May 15, 2007
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The Santa Clara baseball team came into Tuesday night's contest against the Stanford Cardinal needing a win to claim the sweep of the season series and bragging rights in the rivalry between the South Bay schools, but the Cardinal, behind a five-run third inning, spoiled the Broncos' hopes with a 14-4 win at Stephen Schott Stadium.
Santa Clara (25-29) will conclude the 2007 season this weekend with a home-and-home series against the Sacramento State Hornets. Saturday's game is set for a 2 p.m. start in Sacramento, then the Broncos will return home for Senior Day on Sunday, hosting the Hornets in a 2 p.m. contest.
It was a five-run third inning in which Stanford sent 11 men to the plate that made the difference in Tuesday night's contest. Two batters after Toby Gerhart singled to lead off the frame, Michael Taylor sent a Sean O'Neill offering into orbit towards left-center, breaking a 3-3 tie and putting Stanford ahead for good. Justin Kuehn, who relieved O'Neill after Taylor's homer, fared no better, lasting only a third of an inning as he gave up three runs on a hit and three walks.
O'Neill suffered his third loss of the year, giving up five runs on five hits over two and a third innings of work.
Freshman reliever Steve Kalush was a bright spot late for the Broncos, tossing two innings of shutout relief and striking out a pair.
The Cardinal poured it on late, as well, scoring three runs in both the eighth and ninth innings. In the eighth, the Cardinal benefited from a two-RBI single from Seawell, and in the ninth, Brendan Domaracki hit his first home run of the year, a three-run job off of Jeff Lombard that closed out the night's scoring.
Although the Broncos chased Stanford starter Nolan Gallagher after Karcich's homer to lead off the second inning, they suddenly struggled to score against reliever David Stringer. Stringer, who gave up only an unearned run in the third that tied the game at 3-3, gave up seven hits over seven innings of relief work, but was able to close out innings without any damage and earn his first win of the year.
Things looked good at the start for the Broncos, as they answered Stanford's run in the top of the first with two of their own. With runners on the corners and one out after a Nathan Faulkner walk and stolen base, followed by Tommy Medica's single, Carl Bacon drove Faulkner in with an opposite-field base hit. Alcantar then singled Medica in with the go-ahead run to make it 2-1 Broncos.
The Cardinal retook the lead at 3-2 on an RBI single by Cord Phelps, then Brian Juhl legged out an attempted SCU double play to allow Ryan Seawell to score Stanford's third run of the game.