Baseball Takes Series Opener Against Pepperdine, 5-2

Russell Grant II
Russell Grant II

Series Preview

MALIBU, Calif.Russell Grant II tossed six strong innings and Ryan McCarthy's RBI double in the seventh broke a 2-all deadlock to give Santa Clara baseball a 5-2 win over Pepperdine in the series opener on Friday afternoon.

Santa Clara (6-21, 1-6 WCC) picked up its first West Coast Conference win of the season as three Broncos pitchers combined to allow just two runs, both coming in the first inning, and shut out the Waves lineup the rest of the way.

Pepperdine (14-11, 5-5 WCC) got on the board in the opening frame on three hits including a solo home run by Brandt Belk off Grant to go up 2-0. However, the Bronco left-hander settled down and did not allow a hit until Belk's single in the seventh to lead the inning. Between the second and the hit by Belk in the seventh, Grant only gave up two base runners, a walk in the second and a hit batsmen in the fifth. At one point, he retired nine in a row including five of them by strikeouts to finish with a line of six innings, four hits, two runs, a walk and six punch outs.

Trailing 2-0 after the first, the Broncos got a run in the third on Jason Dicochea's RBI grounder and tied it up in the fifth on Gavin Maloney's squeeze bunt off of Waves starter Christian Stoutland.

In the seventh with the game tied at 2-all, Ryan McCarthy drove home Jake MacNichols on a double. MacNichols led off the inning with a single and moved to second Matt Jew's sacrifice bunt before advancing to third on aggressive base running on Connor Henriques' fly out to left.  The Broncos added another run when Maloney singled home McCarthy from second to pick up his second RBI of the game to give the Broncos a 4-2 lead.

Grant came out to pitch the seventh with the two run lead but gave up the leadoff hit to Belk before getting pulled in favor of Travis Howard who erased Belk off the base paths inducing a double play.

The Broncos added an insurance run in the eighth on Dicochea's solo home run, his fourth of the season, to make it 5-2.

Closer Eric Lex picked up his second save of the season pitching a scoreless ninth.

Grant (1-3) earned his first career win and Stoutland (1-2) took the complete game loss throwing 105 pitches and striking out 12 Broncos.

NEXT UP

Game two of the series pits Bronco right-hander Keegan McCarville (3-4, 3.52) against Waves lefty Easton Lucas (2-2, 4.62). First pitch is at 1 p.m.

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