SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Santa Clara baseball recorded a season-high 10 hits against Saint Louis on Saturday night but fell 5-3 at Stephen Schott Stadium in game four of the Jack Gifford Memorial Tournament. The Billikens scored one run in the seventh inning, two in the eighth and one in the ninth and were able to withstand Santa Clara's ninth-inning rally to secure the win.
"Every club faces adversity, I don't care what sport or season," head coach Dan O'Brien said. "It's way too early to call this adversity, we're only 5 games in, but we'll embrace it and use it for what it is to get us tougher and stronger."
Santa Clara (1-4) had three players register multi-hit games for the second straight game, including junior Jake Brodt who went 3-5 batting cleanup with two doubles and two RBI. Sophomore third baseman John Cresto had another solid night offensively, going 2-4 with a double and a walk. Junior right fielder Grant Meylan recorded two hits in four at-bats as well.
Miller Hogan earned the win for the Billikens (5-1), throwing 6.0 scoreless innings while allowing five hits, three walks and he also struck out three batters. His teammates gave him the lead in the top of the second when junior right-handed pitcher Eric Lex walked Parker Sniatynski with the bases loaded to score Alex King. Lex received the loss, throwing 98 pitches in 4.0 innings, allowing three hits, one earned run, five walks and seven strikeouts.
The next four innings were scoreless until freshman right-handed pitcher Bryson Spagnuolo came on in the top of the seventh to replace junior right-handed pitcher Michael Bono who threw two scoreless innings. Aaron Case tripled and then later scored on Nick Reeser's sac fly to left field.
SCU got on the board in the bottom of the seventh when junior second baseman Evan Haberle drilled the ball right back to the pitcher who was just able to deflect it with his glove. It then rolled to second base and Haberle was able to arrive safely at first base to bring freshman center fielder Andre Nnebe home. Nnebe reached on a walk, advanced to second on a balk and moved to third on a ground out prior to scoring the team's first run.
Spagnuolo recorded two outs in the top of the eighth before he walked Carter Hanford and then allowed a double from Devin Mahoney. Freshman right-handed pitcher Alex Waldsmith then took over on the mound and walked King to load the bases. Cole Dubet doubled down the left field line to score Mahoney and Hanford to give SLU a 4-1 lead.
Santa Clara walked in another run in the top of the ninth. Sophomore right-handed pitcher Luke Martin-Resnick allowed a single and a walk before Hanford reached on an error. Sophomore left-handed pitcher Alex Barden took over on the mound and recorded the second out of the inning before walking King to put the Billikens up 5-1. Saint Louis recorded four two-out RBI on the night.
Santa Clara pulled two runs back in the bottom of the ninth thanks to a double from Brodt that scored junior infielder Austin Fisher and senior left fielder Tyler Meditz. Each of Santa Clara's three RBI came with two outs. Aaron Patton entered the game to face junior designated hitter Niko Holm and struck him out for the game's final out and to earn the save.
BOOM!!! Brodt doubles to deep left to bring home 2!!! We got a game here folks! #StampedeTogether— Santa Clara Baseball (@SCU_Baseball) February 26, 2017
Up Next: Santa Clara will face Michigan at 3 p.m. PT on Sunday at Stephen Schott Stadium in the final game of the Jack Gifford Memorial Tournament.
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