April 21, 2007
Malibu, Calif. - Sophomore left-hander Matt Wickswat allowed two runs over seven innings and Santa Clara took advantage of an error to score two unearned runs as the Broncos defeated No. 11 Pepperdine, 4-3, Saturday afternoon at Eddy D. Field Stadium to even the West Coast Conference (WCC) series at a game apiece.
The Waves (29-13, 9-2) rallied in the ninth, scoring a run on an RBI double by junior Donald Brown, but left the potential tying run at second base when Broncos reliever Jeff Lombard got a pop up to preserve the Santa Clara (20-20, 6-5) victory.
The loss likely will drop Pepperdine into a first-place tie with San Diego, which was on its way to sweeping a doubleheader at Loyola Marymount. The Toreros won the first game, 5-1, and were ahead 4-1 in the eighth inning of the nightcap.
For the second day in a row, Santa Clara scored a first inning run, rallying with two outs against Pepperdine starter Robert Dickmann (5-2), and went ahead 2-0 in the second.
The Waves responded with a run in the bottom half of the inning against Wickswat (6-4) and had a chance for an even bigger inning, but left the bases loaded when Adrian Ortiz fouled out to third base to end the threat.
The Broncos extended their lead to 4-1 in the third, scoring two unearned runs.
Matt Long opened the inning with a line drive to second base that was dropped by Denny Duron, who then bobbled the ball before making a throw to first base that was too late. After Tommy Medica singled to put runners at first and second, designated hitter Carl Bacon singled home a run with two outs and, Medica scored the final run of the inning when Dickmann was called for a balk.
In the bottom half of the third, Pepperdine cut the lead in half, scoring a run on a sacrifice fly by freshman Ryan Heroy that scored junior shortstop Danny Worth, who opened the inning with a double and moved to third on a single by Brown.
It proved to be a frustrating afternoon for the Waves, who put a runner on base in eight of nine innings, as they left 10 runners on base and were 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position.
Junior right hander Adam Olbrychowski turned in a stellar performance on the mound for Pepperdine after relieving Dickmann in the fifth inning as he struck out four while retiring all 15 batters he faced.
Brown led the Waves offensively with three hits, while Heroy and freshman designated hitter Mark Tracy, who was making his first start since March 20, had two hits apiece.
Pepperdine will attempt to win its ninth series of the season when it concludes the three-game set against Santa Clara on Sunday beginning at 1 p.m.