April 13, 2003
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The Santa Clara University baseball team picked up two big West Coast Conference wins Sunday afternoon as they swept a doubleheader from the University of San Diego by scores of 6-0 and 2-1. The wins move the Broncos' record to 18-21 overall and 10-5 in league action while the Toreros' record falls to 19-23 overall and 9-9 in WCC play.
Santa Clara picked up the win in game one behind a complete game shutout from Joe Diefenderfer who allowed only five hits while walking two and striking out seven. The win moves his season record to 6-3 overall while his conference record improves to 4-0. It was the second complete-game shutout of the season for Diefenderfer who has led the team to a 5-0 WCC record in his four conference starts.
Aaron Wilson took the loss and fell to 3-5 on the year after allowing four runs on five hits in 1 1/3 innings of work. Brett Gillespie and David Dunn combined to throw the final 6 2/3 innings, allowing only two runs on five hits to go along with two walks and three strikeouts.
Game two was a nail biter from the beginning as both starters, Kellan McConnell for Santa Clara and Justin Blaine for San Diego, looked very dominant in their time on the mound.
McConnell threw four full innings in which he allowed only two hits before leaving the game to start the fifth after he reached his pitch count maximum. He gave way to John Redmond who threw 3 2/3 innings, allowing only one unearned run and five hits to move his season record to 4-3 on the year. Anthony Rea picked up his first save of the season after recording the final four outs to secure the one run win.
Blaine allowed only one run on six hits with one walk and three strikeouts in five full innings of work. Brian Jones allowed one run on one hit in two innings before Tony Perez recorded three outs in the eighth to keep USD within striking distance.
Headley picked up his second RBI of the day and gave Santa Clara a 1-0 lead in the third inning as his single to right center field plated Dierks who reached on a double to left field. Shawn Epidendio picked up what turned out to be the game-winning RBI with a single to right field that scored A.J. LaBarbera who had reached earlier in the inning on a walk.
The RBI single by Epidendio turned out to be huge as San Diego scored their lone run in the eighth inning on a Zach Dobek single to center that scored Freddie Sandoval from second. Pinch runner Gavin Ng moved up to third on the Dobek single but was cut down at the plate on the very next play as he tried to score on a double steal. Wallace's throw from behind the dish was cutoff beautifully by LaBarbera who fired home just in time to get Ng and preserve the one run lead.
With the win, Santa Clara moves to within two games of Coast Division leader, Pepperdine, who swept Loyola Marymount this weekend and has a 12-3 mark in league play. San Diego is now tied with LMU for the lead in the West Division as both teams currently have .500 records in the conference with LMU's league record now at 8-8.
The Broncos return to action and return to the road next weekend as they travel to Portland, Oregon to take on the University of Portland in a three-game series. The first game of the series will be played on Thursday, April 17th at 3 p.m., while game two and game three will be played as part of a Saturday doubleheader beginning at 11 a.m. on April 19th. The abnormal schedule is to accommodate the Good Friday and Easter Sunday holidays.