PORTLAND, ORE. – Santa Clara baseball won game two of the series against Portland by a score of 7-4 on Saturday night. Senior right-handed pitcher Jacob Steffens threw his second complete game of the season to give the Broncos their second West Coast Conference win.
Santa Clara (6-20, 2-3 WCC) capitalized on four errors by Portland (5-21, 1-7 WCC) to pick up its second win in its last three league games. Steffens (2-3) allowed three earned runs and struck out 11 batters in his nine innings pitched. Reliever Tate Budnick (0-6) was charged with the loss, allowing three earned runs in three innings pitched.
SCU scored in the first inning for the second straight game, as freshman center fielder Andre Nnebe singled and then junior first baseman Jake Brodt hit a two-run home run to give the lead. It was Brodt's second home run of the season and 13th run batted in.
Portland scored four runs in the bottom of the third inning to take the lead. After two straight singles, the Pilots scored on a throwing error. Portland hit another single and then Kevin Wade hit a two-run double. The Pilots scored their final run of the inning on a groundout.
The Broncos pulled a run back in the top of the fifth and cut it to 4-3 when sophomore third baseman John Cresto walked to leadoff the inning. He then advanced to second and third base on a throwing error and ended up scoring on a passed ball.
SCU scored two runs and took the lead in the top of the seventh inning. Nnebe singles to start things off and then Brodt doubled to put runners on second and third for redshirt freshman Ryan McCarthy. He grounded out but was able to drive in Nnebe. Brodt advanced to third base and later scored on a wild pitch to put SCU up 5-4.
Freshman catcher Jake MacNichols hit a solo home run in the top of the eighth inning to extend the lead to 6-4. It was his fourth home run of the season. SCU added an insurance run in the top of the ninth when junior right fielder was walked with the bases loaded to score junior Evan Haberle.
Up Next: Santa Clara play the series finale at 1 p.m. PT on Sunday.
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