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Santa Clara Drops Tough 5-4 Decision To Hawaii

Jan. 27, 2007

Box Score

HONOLULU, Hawaii - For the second day in a row, the Santa Clara baseball team found itself snake-bitten by the big inning, as a four-run effort by Hawaii erased an early Bronco lead and held up as the Rainbow Warriors defeated SCU 5-4 Saturday afternoon. Despite getting a couple of runs across late in the game, the Bronco comeback attempt fell short.

Santa Clara (0-2) will attempt to avoid the sweep Sunday afternoon, as Justin Kuehn takes the mound against the Rainbow Warriors in a 4:05 p.m. PT contest at Les Murakami Stadium.

Evan LeBlanc continued his successful Broncos debut Saturday, going 3-for-4 Saturday and reaching base in all five of his plate appearances. Gabe Alcantar also continued his hot start to the year, doubling twice. Nathan Faulkner also had a pair of hits and drove in a run late.

Yet just as on Friday, the Bronco defense fell victim to a big inning for Hawaii, this time in the fourth. After Faulkner and Matt Long scored following lead-off singles in the second to give SCU a 2-0 lead, the Rainbow Warriors responded in the fourth by batting around and scoring four runs, with Evan Zimny's two-run double providing the main damage.

Mark Rodrigues pitched five and a third innings to pick up the win for Hawaii, yielding to Tyler Davis in the sixth as SCU had two on and one out. Davis, though, got out of the jam by getting the next two batters to fly out and ground out, respectively, and allowed only two more runs on his way to picking up the save.

Freshman Nate Garcia took the loss in his Bronco debut, allowing four runs on six hits in four and a third innings of work, while striking out four. Fellow rookie Alex Rivers came on in relief in the fifth and promptly induced a 6-4-3 double play to get SCU out of its jam, and pitched effectively the rest of the way, striking out three and allowing only one hit.

But that one hit provided the margin of victory for the Rainbow Warriors. After Faulkner drove in Tommy Medica with a double in the seventh to get SCU within a run, Hawaii's Jorge Franco led off the bottom half of the inning with a solo drive to left to re-establish the two-run lead. Santa Clara got a run in the eighth on a Kevin Drever sacrifice fly, but Davis closed things up in the ninth to send the Broncos to their second loss.