May 14, 2006
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - On Senior Day Sunday afternoon at Stephen Schott Stadium, the Santa Clara University baseball team was unable to send its six graduating seniors off into the sunset with a victory in their final home contests. The Portland Pilots got a three-run homer in the seventh inning which put them ahead to stay as they went on to an 8-6 victory.
The Broncos (28-25, 9-12 WCC) will conclude the 2006 season Tuesday evening as they travel 20 minutes up U.S. 101 to the Stanford campus to battle the Cardinal at Sunken Diamond Stadium in a 6 p.m. contest.
Sunday, SCU was led by Nava and Watts, who each had a pair of hits and RBIs. Kevin Drever and Realini also had two hits in the contest. Portland (15-33, 3-15 WCC) got two hits, including the critical homer in the seventh, from Cory Wiltshire while Matthew Peters hit his second home run of the series, a two-run shot in the first.
Chris Siegfried notched his first win of the season Sunday while Joe Jones finished off the final three innings for the Pilots to earn his first save.
Peters' homer gave the Pilots a quick two-run lead to start the contest, but the Broncos answered with three in the third as a Watts double followed by a Realini single brought in the tying and go-ahead runs to make it a 3-2 SCU lead.
The teams then traded the lead in the following frame. Two Bronco errors and a wild pitch on a third strike gave the Pilots extra outs to play with, and they capitalized to the tune of three unearned runs to reclaim the advantage. Travis Vetters' sacrifice fly and Jesse Rodgers' RBI single brought in a pair of those runs.
Santa Clara rebounded right away in their half of the fourth, as Carl Bacon doubled with one out to start the rally. Bacon's hit was followed by a walk by Michael Lange and a Drever single to load the sacks.
With two outs, Nava walked to force in the tying run, and Watts stepped into the box and lashed a single to right that scored Drever to give the Broncos a 6-5 lead.
Things looked to be going Santa Clara's way until the Portland half of the seventh, when Rodgers and Justin Ehlers started things off with consecutive singles, and were subsequently sacrificed up a bag. Wiltshire then crushed a 1-1 delivery from Bronco starter Chris Stansbury over the fence in right-center to cap the scoring for the day and give the Pilots an 8-6 lead that they would never relinquish.