SANTA CLARA, Calif. - In the first game of the last series of the season, Santa Clara baseball fell to LMU by a final of 6-3. The Broncos fall a season-high two games below .500 at 25-27 on the season and 4-18 in WCC play while LMU moves to 26-26 overall and 13-9 in conference.
After taking the tough mid-week loss in a one inning start on May 22 vs. No. 14 Stanford, RHP Tommy Nance (4-6; 4.20) pitched 4.2 innings to pick up his sixth loss of the year. He allowed six runs on eight hits with three walks and two strikeouts. C Zach Looney went 3-3 with a run scored and a RBI to lead the offense.
Santa Clara returns to the field tomorrow, Sat., May 26 vs. LMU at 1 p.m. before wrapping-up the season on Sun., May 27 at 1 p.m. with senior day.
The Broncos took an early 2-0 lead in the bottom of the second when 1B Andrew Biancardi singled to shortstop to lead things off. After CF Matt Ozanne flied out, Looney, 3B Evan Peters and SS Justin Viele came up with consecutive singles to bring in two runs and put runners on first and second with just one out. LF Greg Harisis hit a high fly ball to right for the second out that moved Peters to third. 2B Kyle DeMerritt came to the plate and roped a pitch right to the second baseman for the final out.
An infield single by SS Joey Boney and a walk to CF Matt Lowenstein to start the third got the LMU offense going. RF Zac Fujimoto hit into a fielder's choice that put runners on the corners with one down. Nance picked-off Fujimoto but the Broncos were unable to execute the run-down and Fujimoto was credited with his sixth stolen base of the season. 3B Alex Guthrie knocked in a run on a ground out to short to cut the Santa Clara lead in half. C Colton Plaia came through with a two-out singled to left to knock in the tying run. Plaia's hit was the first hit out of the infield against Nance on the night. DH Tanner Donnels finally ended the inning with a soft liner to left.
LMU took its first lead in the top of the fifth after a quick out. Fujimoto walked and 3B Alex Guthrie was hit by a pitch to give the Lions a rally for free. Fujimoto stole third before Plaia knocked him in with a single to center. DH Tanner Donnels walked to load the bases and everyone moved up a base on a RBI single by Roe. Another run came across and the back runners advanced on a passed ball before Raubinger was hit by a pitch to again load the bases. Nance was lifted for RHP Chris Mendoza who gave up a bloop-single to left by Esser for a RBI. With the score now 6-2, Boney popped out in foul territory to first base for the second out. Mendoza escaped the inning by getting a ground out to first.
Santa Clara got within three runs in the home half of the sixth when Stover singled to left to lead things off and advanced to second on a balk. Biancardi flied out to right to moved Stover to third but Ozanne lined out to short. Looney came through with the two-out RBI on a single to right to make the score 6-3. Peters fouled out to the catcher to end the inning.
Ozanne hit a deep fly ball that died on the warning track for the first out of the ninth inning. Looney popped up a bunt in foul territory and pinch hitter Stephen Takahashi walked to extend the inning. With the tying run in the on-deck circle, Viele grounded into a fielder's choice on a very close play at second to end the game.
Game Notes: First pitch was 6:04 ... attendance was 580 .... Greg Harisis extended his hitting streak to 10 games ... led off the game with a walk after coming back from an 0-2 count.