Posted: Mar 16, 2019
LOS ANGELES – For the second consecutive game, Santa Clara baseball lost in walk-off fashion to LMU, this time by a score of 6-5 on a fielding error in the bottom of the ninth inning.
The Broncos held a 5-4 lead late in the game but a pair of costly errors in the eighth and ninth led to the game tying and winning runs for LMU (10-7, 2-0 WCC).
In the ninth, with the game tied at 5-all, Trevin Esquerra (2-for-4, 2 R, 2 RBIs) drew a one out walk from Santa Clara reliever Ethan Heinrich and subsequently advanced to second on a passed ball by Tony Boetto. Heinrich struck out Tommy Delgado (1-for-3, RBI) for the second out before inducing a ground ball to Alex Lambeau. However, the grounder was mishandled by Bronco second baseman Jason Dicochea, ricocheted into the outfield to allow Esquerra to beat the throw by the right-fielder Blake Faddoul for the winning run.
The Bronco defensive miscue came in the heels of another in the eighth. With Santa Clara leading 5-4, shortstop Dawson Brigman misfired on a Kenny Oyama ground ball sending it to the Broncos dugout. Oyama was the last batter that Brandon Buckley faced, who had another stellar outing in relief. The redshirt sophomore threw a career-high 5 1/3 innings besting his last outing when he threw five shutout innings before giving way to Heinrich.
With Oyama at second, Ben Grunberg's (1-for-4) RBI single off Heinrich tied the game at 5-5.
A night after the 18 inning five hour marathon game, the Santa Clara (3-14, 0-2 WCC) bats came alive in the first inning. The Broncos scored four runs on four hits off LMU starter Josh Agnew. They scored all its runs after two outs with Jake MacNichols delivering the big hit, a three-run home run to bring home Ryan McCarthy and Cam Allie who each singled, to give the Broncos a 4-0 lead.
The Lions chipped away at the Bronco lead with a run in the first, two runs in the third and another run in the fourth to tie the game at 4-all. Esquerra's two-run homer off Matthew McGarry in the third knocked out the Bronco starter giving way to Buckley.
Santa Clara regained the lead in the seventh on Dicochea's sacrifice fly to make it 5-4 but the Broncos could not close the deal.
Heinrich (0-1) was the losing pitcher on record and CJ Fernandezees (2-1) who threw the final 2 2/3 innings for the Lions was credited for the win.
-The three-run home run by MacNichols, the 13th homer hit by the Broncos was the first non-solo home run for the Broncos this season.
-In the last six games, the Broncos relievers have allowed just six runs, four earned over 33 2/3 innings.
The series finale takes place on Sunday at 1 p.m.