Feb. 2, 2003
KONA, Hawaii - The Santa Clara University baseball team completed a four-game sweep of the University of Hawaii-Hilo in dramatic fashion Sunday afternoon, rallying from a one run deficit in the ninth inning to capture a thrilling 7-5 victory at Simmons Field in Kona, Hawaii. The win moves the Broncos to 4-2 on the season while dropping the Vulcans to 2-14.
Hawaii-Hilo got on the board first for the first time in the series in the third inning, scoring three times on three hits, knocking starting pitcher Scott Shapiro from the game. Daniel Lockett began the two-out rally for the Vulcans with a single to right field. He advanced to third base on a hit-and-run single to right field by Tom Henderson. After a Nalei Sooto walk Alan Sarmiento singled to right field, scoring Lockett and Henderson.
The Broncos got on the board in the fifth inning as Jason Matteucci led off the inning with a double to left-center field and scored two batters later on an A.J. LaBarbera infield single. Santa Clara missed a golden opportunity to even up the score as Eric Newton grounded into a fielder's choice with the bases loaded to end the inning.
SCU added one more run in the sixth inning as Jack Headley led off with a triple to center field and was driven in by Shapiro's single to left field. Shapiro entered the game as the designated hitter, replacing Scott Dierks, after he pitched 3 2/3 innings of work in which he allowed three runs on four hits.
The Vulcans pushed their lead back up to two runs at 4-2 in the sixth inning as Douglas Nassimbene reached base on a third strike wild pitch and scored on Henderson's infield single. Nassimbene moved from first to second on a sacrifice bunt by Kevin Drever, then moved to third base on Lockett's flyout to deep center field.
UHH extended its lead to 5-2 in the seventh inning as Sarmiento led off the inning with a single and scored two batters later when Scott McLaughlin doubled to the right field wall.
Santa Clara cut into the Vulcan lead in the eighth inning, scoring twice but stranded three more to end the inning with a 5-4 deficit. Matteucci reached on a fielder's choice and moved up to second when Michael Lange walked. Matteucci scored on a LaBarbera single, while Lange moved up to second base. Both Lange and :LaBarbera advanced one base on a Joe Diefenderfer walk. Lange scored one batter later when Michael Thompson was hit by a pitch. Jim Wallace stepped to the plate with the bases loaded but flew out to right field to end the rally.
The ninth inning was one of firsts for the Broncos as Matteucci belted his first collegiate home run, which was also the team's first home run of the season, with two runners on to give the Broncos a 7-5 lead. Newton led off the inning with a walk and Headley followed him by getting hit by a pitch. After Shapiro struck out, Matteucci belted the second pitch that Jason Jobes threw nearly 350 feet, landing just over the right field fence.
Anthony Rea came on in releif of Shapiro in the fourth inning and threw 2 1/3 innings in which he allowed only one run on three hits while walking one and striking out two. Andrew Slorp came on in the seventh inning and gave up one run on two hits while striking out one.
Chad Fillinger threw 1 1/3 innings in which he did not allow a run while giving up two hits to pick up his first win of the season. Patrick Overholt threw the ninth inning and set down the side in order, including two strikeouts, to pick up his first collegiate save just two days after picking up his first collegiate win.
Matteucci finished the day by going 3-for-5 with three RBI, including the game-winner.
The Broncos return to action next weekend in Buck Shaw Stadium as they welcome in UC Irvine for a three-game set. Friday's game time is scheduled for 3 p.m. while Saturday and Sunday's contests will begin at 1 p.m.