LOS ANGELES, Calif. – Santa Clara baseball snapped Loyola Marymount's eight-game winning streak on Friday night with a 10-3 win at Page Stadium. Sophomore third baseman John Cresto went 2-for-5 at the plate with a double, a home run and four runs driven in while right-handed pitchers Brandon Buckley and Eric Lex combined to allow zero earned runs.
"They're just not giving in, there's no quit in this group," head coach Dan O'Brien said. "What does that say about them? How does that not fire you up? A team this young that's taken this many punches and continues to battle every day? That's flat out inspiring. Now, if they can embrace the one-game season mentality and show up with an edge to go 1-0 tomorrow, then they'll have taken a huge step forward as a team."
Santa Clara (7-22, 3-4 WCC) jumped out to a 4-0 lead over Loyola Marymount (19-11, 7-3 WCC) after one inning and never looked back. Buckley made his first-career start on the mound and threw 3.0 scoreless innings. The freshman threw 39 pitches, allowing just one hit and striking out two of the 10 batters he faced. He was relieved by Lex (2-5) who threw 6.0 innings and earned the win for SCU. He allowed just five hits and three unearned runs while striking out seven batters.
The Broncos struck first by scoring four runs, three of which were unearned, in the first inning. Junior right fielder Niko Holm was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to score Cresto who reached on an error. Two straight groundouts scored senior left fielder Tyler Meditz and junior Jake Brodt. Holm then came around to score when redshirt freshman Ryan McCarthy reached on an error.
SCU added a run in the third inning when Holm singled and then scored from first on a double by junior second baseman Evan Haberle for his second RBI of the day.
Junior shortstop Austin Fisher singled to start the fourth inning and then came around to score as Cresto hit his team-leading sixth home run of the season. The Broncos took a 7-0 lead to the bottom of the fourth.
CRESTO BOMB! His 6th HR of the season is a two-run shot that scores Fisher and SCU leads 7-0!— Santa Clara Baseball (@SCU_Baseball) April 8, 2017
SCU 7-0 LMU
LMU scored three unearned runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to cut the Bronco lead to four. After a bunt single and an error, two groundouts drove in two runs. The third run came on an RBI single after a single and a wild pitch had a Lion in scoring position.
SCU responded in the top of the eighth inning with three runs of their own to push the lead to 10-3. After a single by freshman center fielder Andre Nnebe, two straight batters were walked to load the bases. Junior catcher Lucas Eliason walked to score Nnebe. Cresto then hit a two-run double to score Fisher and Haberle.
Up Next: Santa Clara will play game two of the series on Saturday at 6 p.m. PT.
Connect with the Broncos on Social Media