May 22, 2005
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Senior Kellan McConnell pitched a complete game in his final outing as a Bronco to lead the Santa Clara University baseball team to a 4-0 shutout victory over the University of Portland in SCU's season finale Sunday in front of 766 fans at Stephen Schott Stadium.
Santa Clara improved its record to 28-28 on the season and 11-19 in West Coast Conference play. Portland fell to 17-36 overall and 7-23 in league games.
"I could not be more proud of this team and, in particular, these seven seniors," said head coach Mark O'Brien. "With all the injuries we've suffered this season, it would have been easy for these guys to fold up the tent and go home. But, they fought and scrapped and never gave up."
McConnell earned the victory for SCU after allowing just eight hits, striking out two and not allowing a walk in the game. The San Juan Capistrano, Calif. native moved to 5-7 on the season. Portland starter Josh Roberts also pitched a completed game and fell to 1-6 on the season with the loss.
Sophomore shortstop Kevin Drever went 4-for-5 at the plate and scored a run for the Broncos. Seven different SCU players registered a hit in the game and four different players crossed the plate. Portland was led by Travis Vetters and Justin Ehlers, who each registered two hits in the game.
Seniors Ryan Chiarelli and Shawn Epidendio each reached base in their final at-bat as Broncos in the eighth inning. Chiarelli singled down the left field line then advanced to second base on an error by Portland second baseman Andrew Wrisley. He moved to third on a balk by Roberts then scored on a sacrifice squeeze bunt by classmate Mark Folgner.
Santa Clara started quickly by scoring two runs in the bottom of the first inning of the game. Drever opened the inning with a single up the middle, advanced to second on an Epidendio single then moved to third on a sacrifice bunt by Jason Matteucci. He scored on a fielding error by third baseman Jason Krohn. Epidendio then crossed the plate when Eric Newton grounded out to first base.
The Broncos added a run in the bottom of the fifth inning. Matteucci doubled to left centerfield to open the inning then advanced to third on a deep flyball to centerfield by Michael Thompson. After Kris Watts walked, Matteucci moved scored on a fly to centerfield by Eric Newton.
The contest marked the final appearance for seven Bronco seniors: Chiarelli, Epidendio, Folgner, McConnell, Anthony Rea, Adam Sanabria and Thomas Van Buskirk. The seniors were honored in a pregame ceremony.