SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Mac Lardner yielded three runs in eight-plus innings and Gonzaga's four-run second inning was enough to hold on for a 6-5 over Santa Clara baseball on Saturday in the rubber game of the three-game series.
The Broncos (8-29, 2-13 West Coast Conference) rallied in the ninth inning, but left the tying and potential game-winning runs on base.
Trailing 6-2, Cam Allie drove in Connor Henriques and Matthew Calhoun with a one-out single off reliever Gonzaga (19-16, 12-6) reliever Michael Spellacy. Gavin Maloney also scored on the play courtesy of a throwing error by first baseman Nick Nyquist.
Nick Trogrlic-Iverson, who earned his first save of the season, replaced Spellacy and got the final two outs sandwiched around a Jason Dicochea infield single that left runners on the corners.
Lardner (3-3) surrendered six hits while walking just one and striking out eight in 8 1/3 innings.
Ernie Yake and Brett Harris each had two of the 10 hits for the Bulldogs.
Nyquist had a run-scoring single and Mason Marenco a two-run triple in the second off Santa Clara starter Locke Bernhardt to highlight the second-inning outburst.
Dicochea and Jake MacNichols cut the lead in half with run-scoring singles in the third inning, but Harris led off the next frame with a home run off Broncos reliever Luke Tillmann and Morenco scored an unearned run to increase the lead to 6-2.
Allie and Dicochea each had three hits for the Broncos who used eight pitchers.
Bernhardt (2-3) took the loss after lasting only two innings. He allowed four runs (all earned) on four hits.
The Broncos won Thursday's series-opener 4-0 as Russell Grant II, Keegan McCarville and Eric Lex combined to surrender only four hits, and Andre Nnebe smashed a three-run homer. But the Bulldogs claimed a 10-2 win on Friday.
The Broncos face Cal Poly at home on Tuesday to close out a nine-game homestand. Santa Clara plays at Portland beginning Friday in a three-game series.