By Brandon Rebboah
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Despite a rally in the ninth, Santa Clara (11-11) dropped Wednesday's mid-week game to UC Davis 9-5. Joe Supple fell to 0-2 after pitching three innings, surrendering three earned runs on seven hits.
"I was happy with the way we battled at the end," said head coach Mark O'Brien. "I thought we broke down defensively. We didn't string together at-bats until a little bit later in the game. We had a chance to get out of the first inning, but we broke down and that hurt us."
Santa Clara dug itself an early hole with two crucial errors resulting in three runs in the first inning and two in the third to fall behind, 5-0, after three innings. Starter Joe Supple pitched the first three innings and the Broncos used five different pitchers throughout the remainder of the game. UC Davis (5-14) added two runs in the fourth, one in the sixth and one in the eighth. Five different Aggies had one RBI and Harry Stanwyck (1-0) was credited with the win for UC Davis.
Matt Ozanne finally got the Broncos on the board in the fourth inning with a sacrifice-fly. Patrick Terry knocked in the second Santa Clara run with his RBI double in the bottom of the eighth to put the Aggie lead at 9-2 entering the ninth.
The Broncos rallied in the ninth inning. Drew Ozanne walked to start the inning and Blake Leyva registered his third hit to put runners on the corners. The Aggies plunked Zach Looney to load the bases with one out. Drew Ozanne then scored on a wild pitch, followed by a Lucas Herbst RBI single. Freshman Kyle DeMerritt roped a ball into left field for the Broncos' third run of the inning. After pitching struggles in the ninth, closer Tommy Briner entered the game and recorded the last two outs.
The Broncos will continue their home stand with a three-game series this weekend against Cal State Bakersfield, with the first game scheduled for Fri., Apr. 1 at 6 p.m.
"This weekend we have to play defense, we didn't do that today," said Mark O'Brien. "We need to focus on us. They are a very good team and [this weekend] will be a good challenge for us."
Game Notes: The first pitch was thrown at 6:01 p.m. … Drew Ozanne started his third game of the season, getting the start at DH … Lucas Herbst registered the first out of the game with a leaping catch at the wall … Paul Twining pitched one inning, allowing one hit … Westerberg pitched one inning, allowing one hit … with one out in the top of the fifth, 1B Curtis Wagner charged a bunt and threw home to Patrick Terry who applied the tag to save a run… Westerberg was relieved by Max Deering in the eighth … the Broncos were charged with two balks on the night … J.R. Graham pitched the ninth from the Broncos … Davis used four pitchers in the ninth inning.