May 9, 2006
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - For the third consecutive meeting, the Santa Clara Broncos and Stanford Cardinal needed extra innings to decide a ball game. But unlike the previous two occasions, the Broncos ended up on the short end of the decision as the Cardinal used a four-run burst to defeat SCU 8-4 in 15 innings Tuesday night at Stephen Schott Stadium.
The Broncos had battled back in the bottom of the 12th to tie the contest at 4-4 after Eric Newton's bloop double into the Bermuda Triangle in short right center, but after Stanford's big 15th, SCU could not answer.
Santa Clara (26-23, 7-11 WCC) will look to rebound quickly from the loss as they head to Berkeley Wednesday afternoon for a 2:30 p.m. meeting against the California Golden Bears. This weekend SCU returns to Stephen Schott Stadium for its final home series as they host the Portland Pilots in the WCC finale. Tickets are available by calling (408) 554-4660 or by visiting the Leavey Center ticket office.
Kris Watts had three hits Tuesday night and Matt Long and Kyle Hartz each had a pair of hits while Watts also drove in a run. Chris Stansbury went six strong innings in the start, allowing only five hits and a pair of runs. Jeff Lombard also provided solid relief as he threw five shutout innings and struck out five batters.
Stanford (23-21, 7-11 Pac-10) got three hits from Randy Molina while Chris Lewis had a pair of hits and drove in a couple. Erik Davis tossed five shutout innings of relief and Max Fearnow went the final four to earn his second win.
The Cardinal (23-21, 7-11 Pac-10) got on the board first Tuesday, striking with two outs in the fourth as Kyle Hartz' diving effort on a Michael Taylor drive to right-center came up just short and Taylor was on with a double. Randy Molina followed up right away, lashing out at Stansbury's first offering and singling up the middle to drive in the game's first run.
After Stanford tacked another run on in the fifth to go up 2-0, the Broncos, who had left five runners on in their prior four times up, finally capitalized. The rally started as Kevin Drever reached on an error, and three straight singles brought Drever and then Matt Long across to knot things up at 2-2. But with the bases loaded and only one out, Cardinal reliever Sean Ratliff buckled down and struck out the next two batters to escape the jam.
From that point on neither team seriously threatened, and things went into extra frames. In the 12th, Stanford got a base hit and a walk off of reliever Daniel DeMarco, which brought Mark Willinsky to the mound. A double to right-center by Escue drove in two, and things looked to be going Stanford's way with SCU down to its final three outs.
But the Broncos refused to give in, getting runners on second and third with one away. Daniel Nava was thrown out in a fielder's choice, and with two down and runners on first and second, it came down to Newton. A bloop just over second baseman Cord Phelps fell in, and with the runners going on contact, the tying run scored from first and SCU had new life.
But again, neither team could finish the other off until the 15th, when the Cardinal got leadoff singles from Joey August and Chris Minaker. With one out, Phelps singled to right to drive in August, and Lewis doubled to left-center to drive in two more. Stanford added one more on a wild pitch later in the inning.
Tuesday's loss also snapped Santa Clara's three-game winning streak against Stanford dating back to the 2005 season.