Posted: Mar 10, 2018
SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The beat goes on with the 2018 edition of Santa Clara baseball, pulling out a 4-3 extra inning win over Sacramento State (5-10) after being down to its final strike on two occasions. The Broncos have now won seven straight games, three consecutive series and four extra inning games to move to 11-3 on the season.
Trailing 3-2 in the top of the ninth with two outs against Hornets reliever Austin Roberts, Bronco right fielder Niko Holm (3-for-3, R) was down to his final strike before singling to keep the Bronco hopes alive. For Holm, it was his third hit on the evening before being pinch-run by Anthony Geremia who promptly stole second to get into scoring position.
The next batter, Jason Dicochea (1-for-4, RBI) quickly found himself in a 0-2 hole in the count. Again facing the final strike, the sophomore shortstop worked himself back to a 2-2 count and singled up the middle to drive home Geremia to tie the game up, 3-3.
In extra innings, where the Broncos were 3-0 entering the game, Jake Brodt delivered a solo home run to left field off Hornet reliever Alex Dentoni for the go ahead run in the 10th. It was Brodt's fifth home run of the year and the second game winning hit of the series, after getting the walk-off single in the 10th inning on Thursday's series opening win over the Hornets.
Bronco closer Eric Lex (2-0), who came into the game in the ninth, struck out the side in the 10th frame, to earn his second win of the season with both wins coming in the series.
Dentoni (1-2) took the loss for the Hornets.
The game was a pitcher's dual between Bronco starter Alex Waldsmith and Hornets starter Parker Brahms who entered the game having pitched 21 consecutive scoreless innings to start the 2018 season, the most by a pitcher in Division I.
Waldsmith pitched six innings, allowing just four hits and a pair of walks while allowing two unearned runs. Both the unearned runs came in the third inning on a fielding error by Joe Becht.
Like his counterpart, Brahms' two unearned runs were due to miscues on the field. In the fifth, the Broncos loaded the bases on singles by Evan Haberle (1-for-4, R) and Austin Reyes (1-for-4) sandwiching a hit by pitch on Holm. Grant Meylan's (0-for-4, BB) grounder to short was thrown away, allowing Haberle and Hold to score to even up the score, 2-2.
Waldsmith exited the game after throwing 96 pitches across six innings while Brahms left after seven innings and 105 pitches, while striking out 12 Broncos.
Santa Clara will go for the series sweep on Sunday against Hornets right-hander Austin Root (1-1, 2.57 ERA). The Bronco starter is TBA. First pitch is at 1 p.m. PT.