March 30, 2003
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Santa Clara University's baseball team entered Sunday's series finale with Pepperdine looking for its second straight three-game sweep of the Waves at Buck Shaw Stadium, but that thought soon faded as the Broncos gave up six runs in the first two innings and eventually lost by a score of 8-2.
The loss moves Santa Clara's record to 12-19 overall and 4-4 in West Coast Conference action while the win for Pepperdine improves their marks to 15-14 overall and 6-3 in league play. The win also moved the Waves a full game and a half ahead of the Broncos and the Saint Mary's Gaels, who lost to Gonzaga on Sunday, in the WCC Coast Division.
Santa Clara starter Kellan McConnell was roughed up early on, giving up six runs in one plus inning of work on the mound. The sophomore right-hander, who is still on a pitch count after coming back from Tommy John surgery, faced 10 batters and gave up seven hits and one walk. The loss drops his record to 1-3 on the year.
The Waves were paced on the day by leadoff hitter Kevin Estrada who went 2-for-4 with a double, two RBI and two runs scored. Both of his hits, runs batted in and runs scored came on his first two at-bats which occurred in the first and second innings. Brandon Daguio also collected two hits and two RBI on the day while Nick Kliebert also picked up two RBI in the game.
Jacob Barrack improved to 4-1 on the season for Pepperdine after throwing seven full innings in which he allowed only two runs on six hits with one walk and seven strikeouts. Steve Kleen and Kea Kometani each threw one inning in relief to shut the door on the Broncos, with each giving up only one hit to go along with one strikeout.
The Santa Clara bullpen was a bright spot for the team on the day, as five pitchers combined to thrown the final eight innings, allowing only two runs on four hits. Anthony Rea, Scott Shapiro and Chad Fillinger each threw one inning in which no hits were allowed with Shapiro stirking out one and Fillinger striking out two.
Freshman Michael Lange connected on his first career home run in the bottom of the seventh inning, taking a Barrack fast ball deep over the left field fence. Shapiro picked up the Broncos' other RBI, driving in Will Thompson with an RBI single to right field.
Santa Clara returns to action on Tuesday afternoon, April 1, as they return to Moraga, Calif., to make up a postponed game with Saint Mary's that was originally rained out on March 16. Following that game, the Broncos will take on fellow Bay Area competitor, San Francisco, in a three-game series scheduled for April 4-6 in San Francisco, Calif. Friday's series opener is scheduled for 3 p.m. while Saturday and Sunday's games are both slated for 1 p.m. first pitches.