Posted: May 05, 2018
STOCKTON, Calif. – Santa Clara baseball put up four runs each in the first and second innings en route to a 12-4 win over Pacific on Saturday night to even the conference series, setting up Sunday's rubber game.
The Broncos (21-23, 7-13 WCC) sent nine batters to the plate in the opening frame against Tigers starter Ricky Reynoso, collecting five hits. Jason Dicochea (1-for-4, 2 R) and Joe Becht (2-for-4, 3 R, RBI) led off the game with back-to-back singles. With one out, John Cresto (2-for-4, 2 R, 3 RBIs) singled home Dicochea for the first run of the game. That was followed by an RBI double by Niko Holm (2-for-4, 2 R, 2 RBIs) and another double by Ryan McCarthy (2-for-3, 3 RBIs) that plated two runs to give the Broncos a 4-0 lead after one.
In the second, Jake Brodt (1-for-5, R, 2 RBIs) went yard with Dicochea on base to extend the Broncos lead to 6-0. For Brodt, it was his league leading 13th home run along with his 46th and 47th RBI of the season. Reynoso walked the next batter Cresto and struck out Jake MacNichols before getting the hook after just 1 2/3 innings.
Against Tigers reliever Justin Giovannoni, Cresto stole second before Holm drove him home on an RBI single. McCarthy followed with his second double in as many innings to bring home Holm to give the Broncos an eight run cushion after two.
Bronco starter Travis Howard (2-1) pitched solidly, going six innings while giving up five hits and four runs, three earned, and striking out six before departing with 96 pitches. It was the second consecutive six inning outing for Howard after throwing 6 2/3 innings against San Francisco last Saturday.
The only problematic inning for the right-hander came in the second when he allowed three runs on three hits and two walks. With three runs already in, Dicochea's glove work helped limit the Tigers (19-26, 9-14 WCC) from incurring further damage when Pacific's Matthew Tarantino hit a sharp ground up the middle with one out and runners at first and second. Shortstop Dicochea dove to his left behind second base and glove tossed to second baseman Austin Reyes to initiate a 6-4-3 double play to end the inning to keep the score at 8-3.
Santa Clara added a pair of runs in the sixth and eighth innings on RBI doubles by Becht and Cresto. On the day, six of the 11 Bronco hits went for extra bases and with runners on base, the team went 9-for-22.
Luke Martin-Resnick, who came into relief for Howard in the seventh, pitched three scoreless innings to record his first save of the season and the second of his career.
Reynoso (4-3) took the loss for the Tigers.
Michael Praszker (2-2, 3.99 ERA) will be on the mound for the Broncos for Sunday's 1 p.m. rubber game against Cooper Casad (3-5, 3.75 ERA).
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