March 10, 2007
FRESNO, Calif. - Another frustrating turn of events transpired Friday night in Fresno as the Santa Clara baseball team was caught from behind by the Fresno State Bulldogs and eventually defeated, 8-7, in 10 innings. The Broncos let an early 6-1 lead, as well as a 7-5 lead in the eighth inning get away from them as they dropped the opener of the weekend's three-game set.
The series continues Saturday afternoon with a 1 p.m. contest, and Sunday's finale is also set for a 1 p.m. first pitch.
The Bulldogs, trailing 7-5 heading into the bottom of the eighth inning, got the first two batters on base to chase reliever Steve Kalush, before scoring a run on an error by reliever Jeff Lombard and tying things up on Todd Sandell's RBI double.
Sandell went 2-for-6 with three RBIs to pace the Bulldogs.
After neither team scored in the ninth, and the Broncos were set down in order in the top half of the tenth, Fresno State got a two-out single from Brian Lapin to bring home the winning run from second base.
Lombard, who struck out four in two and two-thirds innings of relief, took the loss for the Broncos, his first of the season.
The Broncos jumped on the Bulldogs early Friday evening, taking advantage of a Fresno State error to stage a four-run, two-out rally. After SCU's first two batters were retired, Long singled, and the inning was kept alive when Gabe Alcantar reached on an error by Sandell at shortstop.
Consecutive doubles by Conan and Bacon brought the first three runs in, and LeBlanc's RBI single capped SCU's four-run first.
The Bulldogs got one run back in their half of the first, on Steve Susdorf's RBI double.
Santa Clara extended the lead to five at 6-1 in the fourth, as Jon Karcich and Juan Parra walked, and David Hoffmire reached on a bunt single to load the bases with no outs. Long's sacrifice fly to center scored Karcich, and Parra came home on a balk by Bulldog starter Justin Wilson.
SCU starter Nate Garcia, after allowing a run in the first, retired 10 of the next 11 Fresno State batters he faced until running into trouble in the fifth. Danny Grubb and Erik Wetzel started the inning off with singles, and two batters later, Sandell hit his second double of the night to knock in both runners. After advancing to third on a wild pitch, Sandell scored when Susdorf reached on an error.
Garcia, who was relieved at that point, struck out three batters and gave up four runs on six hits in four and a third innings of work.
The teams traded runs in the seventh, as LeBlanc's double scored Bacon from first, and in the bottom half, Bulldog designated hitter Brian Overland drove in a run with an RBI single.
Jason Breckley picked up his second win of the season in relief, throwing two perfect innings and striking out two.