SAN MARCOS, Tex. - The Dan O'Brien era at Santa Clara got off to a good start as Bronco baseball (1-0) won at Texas State (0-1) in the first game of the 2012 season by a score of 5-4 in 13 innings. RHP Tommy Nance pitched 7.0 innings while allowing seven hits and four runs with three walks and two strikeouts. The winning run was unearned and scored on an error by the shortstop. Paul Twining (1-0; 0.00) picked up the win.
The second batter of the game, RF Lucas Herbst, got the first Santa Clara hit of the season on a single through the right side. LF Pat Stover followed with a bouncer back to the pitcher that got thrown away and gave the Broncos runners on second and third with one out. After 1B Andrew Biancardi walked, 3B Kyle DeMerritt hit a sacrifice fly to centerfield followed by a single by DH T.J. Braff to make the score 2-0 Broncos.
Texas State led off the bottom of the first with a double to right-center by 2B Tyler Sibley who advanced to third on a groundout to first base. After a groundout to Nance, DH Jeff McVaney came through with a RBI single to center to make the score 2-1. C Andrew Stumph walked and RF Cody Gambill singled to left to tie score at 2-2.
The Bobcats' SS Garrett Mattlage led off the bottom of the second with a walk and was sacrificed over to second by LF Joey Fuda. CF Morgan Mickan singled up the middle to drive in Mattlage and give Texas State a 3-2 lead.
The Broncos had a scoring chance in the top of the third when Stover led off with an infield single to the third baseman, stole second two batters later and went to third on a throwing error by the catcher. Braff hit a line drive that found the shortstop's glove to end the threat.
Gambill led off the bottom of the fourth by being hit by a pitch. Mattlage doubled down the left field line to put runners at second and third with one out. Fuda hit a sac fly to center to give Texas State its fourth run of the game.
The game remained 4-2 until the top of the eighth when the Broncos struck again. Stover hit a two-out infield single to third and after Garrett Shepperd replaced Colton Turner, Biancardi doubled-in Stover to bring the score to 4-3. DeMerritt was hit by a pitch and McVaney came in to replace Shepperd. Braff hit a groundball to shortstop but a throwing error allowed the tying run to score.
LHP Max Deering came in to replace Nance in the bottom of the eighth and gave up a lead-off single to McVaney who went to second on a sacrifice bunt by Stumph. Gambill struck out swinging and 3B Nick Smelser grounded out to 2B Evan Peters to end the inning.
With two outs in the top of the ninth CF Matt Ozanne hit a single through the right side. Herbst followed with a double to right field and Ozanne tried to score all the way from first but was thrown out 9-4-2.
Deering completed a 1-2-3 bottom on the ninth inning to send the game to extra innings.
The Bobcats loaded the bases in the bottom of the 11th on a single, error and a walk with one out. RHP Paul Twining came in to replace Deering and got a strike out of LF Brooks Orton for the second out of the inning. The next batter, Sibley, popped out to second base to end the threat.
Mickan led off the bottom of the 12th for the Bobcats with a double and after a pop out to short and an intentional walk, Twining retired the next two batters to send the game to the 13th innings, tied 4-4.
In the Bronco half of the 13th inning, with a quick two outs already recorded, Braff struck out but reached first safely on a wild pitch. Santa Clara took advantage of the gift as C Quinton Perry singled and SS Justin Viele was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Peters hit a would-be inning-ending grounder to short but another error let the Broncos take a 5-4 lead. Perry tried to score from second on the error but was thrown out at home to end the inning.
Twining made quick work of the Bobcats in the bottom of the 13th as he got a fly out, a groundout and a swinging strikeout to end the game and give the Broncos the win.
The Broncos are scheduled to return to the field this evening against Wichita State in their second game of the Bobcat Invitational. Wichita State will play Louisiana-Lafayette immediately following the conclusion of the Santa Clara vs. Texas State game.
Game Notes: First game of a double-header for the Broncos ... originally scheduled for Feb. 17 but was rained-out ... Biancardi, DeMerritt and Braff each had one RBI and the first career RBI for Braff ... this was the DI debut of Nance and Braff.