April 17, 2007
STANFORD, Calif. - It sure wasn't easy, but in the end, the Santa Clara baseball team nailed down a 6-3 victory over the Stanford Cardinal Tuesday night at Sunken Diamond Stadium. Despite letting the Cardinal tie the game late, and then having Stanford bring the tying run to the plate in the ninth, the Broncos dug in and were able to come out with the victory.
The Broncos get back into West Coast Conference play this weekend, traveling to Malibu for a three-game series. Friday's opener is set for a 3 p.m. start.
Tommy Medica continued his clutch hitting at the plate, driving in the eventual winning run in the eighth inning with a one-out single to left-center that plated David Hoffmire. Carl Bacon went 2-for-4 with a double that drove in a pair of crucial RBIs, and Hoffmire, Evan LeBlanc and Matt Long each had two hits. LeBlanc and Hoffmire each scored twice, as well.
"I thought our starting pitcher, Sean O'Neill, did a great job for us tonight. We got a couple of big hits from Tommy Medica, Jon Karcich, and Carl Bacon. And it was nice that two of those hits came from our freshmen."
The contest wasn't decided until Jeff Lombard, who came on in relief with two outs and runners at the corners in the ninth, got the final out after Sean Ratliff's sharp hit heading through the right side smacked into Cardinal pinch runner Wande Olabisi.
Each team plated a runner in the first inning, with the Broncos getting a run as Hoffmire scored on a double-play ball, and the Cardinal answered with a two-out Michael Taylor double that scored Toby Gerhart, who reached on a two-out error.
O'Neill, making his second start of the year turned in a strong outing, despite coming away with a no-decision, as he allowed only four hits and three runs, two of those earned, over his six innings of work. The sophomore lefty limited the Cardinal offense to only three hits through six, as the Broncos were able to pull out to a 3-1 lead.
"That was great for Sean, he stayed with it, started out in the bullpen this season, but he's worked hard and kept a great attitude, and I'm really happy with the way he casme out and pitched."
Hoffmire's hustle brought SCU's second run home in the fifth, as he ran out an attempted double play, extending the inning and allowing LeBlanc to score. The Broncos added another run in the seventh, as LeBlanc singled with two outs, stole second, and came home on Jon Karcich's single into left-center.
Stanford pulled even in it's half of the seventh, though, as O'Neill was relieved by Justin Kuehn after hitting the first batter he faced in the frame. With Cord Phelps on first for the Cardinal, Brian Juhl drove Kuehn's second pitch over the right-field wall to even the score at 3-3.
Juhl went 3-for-4 with two RBIs Tuesday night for the Cardinal, the only Stanford batter to have a multi-hit game. Taylor, with Stanford's third RBI, went 1-for-4 with a double.
The Broncos rebounded though, as after Kuehn retired the Cardinal after Juhl's homer, Hoffmire led off the eighth with a walk, and was sacrificed to second by Long. That set things up for Medica, who lined a Max Fearnow offering to left-center to bring in Hoffmire.
SCU's rally continued as Ryan Conan walked, and with runners on second and third after Gabe Alcantar's groundout, Bacon blooped a two-run double that landed just inside the left-field line that opened the Bronco lead to 6-3.
Kuehn, who earned his third win of the season for the Broncos, pitched into the ninth, but after surrendering a leadoff double to pinch hitter Brendan Domaracki, and a two-out walk to pinch hitter Randy Molina that put runners on the corners, was relieved by Lombard, who picked up his eighth save.
Fearnow, who gave up four runs in three and a third innings for Stanford, took his second loss of the year.