May 5, 2006
SAN DIEGO, Calif. - Senior third baseman Ryan Lilly's walk-off single in the bottom of the ninth inning lifted the University of San Diego baseball team to a 7-6 come-from-behind West Coast Conference win over visiting Santa Clara University Friday afternoon at Cunningham Stadium.
Heading into the bottom of the ninth inning the Toreros were trailing the Broncos 6-5, but the Toreros had the top of the order heading to the plate and Justin Snyder got things rolling. Snyder hit a rocket shot to the shortstop and then was able to beat out the throw by a half a step to register his fourth hit of the game. Shane Buschini then kept things going as he hit a high chopper down the third base line that went over the head of the third baseman to move Snyder to second. USD then loaded the bases on Keoni Ruth's perfectly placed bunt down the third base line. The clean-up hitter Jordan Abruzzo drove in the tying run as he singled to center field to load the bases with no outs, setting the stage for Lilly's heroics. Lilly drove in the go-ahead run on a single up the middle to give the Toreros the much needed series opening win.
With the win the Toreros improve to 28-20 overall and move to 9-7 in the WCC, which placed them in a tie for second place with Saint Mary's College, just one game back of both Pepperdine University and the University of San Francisco. With the loss, the Broncos fall to 26-20 overall and 7-9 in the WCC.
The Broncos jumped out to an early 4-0 lead in the first inning on Kris Watts grand slam home run off USD starting pitcher Brian Matusz.
The two teams then traded runs over the next five innings with USD scoring one run in the third inning and one run in the sixth inning, and the Broncos scoring runs in the fifth inning and seventh inning to hold a 6-2 edge.
In the bottom of the seventh inning, the Toreros began the late rally scoring three runs on two hits. Josh Romanski led off with a walk and he moved to third on David Harris' double to right field. Snyder then rocketed a double to right field to score the first two runs of the inning. After a Buschini walk and a Ruth sacrifice bunt, Abruzzo drove in Snyder with a ground out to the second baseman to cap the scoring for the inning, pulling USD to with in one at 6-5.
Offensively for USD, Snyder led the way with is 4-for-5, one double and two RBI performance at the plate. Ruth was also an offensive start in the game as he went 3-for-4 with one RBI.
Anthony Slama (1-0) picked up his first win of the season allowing no runs on two hits in 2.0 innings of work. SCU's Mark Willinsky, who entered the game with nine saves on the season, was saddled with the loss for the Broncos allowing two runs on five hits in 0.0 innings of work.
The Toreros and Broncos will return to action on Saturday in game two of a three-game series at 1 p.m. at Cunningham Stadium.