April 5, 2006
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Although the bats did a lot of talking for the Santa Clara Broncos Wednesday night at Stephen Schott Stadium, things balanced out with a shutdown effort towards the end from the SCU relievers in the 12-7 non-conference victory over the California Golden Bears.
By knocking off one of the Pac-10's top teams in the Golden Bears (16-13, 4-2 Pac-10), the Broncos (18-13, 1-2 WCC) gained valuable momentum heading into this weekend's clash with the WCC-leading Gonzaga Bulldogs (21-10, 3-0 WCC) in Spokane. Friday's series opener is set for a 3 p.m. first pitch while Saturday and Sunday's contests will get started at 1 p.m.
The Broncos will return home to face the Stanford Cardinal Monday evening at 6 p.m. Tickets are available for this contest by calling (408) 554-4660 or by visiting the Leavey Center ticket office.
Santa Clara wasted no time getting on the board Wednesday as Kevin Drever started things off with a single followed by a Daniel Nava walk. With both runners sacrificed up a bag, Drever scored on a groundout before Kris Watts doubled in Nava to stake starter Donald Brandt to a quick 2-0 lead.
Watts went 2-for-3 with an RBI and his ninth double of the season while Drever also notched a double in a 2-for-4 effort, scoring three runs and driving in two more.
The big blow to the Golden Bears, though, was a big seven-run third inning in which the first seven Bronco batters reached base. After scoring three in their half of the third to even things up, Cal quickly had the momentum snatched away as a bases-loaded walk to Matt Long brought the first run in before Gabriel Alcantar opened the floodgates with a two-run single to right-center.
The Broncos also took advantage of defensive lapses by the Golden Bears, as Cal made five errors in the contest. Three of those came in the eighth, which allowed SCU to score a pair of runs to build a five-run cushion.
Cal had trimmed things to 10-7 after a two-run triple by Taylor Grigsby in the fourth and a Garrett Bussiere homer in the seventh. Reliever Matt Gorgen retired nine-straight Broncos in his three innings of work and following SCU's big third inning, the Bears bullpen retired 14 in a row before Fuerst reached on an error by shortstop Allen Craig to start the eighth.
But the Bronco bullpen would not be outdone. Chris Stansbury allowed only a pair of runs and struck out four batters in three innings of work before being relieved. Daniel DeMarco and Mark Willinsky then set the Golden Bears down in order in the eighth and ninth, respectively, to shut the door on Santa Clara's win.