March 1, 2003
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The Santa Clara Universtiy baseball team scored five times in the bottom of the eighth inning to overtake the lead for the first time in the game and held on for a thrilling 11-10 win over Cal Poly Saturday afternoon at Buck Shaw Stadium.
Through the first five innings of the game, Santa Clara (8-10) matched Cal Poly (8-8) run for run. The Mustangs scored once in the first and third, and added four more in the fifth, as did the Broncos. Cal Poly, however, did take an 8-6 lead in the sixth inning and extended it to 10-6 in the seventh.
Following two scoreless innings the Broncos rallied for five runs in the eighth inning for their fourth come-from-behind victory of the season. Will Thompson and David Mandley each picked up an RBI in pinch-hitting roles in the inning, as Thompson forced home a run by drawing a walk while Mandley singled sharply to right field with the bases loaded.
Scott Dierks delivered the big hit in the eighth inning and he picked up his third hit of the day with a two-run single to center field following the Mandley single and the Thompson walk. Mandley would score the winning run two batters later as Scott Shapiro grounded a ball to the Cal Poly third baseman Bret Berglund who mishandled the ball allowing Shapiro to reach on the error, giving the Broncos a 11-10 lead.
Santa Clara would not relinquish that lead as closer Patrick McBride came on in the ninth and threw a perfect inning to pick up his third save of the year. Kellen McConnell improved to 1-1 on the year after throwing a perfect eighth inning.
Dierks ended the day going 3-for-5 at the plate with two RBI and one run scored. A.J. LaBarbera went 2-for-5 with a pair of RBI and one run scored while Jason Matteucci and Jim Wallace each picked up a pari of hits.
Jack Headley went 2-for-3 in the game with two RBI before being ejected in the fifth inning alongside Cal Poly second baseman Adam Leavitt. The two were thrown out after a disagreement between the two caused the benches to clear.
Nick Doan took the loss for Cal Poly, dropping his season record to 0-1 after allowing one run on one hit while recording no outs in the two batters he faced in the eighth inning. Reliever Nolan Moser was roughed up in his four full innings of work, giving up seven runs on eight hits.
Mustang catcher Kyle Wilson had a tremendous day at the plate, going 3-for-4 with a home run, double, four RBI and one run scored. Leavitt was 3-for-3 with two RBI and one run scored before his ejection in the fifth.
The win for Santa Clara knots the series up at one game apiece with the rubber match scheduled for Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m. in Buck Shaw Stadium.