Feb. 6, 2007
Santa Clara - 7
UC Davis - 6
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Things continued to fall into place for the Santa Clara baseball team Tuesday night, as timely hitting, patience at the plate, and clutch pitching worked in cohesive fashion. These elements set the stage for the Broncos to score the game-winning run in the bottom of the ninth for their fourth straight win, a 7-6 triumph over the UC Davis Aggies at Schott Stadium.
SCU (5-2) will now hot the road this weekend, traveling to Southern California to battle the San Diego State Aztecs in a three-game series. Friday's contest is set for a 6 p.m. first pitch, while Saturday and Sunday's games will get underway at 1 p.m.
"I was really pleased with the guys coming back from behind like they did, especially because they did it later in the game, which shows how much heart there is on this team," said head coach Mark O'Brien. "They kept their heads up, put the ball in play with two strikes and hit solid line drives, that's what you have to do."
Matt Long went 3-for-5 for the Broncos Tuesday night, while freshman Jon Karcich hit his first collegiate home run and drove in a pair of runs while scoring three. Gabe Alcantar continued his hot start to the 2007 season by stroking a pair of hits, including a fourth-inning triple. Freshman Tommy Medica provided the game-winning hit, lashing a line drive down the left-field line to plate Karcich with the deciding run.
On the hill, Jeff Lombard earned his second win of the season, working the final two-thirds of the ninth as he induced a 4-6-3 double play off the bat of the Aggies' Aaron Hanke to end a two-on, one-out threat.
"Jeff has a lot of confidence right now and that's because he's doing everything he needs to do to be successful," said O'Brien. "His fastball is down and he is using his secondary pitches at will."
Steve Kalush worked two scoreless innings of relief, striking out three to bolster the SCU bullpen's effort.
UC Davis got on the board first, as a couple of singles and a walk loaded the bases with one out for Michael Hernandez, who cleared the sacks with a line-drive double to left-center. SCU starter Donald Brandt calmed down after that opening flurry, though, giving up only one more run in the third before ending his night with a 1-2-3 fourth inning.
After manufacturing a run in the second, the Broncos cut things to one in the fourth, as Karcich led things off with a towering drive that cleared the left-field wall for his, and the team's, first home run of the season. Alcantar followed with a tailing line drive to right that a diving Hanke could not come up with, and ended up with a stand-up triple. Kevin Drever's first sacrifice fly of the night plated Alcantar in the next at-bat.
While the Aggies answered with a run right away to up the lead to 5-3, the Broncos responded in the seventh, scoring three times without a single hit as they used patience, heads-up baserunning, and a little bit of luck to grab their first lead. After Nathan Faulkner reached on an error to start the inning, David Hoffmire and Karcich walked to load the bases, then they all advanced a base on Trevor Fox's wild pitch, making it a 5-4 game.
With Alcantar intentionally walked to re-load the bases, Fox committed a balk to bring in the tying run, before Drever hit another sacrifice fly to score Alcantar with the go-ahead run and a 6-5 lead.
But UC Davis answered again in their next time up, with a two-out RBI double to left-center by Jacob Jeffries.
That just set the stage for Lombard and the Broncos. After Lombard got out of the ninth with the double play ball, SCU used a lead-off single from Hoffmire and walks to Karcich and Alcantar to load the bases once more. After a fielder's choice, Medica ripped into a Nik Aurora offering, scoring Karcich and delivering SCU's fourth straight win.
Pepperdine - 7
Long Beach State - 7
Malibu, Calif. - Sophomore Eric Thames continued his torrid hitting with a three-run double that capped a five-run fourth inning and staked Pepperdine to a 7-0 lead over No. 30 Long Beach State Tuesday afternoon at Eddy D. Field Stadium. However, that lead would not hold up as the 49ers took advantage of eight walks and tied the game on a three-run home run by Danny Espinosa in the eighth inning.
That was how the game would end as it called due to darkness before the Waves (1-2-1) could bat in the bottom of the ninth inning.
Things began well for Pepperdine as it took a 2-0 lead in the second inning, rallying for a pair of runs with two outs. Freshman designated hitter Mark Tracy singled to center and senior left fielder Luke Salas walked ahead of a two-run double to left-centerfield by sophomore second baseman Denny Duron.
The Waves appeared to have broken the game open in the fourth inning as they sent nine batters to the plate and scored five times to take a 7-0 lead. A leadoff walk to open the inning started the rally that was highlighted by a run-scoring single by junior shortstop Danny Worth and Thames' bases-clearing double.
However, walks would come back to haunt the Waves as Long Beach State (2-1-1) took advantage of three free passes to begin the fifth inning and scored four times to cut the deficit to 7-4.
Junior right hander Robert Della Grotta, who seamed in control, walked the first two batters he faced to open the fifth before giving way to junior right hander Adam Olbrychowski, who immediately surrendered a walk and two-run single. Shane Peterson, who started on the mound for the 49ers, singled with two outs to drive home a pair of runs and make it a 7-4 game.
That would be all the scoring until the eighth inning when Espinosa hit a 3-2 pitch from freshman left-hander Jonathan Harmston over the left-centerfield fence for a game-tying three-run home run.
Della Grotta, making his first start of 2007, worked four innings, allowed one hit, two runs, walked two and struck out one before giving way to Olbrychowski.
Pepperdine returns to action on Friday when it opens a three-game series against UC Davis at Eddy D. Field Stadium beginning at 2 p.m.
USC - 5
Loyola Marymount - 2
LOS ANGELES, Calif. - In their first mid-week match-up of 2007, the Lions fell to USC 5-2 at Page Stadium. Sophomore Lee Roberts threw a scoreless 3.1 innings in relief for LMU (3-1), but the damage was already done as USC (3-2) had built a 4-0 lead by the third inning.
The Trojans scored three runs in the second inning on three singles and a walk off LMU starter Kevin Hernandez. They went on to add unearned runs in the third and ninth innings.
LMU cut USC's lead in half in the bottom of the fourth when singles by Eric Farris, Justin Bunkis, and Angelo Songco and a pair of walks scored Farris and Nik Garcia. But the two runs on seven hits were all the game in had store for the Lions.
Trojan starter Tommy Milone earned the victory and improved to 2-0 after allowing the two runs on six hits in six innings of work.
Hernandez fell to an even 1-1 on the season for the Lions after his 1.2 innings. Nate Keadle also tossed 1.2 innings for LMU before giving way to Roberts, who retired seven straight Trojans. The Lions' sophomore entered the game in the fourth inning with one out and the bases loaded. Roberts got USC's top hitter, Matt Cusick, to ground into a double play to get out of the inning. He finished with 3.1 innings of scoreless relief.
Farris, the reigning West Coast Conference Player of the Week, went 2-for-4 with a run scored for LMU.
Songco and fellow freshman Ryan Wheeler each had an RBI.
Center fielder Nick Buss led USC offensively, going 3-for-5 with an RBI.
The Lions will next play a three-game series with UC Irvine this weekend. Friday and Saturday's match-ups will be night games in Irvine. The teams will return to Page Stadium for Sunday's 1:00 p.m. game. All three contests will be carried live and free of charge on Lions' All-Access at www.LMULions.com.
San Jose State - 6
San Francisco - 1
San Mateo, Calif. - USF baseball struggled offensively and dropped a 6-1 non-conference decision to Bay Area rival San Jose State Tuesday afternoon in non-conference action at College of San Mateo Stadium. The Dons (2-2) pitched effectively for much of the game but managed just three hits against stingy pitching from the Spartans (2-2).
Junior outfielder Luke Sommer clubbed his first home run of the season for the Dons to lead off the seventh, finishing 2-for-4 with a stolen base. Senior catcher Jonathan Norfolk collected the Dons first hit of the game with a third inning single.
Junior right-hander Mitchell Bialosky (0-1) turned in a strong performance in his first career start for the Dons, tossing 5.0 innings, allowing two runs off three hits and struck out seven. After giving up a two-run double in the second, Bialosky retired eight straight Spartans before giving up a one-out single in the fifth.
Junior right-hander Brian Anderson came on in the sixth as San Jose tacked on three runs after connecting on four consecutive singles. Freshman right-hander Alex Kalogrides made his Dons pitching debut in the seventh inning, allowing one hit in a scoreless frame.
Senior right-hander John Quine recorded a pair of strikeouts in the eighth before yielding to senior right-hander Daniel Morales, who retired SJSU in order in the ninth.
Senior right-hander Corey Cabral (1-1) collected the win for the Spartans, while senior righty Steven Vidal tossed a masterful 4.1 innings allowing one run off two hits and struck out five without issuing a walk.
USF returns to action when it travels north to take on Sacramento State in a three-game series beginning Friday, February 9. First pitch at Hornet Stadium is set for 2:00 PM.