Posted: Mar 30, 2018
SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Santa Clara baseball overcame three deficits against Portland to even the West Coast Conference series on a warm Friday night at Schott Stadium. Bronco second baseman Jason Dicochea came up with the game-winning hit in the eighth and the Bronco bullpen combined to allow just one run in the final five innings to give Santa Clara (15-9, 4-4 WCC) a 7-6 victory.
In the home half of the eighth inning with the game tied 6-6, Bronco designated hitter Evan Haberle (2-for-3, 2 R) led off the inning with an RBI single against Pilots reliever Nick Shur. The ninth hitter, Austin Reyes (1-for-2, R) successfully advanced Haberle to second on a sacrifice bunt. With Anthony Geremia pinch running for Haberle, Portland brought in their closer Connor Knutson to face Joe Becht (2-for-5, R, RBI) who extended his consecutive bases reached streak to 24 games earlier in the game.
Becht hit the ball to the right side of the infield allowing Geremia to advance to third with Dicochea coming to at bat. The sophomore from Redondo Beach, California, singled up the middle to bring home Geremia for what turned out to be the game winning hit. It was Dicochea's third RBI and hit of the game to raise his season batting average to .292
In the ninth, Broncos head coach Rusty Filter brought in Penn Murfee to close out the game. Murfee walked the lead off batter but retired the next three batters to pick up his second save of the season.
Prior to Murfee's appearance, Freddie Erlandson shut down the Pilots offense allowing just two hits and an unearned run while striking out five in four innings of work. Erlandson (3-0) picked up his third win of the season.
Portland (9-16, 3-5 WCC) took the lead in the second, fourth and sixth innings but in each of the home half of the same inning, the Broncos answered with runs of their own.
Santa Clara got contributions throughout the lineup with nine different Broncos getting at least one hit.
Travis Howard (1-1, 4.18 ERA) will pitch for the Broncos in the rubber game of the series on Saturday with the first pitch at 1 p.m. PT. The Pilots will counter with Camden Muller (1-1, 4.15 ERA).
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