April 7, 2007
(San Francisco, CA) - A ninth inning Santa Clara grand slam silenced San Francisco, as the Dons fell to the Broncos 10-6 in West Coast Conference action at Benedetti Diamond Saturday afternoon. USF (17-17, 2-4 WCC) hasn't lost a season series against SCU (17-17, 4-2 WCC) since 2004.
Heading into the top of the ninth inning tied at 6-6, Broncos freshman catcher Tommy Medica singled and advanced to second on sophomore right fielder Matt Long's bunt single. After fielding confusion, junior third baseman Gabe Alcantar reached on a bunt, promptly loading the bases with no outs. Junior first baseman Ryan Conan then connected on a delivery from Dons junior right hander Brian Anderson and sent the ball over the left field fence to make it 10-6.
USF fell behind in the second when right-handed starter Tommy Peale allowed four runs, but came back with three in the fourth and two in the fifth to make it 5-4.
In the fourth, junior first baseman Mitchell Bialosky and senior catcher Jon Norfolk singled and scored on senior designated hitter Blake Nelson's blast to left. Nelson's second homerun of the season is also his second of this series as he punched one over the right field fence in game one. In the fifth, junior right fielder Luke Sommer reached on a fielder's choice and Bialosky singled before Norfolk doubled to right, scoring two.
Santa Clara re-took the lead with a two-spot in the seventh, but USF would not be outdone as it plated one of its own in the eighth to make it 6-6. In SCU's seventh, after a single and a double, Alcantar smacked a ground-rule double into the ivy in right.
Anderson (0-2) took the loss for the Dons, allowing four earned runs off four hits and a walk in 0.1 innings of work. Peale earned the no-decision for USF, throwing 6.1 innings, allowing six earned runs off seven hits and a walk. Peale recorded four strikeouts.
Norfolk led all Dons batters with three hits, two RBI and a run scored. Bialosky and junior second baseman Joey Railey had two hits. Nelson, Morales, senior left fielder Jonnie Knoble, and junior shortstop Tavo Hall added one each.
Junior right-hander Jeff Lombard (3-2) earned the win in relief, throwing 2.0 innings, allowing one earned run off three hits and a walk. Sophomore left-hander Donald Brandt started for the Broncos, allowing four earned runs off five hits and two walks in 4.0 innings.
Medica went 5-for-5 for SCU, with a double, RBI and two runs scored. Alcantar and freshman shortstop Jon Karcich added two hits each.
USF returns to action Tuesday, in non-conference action against Sacramento State. Game time at Benedetti Diamond is set for 2:30 PM.