SANTA CLARA, Calif. - In the first game of the series with cross-town rival San Jose State, the Santa Clara baseball squad downed the Spartans 5-0 to improve to 7-7. The Broncos night was highlighted by Mike Couch who threw complete game shutout, scattering 10 hits over nine innings of work.
The Broncos and Spartans will play the second game of the series at Santa Clara tomorrow, Sat., March 9 at 1 p.m. The teams will then return to San Jose State for the final game of the set on Sun.
Couch improved to 3-1 on the season while holding the Spartans off the scoreboard throughout the game. Couch struck out five batters and walked just one during his nine-inning performance. Offensively, Santa Clara collected 10 hits, including multi-hit games from Justin Viele, Matt Ozanne and Kyle DeMerritt. Senior outfielder Stephen Takahashi collected two RBI for the Broncos.
San Jose State fell to 3-10 on the season. The Spartans were led by Tim Quiery who tallied three hits. Starter Johnny Melero (0-1) was credited with the loss for the Spartans allowing five runs over 6.0 innings.
After a scoreless first inning, the Broncos put their first run on the board in the top of the second frame. Casey Munoz walked to begin the inning and then advanced to second on a balk. M. Ozanne gave Santa Clara another runner after drawing a walk. Peter Summerville grounded out, but was able to advance M. Ozanne and Munoz to second and third, respectively. Takahashi hit a hard-hit grounder to first that allowed Munoz to score to give the Broncos a 1-0 advantage.
In the bottom of the second, San Jose State threatened to erase the Broncos' slim lead after Matt Lopez hit a two-out double down the left field line. After Richie Johnson walked, Ricky Acosta singled to center. With Lopez rounding third, M. Ozanne fired home from center field to get Lopez out at home for the third out.
Neither team score in the third or fourth inning, but the Broncos added to their lead in the fifth frame. DeMerritt and Viele hit back-to-back singles to begin the inning. Drew Ozanne reached on a bunting fielder's choice, but DeMerritt was retired at third. With runners on first and second, Greg Harisis singled to left to knock in the Broncos' second run of the contest. After five innings, the Broncos held a 2-0 lead.
In the sixth inning, Santa Clara blew the game open with a three-run frame. M. Ozanne hit a one-out single and Summerville reached on an error. Takahashi tallied his second RBI of the game with a single up the middle. Viele later knocked in a run and D. Ozanne hit a double that scored Takahashi to extend Santa Clara's lead to 5-0.
Couch would continue to fend off the Spartans and finished the evening unfazed by San Jose State.