Posted: Apr 15, 2018
SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Santa Clara baseball's comeback bid was thwarted by Pepperdine Duncan McKinnon's glove in the bottom of the eighth inning when the 5-foot-8 leftfielder robbed a hit from Jason Dicochea with the bases loaded and two outs.
Trailing 9-8 in the eighth, Dicochea (1-for-4, R) put a charge into the ball sending McKinnon to the warning track. The leftfielder leaped and as his back was crashing into the wall, the ball landed in the glove of his fully extended arm. The impact of the crash jarred the ball loose but before it popped out of the glove, McKinnon was able to close it to secure the third out for the Waves (17-17, 9-6 WCC).
The Broncos (15-18, 4-11 WCC) put themselves to take the lead when they scored five runs in the bottom of the seventh to cut the Waves deficit to one run, 9-8.
Down 9-3 in the seventh, Jake Brodt (2-for-4, R, 3 RBIs) hit a bases clearing double against Kiko Garcia to the left center gap to bring home Zach Walsh (2-for-2, R), Joe Becht (1-for-5, R) and Niko Holm (1-for-4, 2 R) to cut the Waves lead to 9-6. With the right-handed Garcia on the mound, Bronco head coach Rusty Filter elected to send left-handed hitter Cory Moore (1-for-1, R, 2 RBIs) to pinch-hit for Evan Haberle.
The freshman Moore who had just 17 at-bats coming into the game promptly deposited the Garcia pitch over the right field fence for his first collegiate home run to make it a one run game, 9-8.
Santa Clara put another runner on base in the seventh on Ryan McCarthy's single but Waves reliever Michael Mahony shut down the Broncos rally, striking out a pair of Broncos to end the inning. Mahony finished the game, including a 1-2-3 inning in the ninth to earn a save for the Waves.
Penn Murfee (4-2), who entered the game with a sparkling 1.72 ERA over 36 2/3 innings, gave up a season-high seven runs in three innings of relief to take the loss for the Broncos. Benjamin Slattery (1-0) was credited with the win.
A trio of Bronco relievers, Michael Praszker, Alex Waldsmith and Luke Martin-Resnick, pitched effectively allowing two hits and no runs over the last four innings while the Broncos mounted the comeback.
In the second inning, Matt Smithwick hit an opposite field two-run home run to tie the game at 2-2. It was the left-handed batter's fourth home run of the season, tied for third most on the team alongside Jake MacNichols. Brodt leads the team with 10 home runs and Cresto second with six.
Joe Becht extended his consecutive bases reached streak to 33 games when he singled in the seventh, before coming home on Brodt's double.
Next up for Santa Clara is a non-conference game at Cal on Tuesday. First pitch is at 7:05 p.m. PT.