March 10, 2007
FRESNO, Calif. - The Fresno State Bulldogs caught a case of the "Matts" Saturday afternoon as Santa Clara's Matt Long and Matt Wickswat played pivotal roles in SCU's 4-1 victory over the Bulldogs in Fresno. Wickswat threw the first complete game of his collegiate career while Long had three hits and drove in a pair of runs.
The win helps the Broncos (12-11) even the three-game series, with the rubber game set for Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m.
Wickswat scattered seven hits, struck out five, and didn't allow an earned run on the day, and picked up his team-leading fourth win of the season and lowered his ERA to 3.99.
Long went 3-for-4 with two RBIs on the day, while Carl Bacon had a pair of singles from the designated hitter spot.
The contest was scoreless until the fifth inning, but both pitchers had to escape a jam in the first before settling in. Fresno State's Clayton Allison was faced with a runners on the corners, two-out situation, but got Ryan Conan to fly out to end the threat. Wickswat, in the bottom half of the inning, found himself in a bases-loaded, one-out jam but was helped out of it by his defense, as third baseman Gabe Alcantar forced out the runner on third in the ensuing at-bat before Fresno's Brian Lapin fouled out to end the inning.
Santa Clara then struck in the fifth, as Bacon singled up the middle to lead things off and then went to third on Evan LeBlanc's double. Although Bacon was cut down at the plate trying to score on a wild pitch and Tommy Medica popped out in the next sequence, the Broncos came through with two outs. Jon Karcich and Juan Parra drew walks to keep the inning alive and load the bases, and David Hoffmire followed with a base hit to right that scored LeBlanc. Long then followed with a single to center that plated Karcich and Parra to give SCU a 3-0 lead.
Fresno State got a run back in the sixth thanks to a pair of Bronco miscues. Todd Sandell reached base on Alcantar's error to start the inning, and went to second on Ozzie Lewis' walk two batters later. Sandell went to third on a fly ball by Lapin, and scored on Wickswat's balk to make it 3-1.
Yet Wickswat buckled down and struck out Tom Mendonca to end the inning, and cruised through the seventh and eighth innings. The Broncos then got a run on Ryan Conan's sacrifice fly in the ninth to add some insurance.
The Bulldogs threatened in the ninth, as singles by Lapin and Alan Ahmady put runners on first and second with two outs, but Wickswat got Erik Wetzel to ground into a game-ending fielder's choice.