May 18, 2008
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - In a pivotal third game of the weekend series Pepperdine (35-17, 14-6 WCC) defeated Santa Clara (33-21, 13-8 WCC), 6-4, to edge the Broncos out of a second place finish in the West Coast Conference. The Waves got out to an immediate 1-0 lead in the first inning off a Trent Diedrich RBI. The Broncos did not respond until the second inning when Matt Long gave Santa Clara their only short-lived lead of the game, with a two-run RBI double down the right field line.
Pitcher Steve Kalush, who had struck out the side in the second inning could not maintain the one-run lead in the third, as Pepperdine's Matt Aidem's single to right field brought in the tying run.
The batters were quiet on both ends until the sixth inning, when Pepperdine loaded the bases. Kalush was able to get one out, until Matt Wickswat came in as relief. Wickswat walked his first batter, Nate Simon, bringing in the go ahead run. Denny Duron denied the Broncos of an inning ending double play with an infield ground out that took a high bounce in front of the mound and allowed the Waves to score their fourth run.
Pepperdine scored again off of Alex Rivers, who took over for Wickswat in the seventh inning. Santa Clara rallied back in a momentous bottom of the seventh, which was led by a solo homerun by Matt Long. Curtis Wagner, who came in to pitch hit Geoff Klein, drove in the Broncos' final run with his fly out to right field. The Broncos saw their chances of tying the game, when a pop foul by Gabe Alcantar was missed by Pepperdine's third baseman Bryce Medonca, but Tyler Hess who came in as relief prior to that at bat, was able to strike him out.
The Waves responded to the Broncos two-run inning, with a solo homer from Nate Simon in the top of the eight to give Pepperdine a two-run lead and solidify the Waves win.
With the win, Pepperdine moves into second place in the West Coast Conference and will face San Diego in the conference championships in San Diego. The Broncos quest of post-season play is dependent on their final regular season game on Tuesday May 20, at 6:00 p.m. when they host University of Pacific at Schott Stadium.