PORTLAND, Ore. – Portland outlasted Santa Clara baseball, 13-9 in the series finale on Sunday in a game that featured a total of 12 hits, 19 walks and nine hit batsmen.
Santa Clara (10-31, 3-15 West Coast Conference) trailed by as many as seven runs but clawed back to get within three on Cam Allie's two-RBI single in the sixth to cut the Pilots lead to 12-9 but that's as close as the Broncos would come.
Pilots closer Connor Knutson (3-2) entered in the sixth after Allie's at-bat and tossed four scoreless innings to finish the game and earn his 10th save of the season. Knutson struck out six batters and walked one in his four innings of work.
The Bronco pitching staff was responsible for 15 of the free passes issued as Portland (23-21, 5-16 West Coast Conference) took advantage of it to build an early lead.
Portland jumped to a 5-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning on one hit, a Bronco error and five bases on balls. Matthew McGarry (0-2), who came in relief of Travis Howard, walked the first three batters he faced as they all scored as the right-hander took the loss.
After the Broncos scored three in the top half of the third to make it a 5-3 game, the Pilots added five more runs in the home half of the inning to take a 10-3 lead, courtesy of three hit batsmen, two walks and one hit, a bases clearing double by Cody Hawken.
In the fourth, SCU put up three more runs including a two-RBI double by Tony Boetto but gave two runs back in the bottom of the inning to trail 12-6. Santa Clara would score a run in the fifth and two more in the sixth to get within three runs before Knutson shut the door.
Allie, Boetto, and Dawson Brigman each had multi-RBI games with Boetto leading the way with three RBIs.
The top of the Pilots lineup did much of the damage driving in nine runs including three each by leadoff man Chad Stevens and cleanup hitter Hawken.
Santa Clara hosts Stanford on Tuesday at 6 p.m.