SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Playing its fifth extra-inning game of the season, Santa Clara baseball topped San Francisco State by a final of 7-5 in 10 innings on a walk-off homer by senior Evan Peters. With the win the Broncos move to 23-20 while the Gators wrap-up their season 17-33.
RHP James Smith (2-0; 5.30) made the start for Santa Clara and went 4.2 innings while picking up a no-decision. He allowed four runs on four hits with five walks and three strikeouts. RHP Paul Twining (5-4; 2.77) got the win by pitching 2.0 innings of shutout ball. On offense, 3B Evan Peters went 2-5 and skied a towering homer to left field that ended the contest.
Santa Clara will return to the field at San Francisco Fri., May 11 at 3 p.m. for the first game of a three game series.
"I was just trying to get on base with a single but it was pretty awesome to end it right there," said Peters. "I usually hit lefties pretty well and I was looking for something right down the middle and fast and I got it. Every game we try and fight, especially when we're down, and tonight it worked out for us."
Smith got off to a rocky start by walking the first two batters of the game. A wild pitch put runners on the corners for C Mark Lindsay who grounded into a double play but got the run in. Smith got the Gator's leading home run hitter 3B Miguel Flores looking to end the inning.
DH Matt Quintero and 1B A.J. Pianto and led-off the top of the second with back-to-back singles and RF Nick McFarland sacrificed them to second and third. 2B A.J. Almaraz moved up both runners with a fly ball to center that made the score 2-0 but SS Danny Souza grounded out to short for the final out.
After two quick outs in the bottom of the fourth RF Stephen Takahashi singled up the middle and stole second. 1B Andrew Biancardi smoked his fifth home run of the season to tie the score at 2-2 before the inning ended with a ground out.
In the top of the fifth San Francisco State put together a two-out rally of its own. CF Dante Smith and LF Thomas Wood walked in front of a single to center by C Mark Lindsay that scored a run and put runners on second and third on the throw. After a wild pitch scored another run to make the score 4-2, Flores walked and Smith was lifted for RHP Chris Heckert. Quintero greeted Heckert with a single to left field to load the bases but Pianto struck out swinging for the final out.
SS Justin Viele walked to start the home half of the fifth and moved to second on a ground out. RF Lucas Herbst singled to right field to bring in a run and bring the score to 4-3. Herbst advanced to second on a passed ball but was stranded at third.
Leading off the bottom of the seventh, Viele doubled down the left field line and moved to third on a beautiful bunt single by 2B Greg Harisis. Herbst smoked a ball that was picked by the first baseman for a 3-6 double play but the tying run came across. CF Matt Ozanne flied out to right to end the inning.
Pianto singled to right to lead off the top of the eighth for the Gators. He moved to second on a sacrifice bunt and scored two batters later on a single to center by Souza who moved to second on the throw. The inning ended with the Gators ahead 5-4.
In the bottom of the ninth the tying run reached base when Viele was hit by a pitch with one out. With the top of the order coming up, Harisis popped out to shortstop and Herbst singled to second to put the tying run in scoring position and the winning run on base. M. Ozanne ripped a grounder to short that was booted and allowed the tying run to come across. Stover came to the plate with the winning run on third and two outs and was intentionally walked when M. Ozanne stole second. Takahashi grounded out to second to send the game to extra-innings.
Game Notes: First pitch was at 6:01 ... attendance was 122 ... Pat Stover stole his 10th base in the bottom of the second inning ... Stephen Takahashi laid down a push bunt just past the pitcher for a single in the bottom of the eighth.