SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Looking to move into position for a sweep on Sunday, Santa Clara baseball beat Northern Colorado 6-1 at Schott Stadium. The Broncos are now 6-5 on the season while the Bears are 2-4.
The two teams wrap-up the three-game series tomorrow Sun., March 3 at 1 p.m.
"Chris was outstanding," said Bronco head coach Dan O'Brien. "I love the fact that he came out and was fighting a few demons early but settled down quickly and did a great job of pounding the strike zone. He had great presence and it was fun to watch him settle in. The pitching staff as a whole has been throwing with intent and with a lot of confidence."
Chris Mendoza (2-0, 5.29) picked up the win in the start while tossing 5.2 innings and allowing one unearned run and four hits with two walks and five strikeouts. Reece Karalus (0-2, 10.00) picked up his first collegiate save by tossing 3.1 innings of relief and allowing one hit with six strikeouts. The Bronco offense was led by Quinton Perry who was 2-4 with a home run, a run scored and three RBI. The home run was the fifth of the season for Perry, tying his total from 2012. Greg Harisis was 3-4 with two RBI, two runs scored and a triple while Casey Munoz had a triple and a run scored. T.J. Braff added a RBI in four at bats.
Northern Colorado starter Jake Johnson (1-1, 6.23) went 3.2 innings while allowing three runs, two earned, on six hits. Johnson walked one and struck out four while picking up the loss. Jensen Park went 1-3 with a double and a run scored to lead the offense while three other Bears added a single each.
Stephen Takahashi reached on an error by the second baseman with one down in the bottom of the first and Harisis tripled him home with a deep ball to the warning track in left center that went off the glove of the diving left fielder. Perry followed with a single back up the middle to put Santa Clara on top 2-0 in the first inning for the second consecutive day.
Viele led off the bottom of the third with a walk and Takahashi hit a grounder to short that got through as Viele was running and the shortstop was going to cover the bag. With both runners on the move, Harisis scalded a single up the middle to bring in a run and put runners on the corners with still no one out but the Broncos couldn't score again in the inning.
Park doubled to left field to start the fifth and advanced to third on a wild pitch with no outs. After a strikeout to Schneider, Park came in to score the first Bear run on a wild pitch.
After Harisis laid down a perfect bunt single to start the bottom of the fifth, Perry crushed a ball to left field to put Santa Clara on 5-1.
Mendoza got two outs in the top of the sixth but with runners on first and second he was lifted for Reece Karalus. Karalus came in and got a strikeout to end the inning with the Broncos still on top by four.
Munoz tripled to left center to get Santa Clara started in the bottom of the eighth. Braff followed with a RBI single to make the score 6-1 and finish out the scoring.
Game Notes: First pitch was 3:02 … Time of game was 2:09 … Attendance was 399 … Zach Looney pinch hit for Peter Summerville in the bottom of the fifth and stayed in to catch … Drew Ozanne replaced Quinton Perry at first base ion the top of the eighth.