April 14, 2007
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The Santa Clara Broncos bounced back from a tough-luck loss on Friday night with a big 5-3 win over the Gonzaga Bulldogs in a West Coast Conference match-up on a cool Saturday afternoon at Stephen Schott Stadium. The game was delayed an hour and a half due to rain showers, before getting underway at 2:45 p.m. Sophomore Matt Wickswat struck out 10 Bulldogs in seven innings to pick up his fifth win of the year, while junior Jeff Lombard pitched out of a bases loaded jam in the ninth inning for his seventh save of the year. Junior Gabe Alcantar and freshman Jon Karcich each went deep for the Broncos and freshman Tommy Medica pounded out three hits at the top of the lineup. SCU evened its record at 18-18 (5-3 WCC) with the victory.
Wickswat set the tone early for SCU, striking out the first two Gonzaga batters of the game on the way to a 1-2-3 first inning. In the bottom of the first, Alcantar got things started offensively with a mammoth home run to left field to put the Broncos up 1-0.
After the 'Zags tied the game in the second inning on a double by Shawn Wayt, Karcich put the Broncos back on top. Following a walk to Evan LeBlanc, the freshman shortstop crushed his second home run of the season to left center field for a 3-1 lead.
Wickswat gave up a home run in the top of the third to Gonzaga's Bryan Winston, but he shut the door on the 'Zags after that. He gutted out seven innings and allowed just four hits on the afternoon. He struck out 10 batters for the third time this season, including three K's against the 'Zags leadoff hitter, Evan Wells.
With Wickswat in command the Broncos tacked on two insurance runs sparked by Medica on both occasions. Medica led off the fifth inning with a double to right and then moved to third on a sacrifice bunt by sophomore Matt Long. The freshman catcher then scored on a ground ball to the shortstop by Alcantar.
Two innings later, Medica against led off with another extra base hit, this time tripling to center field. Long followed the triple with a perfectly executed squeeze play to give SCU a three-run lead at 5-2.
Steve Kalush struck out two Bulldogs in the eighth before turning the game over to Lombard for the ninth inning. Lombard got the first out of the ninth, but Wayt singled to give Gonzaga some hope. After setting down Friday night's hero Mike Terry to get the second out, pinch hitter Mark Castellitto got a run back with a double down the line that scored Wayt.
A walk and an infield hit loaded the bases for Winston. However, Lombard got Winston to hit a ground ball to Alcantar, who stepped on third to end the game.
The Broncos will look for the series win on Sunday, April 15 at Stephen Schott Stadium. First pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m. PT.