SANTA CLARA, CALIF. – Santa Clara baseball lost to Cal Poly on Tuesday night at Stephen Schott Stadium by a score of 11-7. Freshman centerfielder Andre Nnebe's big night at the plate was not enough to overcome the Mustangs' offensive production.
Cal Poly (2-6) took advantage of the Bronco pitching staff walking 13 batters and five fielding errors to score their 11 runs. They scored four runs in the fourth inning to regain the lead and three in the seventh inning to provide itself a cushion to secure the win. Slate Lee earned the win for the Mustangs, throwing 4.0 innings in relief, allowing three runs (two earned).
Nnebe went 3-for-3 at the plate for Santa Clara (1-6), drove in two runs and also walked. Junior designated hitter Niko Holm also continued his production at the plate, recording two hits in two at-bats with an RBI while also drawing two walks.
The Mustangs took the lead in the top of the first when leadoff batter Bradlee Beesley walked. He advanced to second on a passed ball then moved to third on a wild pitch. Elijah Skips singled through the left side to bring him home and give Cal Poly a 1-0 lead.
Kevin Morgan walked to lead off the second inning for Cal Poly. Michael Sanderson then doubled him home in the ensuing at bat for the Mustangs to push their lead to 2-0.
Holm started the bottom of the second inning off with a single followed by Nnebe who drew a walk. Junior right fielder Grant Meylan was then hit by a pitch to load the bases. Sophomore Jon Schafer grounded into a double play but the run scored and SCU cut the lead to one run.
SCU took the lead in the bottom of the third by scoring three runs, two of which were unearned. Sophomore third baseman John Cresto scored on a wild pitch while senior left fielder Tyler Meditz crossed the plate on a single by Nnebe. Holm scored on a throwing error to give SCU a 4-2 lead.
Cal Poly regained the lead in the top of the fourth by scoring four runs (one unearned) of their own and added a run in the top of the sixth inning to bring the lead to 7-4. The lead increased in the top of the seventh when the Mustangs scored three more via a walk with the bases loaded and a single that scored two runs.
Santa Clara cut into the Cal Poly lead by scoring three runs in the bottom of the seventh. Holm doubled to score junior first baseman Jake Brodt. Nnebe continued his impressive night with a single to score freshman Anthony Geremia. Redshirt freshman Ryan McCarthy doubled to bring Nnebe home and the Broncos within three runs of the Mustangs.
The Mustangs added an unearned run in the top half of the ninth inning to end the game's scoring.
Up Next: Santa Clara will host a four-game series in three days against Northwestern on March 3-5.
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