May 12, 2018
SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Santa Clara baseball scored four runs in the bottom on the seventh, including a bases clearing double by Jake MacNichols, to beat Loyola Marymount 6-3 to take the West Coast Conference series on Saturday afternoon.
The Broncos (24-24, 10-13 WCC) have now won three consecutive WCC series and will look to sweep the Lions on Senior Day Sunday when 13 seniors will be recognized prior to the game.
Santa Clara trailed 3-1 heading to the home half of the seventh having kept in check by Lions starter Tyler Cohen who allowed just one run in his six innings of work while throwing 93 pitches.
LMU (21-26, 12-11 WCC) made a pitching change in the bottom of the seventh and the Broncos took advantage of it. Lions reliever Braydon Salzman plunked Joe Becht (1-for-4, R) and issued a walk to Jason Dicochea (3-for-4, R) before giving way to Josh Agnew. Jake Brodt (1-for-4, R, RBI) singled to center against the sophomore right-hander bringing home Becht to cut the Lions to one run, 3-2. John Cresto followed with a walk to load the bases setting up the stage for MacNichols.
The Bronco catcher roped the ball to left that the Lions leftfielder Kenny Oyama gloved a step before crashing into the wall but the impact jarred the ball loose allowing all three runners to score to give the Broncos a 5-3 lead.
Niko Holm homered in the eighth for a Bronco insurance run.
Four Santa Clara pitchers combined to give up only six hits to the Lions and none after the fifth inning. Luke Genova (1-0) who entered the game in the sixth in relief of Broncos starter Freddie Erlandson pitched 3 1/3 scoreless innings allowing only a pair of walks to pick up his first win of the season.
The two walks by Genova came in the ninth with the Broncos leading 6-3. With the tying run at the plate, head coach Rusty Filter made a pitching change to Michael Praszker who walked the only batter he faced to load the bases. Filter tapped into his bullpen going with Steven Wilson who closed out Friday's game. Facing LMU's cleanup hitter Trevin Esquerra with the bases loaded and two outs, the sixth-year senior got Esquerra to fly out to center to close out the game.
The Broncos will send one of the 13 seniors, Alex Barden to the mound on Sunday against Lions right-hander CJ Fernandezees. The pregame ceremony is scheduled to start at 11:35 a.m. PT. First pitch is 12:05 p.m.