SAN MARCOS, Texas - The Dan O'Brien era has started with a bang as the Broncos swept three games this weekend in Texas at the Bobcat Invitational vs. quality opponents. On Sunday the Broncos defeated Louisiana-Lafayette 8-5. On Saturday the Broncos defeated Texas State 5-4 in 13 innings and then Wichita State 7-1 in 12 innings.
The Broncos travel to Cal Poly on Tue., Feb. 21 for a 6 p.m. game. Cal Poly swept 2011 NCAA tournament participant Oklahoma State this weekend in a three game series to open its own season at home. The Broncos then come back to the Mission Campus for the home-opener against Illinois-Chicago on Fri., Feb. 24 at 6 p.m.
Santa Clara's RHP Paul Twining (2-0; 4.50) picked up his second win of the weekend by pitching an inning in relief vs. Louisiana-Lafayette. RHP Mike Couch (0-0; 3.18) pitched 5.0 innings as the starter and only allowed two runs while striking out seven. The eighth inning saw nine runs scored after only four had been scored the previous seven innings. Louisiana-Lafayette struck first in the top of the first inning when LF Michael Stentz singled up the middle with two outs and advanced to second on a wild pitch. 1B Chase Compton followed with a RBI single to center to make the score 1-0.
Santa Clara put a dent on the score board in the bottom of the third to make the score 2-1. 2B Evan Peters and CF Lucas Herbst hit back-to-back one-out doubles and RF Stephen Takahashi followed with a single to right to knock in the second run of the inning.
The Ragin' Cajuns had a scoring opportunity in the top of the fifth when they had runners on second and third with only one out. Couch was able to get a strike out of DH Dylan Butler and a fly out of C Chris Sinclair to end the threat with the score still 2-1 in favor of the Broncos.
In the bottom of the sixth Louisiana-Lafayette put together a two-run rally to tie the score. CF Dominick Francia doubled to right-center and SS Ryan Leonards singled to left-center to make the score 2-2. LHP Max Deering came in to replace Couch and picked off Leonards to end the inning.
Twining came in to pitch the top of the eighth for the Broncos and, after getting the first out, allowed a walk and single through the left side that put runners on the corners. Pinch-hitter Bowman laid down a sacrifice bunt but an error by the pitcher allowed two runs to score. The next batter, Leonards, singled to right field to knock in the third run of the inning. Twining was able to get the next two outs to end the inning with the score 5-2 in favor of the Cajuns.
Drew Ozanne led off the bottom of the eighth pinching hitting for SS Justin Viele and reached first on a dropped third strike. Peters and Herbst followed with back-to-back hit-by-pitch to load the bases. Takahashi then hit into a fielders choice that scored two runs on an error by the second baseman. LF Pat Stover came through with a RBI single up the middle that knotted the score at 5-5 and put runners on first and second. After a pitching change, pinch-hitter Zach Looney laid down a sacrifice bunt to put runners on second and third with one out. 1B Andrew Biancardi reached on an error that allowed two more runs to come across. After Biancardi advanced to third on a wild pitch, 3B Matt Glomb singled up the middle to make the score 8-5 in favor of Santa Clara. C Quinton Perry grounded in to a double play to end the inning.
Herbst started the top of the ninth pitching for the Broncos and walked Compton. RHP Chris Mendoza came in and got pinch-hitter Almann Snowden to ground in to a double play and Sinclair to ground back to the mound to end the game.