May 11, 2008
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The Santa Clara baseball team rallied for 14 runs Sunday afternoon to complete the sweep of Saint Mary's, 14-6. The Broncos hold onto third place in the West Coast Conference standings and will battle Pepperdine next weekend for second place and a trip to the WCC Championship series.
With the win, SCU improved to 32-18 on the season and 12-6 in league play. It is most overall wins for the Broncos under the direction of head coach Mark O'Brien. The Gaels are now 23-27-1 overall and 5-13 in WCC action.
Starting pitcher Steve Kalush (5-2) earned the win for the Broncos. He went 6.2 innings striking out seven batters. The loss was awarded to Scott Schneider (5-5).
Once again the Gaels opened the game with a 2-0 lead but the Broncos quickly tied the score in the bottom of the second inning. Faulkner singled up the middle to bring home Karcich. The shortstop tallied his own base hit to get on. The tying run was scored by Curtis Wagner, who was sent home on a Brady Fuerst single.
However, Saint Mary's took the lead in the top of the third. Justin Fazio doubled down the right field line to bring home Ryan Mulligan. The catcher got on base with his own double. The Gaels led 4-2.
Yet, Santa Clara was quick to respond and knotted the score, 4-4. Ryan Conan registered an RBI single to right field that brought home LeBlanc. LeBlanc originally reached on an error by SMC's shortstop Daniel Alcaire. Conan scored the tying run on a Wagner single.
The Broncos shutout the Gaels through the eighth inning as they tacked on 10 more runs to reach their final tally of 14.
In the fifth inning, Tommy Medica got on with a base hit and then scored on a Conan double down the right field line. Karcich followed suit with his 11th home run of the season that also brought home Conan. The Broncos led 7-4.
After two quick outs were put on the scoreboard, back-to-back doubles put Faulkner on base and then allowed him to score. He was driven home by Fuerst. SCU led 8-4.
During the bottom of the sixth, LeBlanc and Karcich scored to make it a 10-4 game. The junior outfielder scored on an error by Mulligan, while Karcich advanced home on a Wagner base hit. Both runs were scored with two outs on the board.
Santa Clara reached its final tally with another four-run effort in the home half of the seventh. Faulkner opened the half with a base hit to centerfield and then advanced to second on a Fuerst single. Matt Long then registered his lone hit of the contest, an RBI single down the right field line that allowed Faulkner to score.
With two runners on base, LeBlanc homered far beyond the left field wall to score the last three runs. It was his seventh home run of the season and it brought home Long and Fuerst.
After a scoreless eighth inning by both programs, Saint Mary's decided to not give up without a fight and posted two runs in its final outing. Kyle Jensen hit a two-run home run to make the final score 14-6.
The Broncos return to action on Monday, May 12 for the final game of the series against the No. 6 Cardinal. First pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m. at Sunken Diamond in Palo Alto.