Posted: Mar 24, 2018
SANTA CLARA, Calif. – For the first time this season, Santa Clara baseball was on the losing end of a one-run game, falling 6-5 to Saint Mary's on Saturday afternoon at Stephen Schott Stadium.
Heading into the bottom of the ninth trailing 6-3, the Broncos (14-6, 3-2 WCC) rallied to get within one run but could not push across another run across, stranding three runners on base to end the game.
In the ninth, Santa Clara loaded the bases on three singles from Evan Haberle (1-for-3, R), Jake MacNichols (2-for-3, R) and Jason Dicochea (4-for-4, R, RBI) against Gaels closer Michael Hobbs who was in his third inning of work.
The Broncos got a run across when Grant Meylan (2 RBIs) was hit by a pitch and made it a one run game on Austin Reyes' (RBI) grounder to short. Down 6-5, with the runners at the corners, Joe Becht (2 BBs) drew a walk to load the bases again with Niko Holm coming to the plate.
Hobbs closed out the game getting Holm to ground out to third baseman Austin Chauvin who stepped on third base for the unassisted out.
Santa Clara got a strong outing from starter Alex Waldsmith who pitched six scoreless innings allowing just two hits and issuing three walks. Michael Praszker relieved Waldsmith at the start of the seventh with a 2-0 lead thanks to Dicochea's RBI double in the fifth inning and coming home on a wild pitch by Gaels starter Kevin Milam.
In the seventh, Praszker allowed the first two Gaels batters to get on base before retiring the next two. With potential tying runs in scoring position, Broncos head coach Rusty Filter elected to go to his closer Eric Lex.
The Saint Mary's (11-8, 2-3 WCC) lineup got to Lex, with five consecutive hits putting six runs on the board to take a 6-2 lead.
Lex (2-1) took the loss with Milam (4-0) earning the win for Saint Mary's.
For Sunday's rubber match, the Gaels will send left-hander Ken Waldichuk (3-1, 1.07 ERA). The Broncos pitcher is TBA. First pitch is Noon PT.
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Tune in 10 minutes before the first pitch to listen to Penn Murfee in the pregame interview.