March 30, 2010
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Geoff Klein hit a game-winning single in the bottom of the ninth to lift Santa Clara past Albany Tuesday night at Stephen Schott Stadium, 11-10.
The Broncos gave up a four-run lead in the sixth, squandered another lead in the ninth but rallied to win on its home field. Klein finished the night 3-for-4 with two doubles and two walks. Tommy Medica hit his sixth homerun and extended his hitting streak to 16 games.
Santa Clara (12-11) has won 5-of-6 and owns a .344 team batting average - best in the West Coast Conference. Not only is the heart of the order (Curtis Wagner-Medica-Klein-Pat Stover) providing plenty of power, but everyone in the lineup is contributing.
Freshman third baseman Blake Leyva was a big part of helping SCU build an early 7-3 lead Tuesday, hitting a 2-RBI single in the third inning. Leyva went 3-for-5 with four RBI. Leyva has 11 hits in the past six games. Fellow newcomer, second baseman Evan Peters, is batting .545 during that span, with a team-leading six doubles.
"Our whole team is starting to hit the ball well," said Medica after the win. "(Evan) Peters is picking it up. The guys at the bottom of the lineup are getting on base. If we can carry that momentum into league we will be good to go."
The Broncos will host league-leading Portland (15-6) Thursday night at 7 p.m. It will be the WCC opener for both teams. The three-game series promises to be a big test for Santa Clara, who finished conference play 6-15 last year.
"We know we are going to be able to score runs and that's big for our pitchers," said Klein. "They have the luxury of pitching with a lead."
Seven different Santa Clara pitchers were used against Albany (1-18) Tuesday night. The Great Danes managed to score five runs in the fifth to take an 8-7 lead and Mike Tirri hit an RBI-double in the top of the ninth to tie it.
Klein's game-winning hit came with no outs and runners on the corners. Wagner began the SCU ninth with a single off Brian Gauthier (0-2), who then committed back-to-back throwing errors trying to pick off pinch-runner Josh Bninski on first and second. Albany chose to intentionally walk Medica before Klein smashed a 2-2 Gauthier offering through the right side of the infield.
GAME NOTES: The Broncos scored in seven of the nine innings... SCU is averaging 8.2 runs per game... Tommy Medica (.406 BA) and Geoff Klein (.372 BA) executed a double steal in the first inning - Medica is now 11-for-11 on the year swiping bags... Medica hit a no-doubt solo homerun in the fourth which easily cleared the batting cages beyond the leftfield fence...Six everyday players hit above .350...Closer J.R. Graham (1-1) was credited with the win.