Posted: Mar 30, 2019
SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Santa Clara baseball brought the tying run to the plate in the bottom of the ninth after rallying from five runs down but its comeback bid fell just short losing to San Francisco, 6-4 on Saturday in the West Coast Conference home opening series.
Santa Clara (4-20, 0-5) trailed 6-1 to start the bottom of the eighth as San Francisco (15-11, 5-3) starter Scott Parker stymied the Broncos bats through the first seven innings. The Dons left-hander held the Broncos to just one run despite four errors by the Dons infielders but he worked around each miscue. Parker allowed four hits, walked four, struck out four before being pulled in favor of Julian Washburn to open the eighth inning after throwing 106 pitches.
In the eighth, Jake MacNichols hit a one out double off Washburn for his second extra base hit of the afternoon, and came home on Matt Jew's two-run home run to cut the Dons lead in half to 6-3. It was the fourth home run on the season for the freshman.
Trailing by three runs in the ninth against Dons closer Joey Steele, Dawson Brigman led off the inning after getting hit by a pitch. The next batter, Matt Smithwick who pinch hit for Blake Faddoul, brought home Brigman with a double to left-center to cut the deficit to two runs.
With the tying run at the plate, Steele hunkered down to retire Santa Clara's top of the order hitters to close out the game and earn his seventh save of the season and preserve the win for Parker (3-2).
Broncos starter Russell Grant II had an effective outing allowing just one run in the second on a fielding error by Jason Dicochea. The score remained 1-0 in favor of the Dons until Riley Helland led off the top of the sixth with a solo homer. Jacob Westerman doubled in another run to give the Dons a 3-0 lead.
Grant II finished the day going 5 1/3 innings allowed three runs, two earned on four hits, one walk and struck out four.
SCU got a run back in the bottom half of the sixth on Matt Jew's RBI single but San Francisco put three runs on the board in the seventh to push the lead out to 6-1.
The series concludes on Sunday with the first pitch at noon. Right-hander Holden Bernhardt (0-2, 7.45) will take the mound for the Broncos against righty Grant Nechak (0-0, 0.00 on 1.2 IP).
Season or single-game tickets are available. Click here to purchase online or contact the ticket office in Leavey Center weekdays between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. at (408) 554-4660 or BroncoTickets@scu.edu. Group discounts are also available through our ticket office sales and service consultants. Gates to Stephen Schott Stadium, as well as its ticket booth, are open one hour prior to the start of the game.
Parking is available in the Guadalupe lot, adjacent to 455 El Camino Real. The Guadalupe lot is reserved beginning 60 minutes before game time through the end of the event for free parking. Baseball parking is no longer allowed in the lot behind Schott Stadium's left field wall. Overflow parking is available in the Leavey Center lot. Spectators that plan to arrive more than an hour prior to game time on weekdays are encouraged to purchase a parking permit for the Leavey lot. All SCU lot parking is free on weekends. ADA parking is available in the lot directly in front of the main gates; there is no general public parking in this lot. Follow signs for parking instructions. Click here for a campus parking map.