Posted: Mar 16, 2018
SAN DIEGO – Santa Clara baseball won its West Coast Conference opener against San Diego, 13-2, scoring 12 unanswered runs powered by six extra base hits and got strong pitching performances from Steven Wilson and Penn Murfee.
Coming into the game, San Diego led the conference in hitting with a .288 average but Bronco starter Steven Wilson and reliever Penn Murfee combined to hold San Diego to just two runs on six hits while striking out 10 Toreros.
After being held to a total of 10 hits in the last two games, the Santa Clara (12-4, 1-0 WCC) bats came alive scoring 13 runs on 14 hits and taking advantage of getting hit five times by the San Diego pitching staff.
Jake Brodt (3-for-5, 2 R, 3 RBIs) and Austin Reyes (2-for-4, 3 R, 4 RBIs) each homered for the Broncos. Reyes' home run was his first career home run, a three-run shot, which came in the top of the ninth inning to put the finishing touches on the 13-2 score.
The Broncos got off to a quick start when Joe Becht (1-for-5, R, RBI) led off the game with a single off San Diego starter Paul Richan to extend his consecutive bases reached streak to 16 games. Andre Nnebe, who was making his season debut returning from an injury, made an immediate impact doubling home Becht to put the Broncos up 1-0 in the top of the first.
The Torerors (9-9, 0-1 WCC) answered back with two runs in the home half of the first on three hits and a sacrifice fly off Wilson. However, that's all San Diego would get as Wilson settled down, allowing two more hits in his four innings of work, throwing 68 pitches on the night.
In the third, the Broncos tied it up, 2-2, on Brodt's double that brought home Reyes.
With the game tied 2-2, Wilson walked the first two batters he faced in the bottom of the fifth before turning it over to Murfee. The transfer from Vanderbilt got out of the no out, two runners on jam by retiring the next three San Diego hitters.
The tide shifted from that moment as Santa Clara scored the go ahead run in the next inning. Brodt hit a double with one out and came home on a Evan Haberle (2-for-5, R, RBI) single to give the Broncos a 3-2 advantage.
The Broncos added 10 more runs in the eighth and ninth innings capped off by Reyes' first career home run.
Murfee (3-0) finished the game pitching the last five innings and allowing one hit to earn his third win of the season. Richan (1-3) took the loss for the Toreros.
Game two of the series will be played at 5 p.m. PT. Bronco right-hander Alex Waldsmith (0-1, 2.60 ERA) will face Toreros southpaw Chris Murphy (1-1, 6.43 ERA).