March 11, 2006
SEATTLE, Wash. - The batter's weekend continued Saturday in the second game of the baseball series between Santa Clara and Washington as the teams combined for 28 runs, 25 hits and six home runs. But in the end, the Huskies used a four-run eighth inning to take the lead for good and held on for a 15-13 victory in Seattle.
Eric Newton continued his big weekend for the Broncos (10-9), going 2-for-4 from the plate with a two-run double. Matt Long was perfect in all six of his plate appearances, walking twice and going 4-for-4 officially with three singles, a double and two RBIs. Michael Lange and Kris Watts provided the two Bronco homers of the day in the fifth, with Watts' solo job getting things rolling in a four-run inning that climaxed with Lange's three-run blast to right following a singles by Daniel Nava and Ryan Conan.
The teams will return to Husky Ballpark tomorrow afternoon for a 1 p.m. contest as the Broncos attempt to salvage the final game of this weekend series.
The Huskies (14-5) took a 3-0 lead after tallying a run in each of the first three frames. Santa Clara fought back with one in the fourth before exploding for 12 runs over their next two turns on offense. The four-run fifth, highlighted by the homers by Watts and Lange, put the Broncos ahead by two in what would become the first of four lead changes in the contest.
In the sixth, Santa Clara received some help as Washington reliever Brandon McKerney walked the first four batters of the inning and hit Conan with a pitch to force in a pair of runs to tie the contest at 7-7. After a Lange sacrifice fly gave SCU the lead, doubles by Long, Brady Fuerst and Newton capped a big eight-run frame that put the Broncos ahead 13-7 after six.
But the Huskies chipped away at the Bronco lead, getting one back in the seventh on Matt Stevens' second home run of the day. Stevens was 3-for-5 Saturday with a pair of solo homers. Matt Hague, the big UW producer Saturday, went 2-for-3 with five RBIs and four runs scored.
The climactic eighth inning saw the Huskies get their first three batters on base against Bronco relievers Daniel DeMarco and Mark Willinsky. Zach Clem's bases-loaded single knotted things up at 13-apiece, but he was thrown out trying to advance to second on the play, which gave the Broncos a chance to get out of the inning as UW's Curt Rindal came to the plate with two down and the go-ahead run on third. Rindal, though, had other plans as he drove a Willinsky pitch over the center-field fence to give the Huskies a 15-13 lead that would hold to SCU's final out.
Santa Clara managed to get the tying run on base with two away in the top of the ninth, but Washington closer Elliott Cribby got a fly ball for the third out and his seventh save of the season.