Baseball Falls in Doubleheader to No. 23 San Diego

Jake Brodt
Jake Brodt

SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Santa Clara baseball played a doubleheader against No. 23 San Diego on Saturday. The two teams finished the first game of the first series after starting the game on Friday evening and also played the second game. USD won the first game by a score of 9-2 and took the second game by a score of 11-1. Hunter Mercado-Hood had a huge day at the plate to lead the Toreros, recording five hits including three doubles and a home run along with seven runs batted in on the day.

Game 1: USD 9, SCU 2

San Diego scored two runs in the first inning and closed the game by scoring seven runs in the final four innings. Hunter Mercado-Hood went 3-for-4 at the plate with two home runs, a double, a walk and five runs driven in.

On the mound, Nick Sprengel earned the win for USD, throwing 6.0 innings, allowing one earned run and a walk while striking out eight batters. Sean Barry threw three scoreless innings for the save. Redshirt sophomore Eric Lex, who replaced Steffens on the mound, was handed the loss for SCU after throwing 6.2 innings and allowing five earned runs (six total) and three walks to go with eight strikeouts.

The Toreros hit a double in the first pitch of the game, which began on Friday night. To resume the game on Saturday, Mercado-Hood hit a home run on the first pitch to take a 2-0 lead.

The Broncos pulled with in a run in the bottom of the third inning when junior first baseman Jake Brodt singled to center field to score junior shortstop Austin Fisher.

USD added an unearned run in the top of the sixth inning off a sacrifice fly from Riley Adams.

In the top of the seventh inning, the Toreros put four runs on the board. Paul Kunst singled to right center to score Kevin Collard. Kunst then scored from second base on a wild pitch to put USD up 5-1. Mercado-Hood then hit a two-run home run to put USD up 7-1.

The Toreros added two more runs in the top of the ninth inning for insurance.

In the bottom of the ninth inning, redshirt freshman Ryan McCarthy pinch hit for the Broncos and hit his first-career home run to right center.

Game 2: USD 11, SCU 0

Behind more good offense and another strong performance from their starting pitcher, the Toreros clinched a series victory with a 11-1 win in game two on Saturday. Four different Toreros recorded two or more runs batted in while Chris Murphy threw 7.0 scoreless innings to earn the win for USD. Murphy allowed just three hits and one walk while striking out 10 hitters.

USD picked up right where they left off at the end of game one, scoring two runs in the first inning and one in the second to hold a 3-0 lead. Colton Waltner singled in the first to score Jeff Houghtby. Mercado-Hood then doubled to left to score Waltner. In the second inning, Houghtby singled to score Chris McCready.

The Toreros added to their lead in the top of the fifth inning by scoring four runs. Kunst doubled to lead off the inning and was then driven home on a single by Waltner. Mercado-Hood then doubled to bring Waltner home. Jay Schuyler doubled to score Roman Garcia and Mercado-Hood and put USD up 7-0.

Junior right-handed pitcher Michael Bono was dealt the loss after throwing 4.2 innings and allowing seven earned runs.

USD tacked on three runs in the top of the sixth inning to extend the lead to 10-0. The lead stretched to 11-0 in the top of the eighth.

McCarthy led off the bottom of the ninth inning with a double and then came around to score after a single by junior Anthony Geremia and a grounder by junior Evan Haberle.

Up Next: Santa Clara will play the series finale on Sunday at 1 p.m. PT.

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