Baseball Drops Finale of Jack Gifford Memorial Tournament to Michigan

Niko Holm
Niko Holm

SANTA CLARA, CALIF. – Santa Clara baseball lost 10-3 to Michigan in the sixth and final game of the Jack Gifford Memorial Tournament on Sunday at Stephen Schott Stadium. The Bronco pitchers struggled to find the strike zone, walking 13 batters and throwing four wild pitches. Santa Clara recorded seven hits but went 0-9 at the plate with runners in scoring position.

The Wolverines (5-2), who went 3-0 this weekend, never trailed in the game. Jayce Vancena came on in the second inning and pitched 4.0 innings and allowed just one earned run to earn the win.

Freshman right-handed pitcher Grant Nechak loaded the bases in the top of the first inning with two walks and a single. He then walked Michael Brdar to bring in the first run of the game for Michigan. He threw 37 pitches but just surrendered the one run. Santa Clara (1-5) also loaded the bases in their half of the first with junior right fielder Grant Meylan scoring on a wild pitch to tie the game at 1.

Drew Lugbauer regained the lead for Michigan in the top of the third with a solo shot to left center on the first pitch of the inning. The Wolverines then tacked on another run with two outs. Brdar singled on an 11-pitch at-bat and then stole second before Jonathan Englemann singled to left field to drive him home.

Nechak received the loss and went 3.0 innings, threw 95 pitches, gave up five hits, allowed three earned runs and walked five batters while striking out two. Freshman right-handed pitcher Brandon Buckley replaced Nechak. He allowed one run in 3.2 innings and struck out three batters while surrendering just one hit and walking five batters.

Senior left fielder Tyler Meditz went deep in the bottom of the fifth to cut the deficit to 3-2. It was Meditz's first home run of the year and the seventh of his career. Junior designated hitter Niko Holm doubled in the ensuing at-bat but was stranded on second base.

Freshman right-handed pitcher Alex Waldsmith entered the game for Buckley in the top of the seventh. He inherited runners on first and second with two outs but surrendered an RBI single in his first pitch to Ako Thomas to give Michigan a 4-2 lead.

Waldsmith gave up a two-run home run in the top of the eighth to Harrison Wenson. Sophomore left-handed pitcher Alex Barden replaced Waldsmith and walked the bases loaded before being replaced by sophomore right-handed pitcher Luke Martin-Resnick who's wild pitch allowed Brdar to score.

Freshman catcher Jake MacNichols hit his second home run of the season in the bottom of the eighth inning to cut Michigan's lead to 7-3. 

The Wolverines scored three runs in the top of the ninth to end the game's scoring.

Up Next: Santa Clara will host Cal Poly on Tuesday at 6 p.m. PT in the friendly confines of Stephen Schott Stadium.

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Baseball Swept by Purdue
March 19, 2017 Baseball Swept by Purdue