May 01, 2018
SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. – Stellar pitching by Santa Clara starter Michael Praszker and production from the middle of the lineup helped the Broncos to a 4-3 win over Cal Poly in a non-conference game on Tuesday night at Baggett Stadium.
The Broncos (20-22) swept the season series against the Mustangs (19-24) after winning the front end of the home-and-home series last week at Santa Clara.
Praszker threw a career-high six innings, giving up four hits and one run. The right-hander struck out five and did not issue a walk.
Behind the hitting of Jake Brodt (3-for-5, R, 2 RBIs) and Matt Smithwick (3-for-3, RBI) who combined to drive in three of the four runs and six of the 11 hits, Santa Clara scored a run in the first, third, fifth and seventh innings to build a 4-1 lead.
Penn Murfee came out of the bullpen to relieve Praszker in the seventh. Murfee, who was the winning pitcher in last week's matchup against the Mustangs, struggled with his command on Tuesday night, giving up a pair of walks in the seventh and eighth innings. But the sidearm thrower managed to get out of both innings stranding two runners on base in each inning, including getting a 5-4-3 double play with the bases loaded in the eighth to escape the inning.
However, the Mustangs lineup got to Murfee in the ninth, loading the bases for the second inning in a row on a pair of singles and a walk. With two outs, Mustangs cleanup hitter Tate Samuelson singled in two runs to cut the Broncos lead to 4-3. Samuelson drove in all three runs for the Mustangs, including an RBI grounder in the first to tie the game 1-1.
With tying run at third and the go ahead run at first, Murfee got Nick Meyer to ground out to second to end the game and hold onto a 4-3 victory. The difference in the game proved to be Jake Brodt's league leading 12th home run, a solo shot, in the seventh inning.
Praszker (2-2) who gave up just two hits after the first inning picked up the win with Thomas Triantos (1-3) taking the loss. Murfee had to work hard to pick up his third save of the season.
The Broncos have now won four of the last five games including two wins over the Mustangs over the stretch.
Santa Clara will resume WCC action when it travels to Pacific to take on the Tigers starting Friday night at 6 p.m. PT.