SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Santa Clara baseball snapped its five-game losing streak on Tuesday night with a 9-5 victory over the Connecticut Huskies. The Bronco bats came alive with their season-high 15 hits and they tied a season-high with nine runs scored. Senior left fielder Tyler Meditz led the way for SCU, going 4-for-5 at the plate with a home run and two runs batted in.
"We did some good things tonight and honestly made a lot of mistakes that aren't okay, but more important than all of that is how we competed," head coach Dan O'Brien said. "They decided pre-game that they needed to toughen up, compete harder and take our game to our opponent and they did that tonight. They can make it real if they do that consistently, but that's up to them, it's their team now.
Freshman right-handed pitcher Bryson Spagnuolo earned his first-career win, throwing 4.0 innings, allowing three earned runs (four total) while striking out three batters and not walking any.
The Broncos snapped a two-game scoring drought quickly in the game, putting three runs on the board in the bottom half of the first inning. Freshman center fielder Andre Nnebe led off the game with a single and moved to second on a sac bunt by junior right fielder Niko Holm. Junior first baseman Jake Brodt then drove Nnebe home on his seventh double of the season. Brodt scored on an RBI single by Meditz. Redshirt freshman designated hitter Ryan McCarthy doubled to score Meditz and give SCU a 3-0 lead.
The Huskies pulled an unearned run back in the top of the second inning to cut the lead to 3-1. Tyler Gnesda singled and then came around to score after a fielding error, a wild pitch and a groundout.
Doug Domnarski was handed the loss for the Huskies. He threw 2.0 innings and allowed one earned run. He replaced Andrew Zapata on the mound after just 1.1 innings, loaded the bases in the bottom of the third inning. After leaving the bases loaded in the second, SCU was able to bring a run across the plate in the third. To load the bases, sophomore third baseman John Cresto and Meditz singled followed junior second baseman Evan Haberle who reached first base after being hit by a pitch. Sophomore shortstop Austin Fisher hit a sac fly to right field to score Cresto and give the Broncos a 4-1 lead.
The Huskies struck for three runs in the top fourth to tie the game at four. Zac Susi singled and advanced to second on a wild pitch before Gnesda doubled to bring him home. Aaron Hill then doubled right after Gnesda to put runners on second and third. John Toppa singled to score both runners and tie the game.
Santa Clara retook the lead in the bottom of the fourth by scoring two unearned runs. The bases were loaded once again and the Broncos scored two runs on a fielding error by Hill to lead 6-4.
UConn cut the SCU lead to one in the top of the sixth inning. Gnesda walked and then scored on a triple by Chris Winkel. Freshman right-handed pitcher Alex Waldsmith entered the game and recorded the final two outs of the inning to leave Winkel stranded on third base.
Meditz hit his second home run of the season in the bottom of the sixth inning to push the SCU lead back to 7-5. The Broncos extended the lead in the bottom of the seventh inning. Holm doubled to leadoff the inning and was then replaced by junior Grant Meylan as a pinch runner. Brodt singled to left field to score Meylan and give the Broncos an 8-5 lead.
Nnebe singled to right center in the bottom of the eighth to extend the lead to 9-5. Fisher scored on the play as he was standing on second after hitting a double to left center.
Up Next: Santa Clara will open a four-game series against Purdue on Thursday at 6 p.m. PT.
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