SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Santa Clara baseball continued its impressive play in 2012 as it hosted the Nevada Wolfplack on Tues., Feb. 28. The Broncos came away with a 8-3 victory that put their record at 7-2 while Nevada falls to 5-3.
LHP Powell Fansler (4-0; 2.65) tied Nevada in knots. He went 7.0 innings and allowed five hits with zero walks and three strikeouts to pick up the win. Wolfpack starter RHP Daniel Levine didn't make it out of the first inning, giving up three earned runs in 0.1 innings with three walks and a hit batter. CF Lucas Herbst had another good outing, including a three-run triple in the fourth inning to break the game open.
The Broncos will return to Schott Stadium this weekend for games on Fri., Mar. 2 at 6 p.m. and Sun., Mar. 4 at 12 p.m. against San Jose State. They will travel to San Jose State on Sat., Mar. 5 for a 1 p.m. game.
"These midweek games can be battles," said Bronco head coach Dan O'Brien. "It was very important for us to keep putting the pressure on Nevada. They're a good ballclub. Getting out to and early start was also important for us as it set the focus for the game. Continuing to mount runs on the board set us up for ultimately winning the ballgame. Our ballplayers were excited about being out here and it was a good win for us."
The Broncos got a rally for free in the bottom of the first. SS Justin Viele led off the home half of the first with a walk and Herbst followed with a walk of his own. With runners on first and second and no outs, LF Pat Stover flew out to center but Viele tagged up to put runners on the corners. RF T.J. Braff loaded the bases when he was hit by a pitch. 1B Andrew Biancardi got an easy RBI on the third walk of the inning, which ended the day for Levine. He was relieved by RHP Troy Marks who gave up a sac fly to center for the second out. 2B Kyle DeMerritt looped a single to left to bring in another Bronco run and both base runners advanced on the throw that sailed over the cut-off man. With only one hit, Santa Clara led 3-0 after one inning.
In the top of the fourth, RF Jay Anderson led off with a beautiful drag bunt to first base and SS Kyle Hunt followed with a sacrifice bunt to give Nevada its first runner in scoring position on the afternoon. Fansler got back-to-back ground outs to third to end the inning with the score still 3-0 Broncos.
Santa Clara got a two-out rally going in the bottom of the fourth on back-to-back singles by DH Drew Ozanne and C Zach Looney. Viele followed with his second walk of the game to load the bases. Herbst followed with a liner right past the first baseman that went into the right field corner and cleared the bases to extend the Bronco lead to 6-0.
For the second straight inning the Broncos loaded the bases with two outs. 3B Matt Glomb and DeMerritt singled before DH D. Ozanne walked. Looney popped the ball to right field but the defender missed it and two runs scored. Viele flew out to right to end the inning.
3B Garrett Yrigoyen led-off the top of the sixth with an infield single to shortstop. After CF Jamison Rowe struck out, Anderson and Hunt were plunked on consecutive pitches to load the bases. Fansler induced a 6-4-3 double play to end the threat.
Fansler gave up a hard-hit single to DH Hugo Hernandez and a double to pinch-hitter Cameron Brooks to give Nevada a scoring chance with only one out. On a passed ball, Hernandez was thrown out at home and Fansler got a groundout to end the inning with the shutout in tact.
Nevada loaded the bases in the top of the eighth against new Santa Clara pitcher Tommy Nance. Jones hit a single to left field that Stover misplayed and three runs scored to bring the Wolfpack within five. Nance recovered to get a comebacker and a strikeout to end the inning.
The Broncos walked the bases loaded to start the top of the ninth. A one-out sacrifice fly made the score 8-4 but gave Santa Clara the second out of the inning. A pop out to short gave the Broncos the 8-4 win.
Game Notes: T.J. Braff made a lunging catch in the top of the second in right field ... the Broncos turned a 6-4-3 double play in the third on a diving stop by Justin Viele ... Zach Looney was pinch-run for by Peter Summerville in the bottom of the fifth ... Stephen Meade pinch hit for T.J. Braff in the bottom of the sixth and stayed in the game in right field ... Casey Husband pinch hit for D. Ozanne in the seventh inning and flew out to left ... C.J. Jacobe made is collegiate debut on the mound in the ninth.