SANTA CLARA, Calif. - In the play of the year, 3B Matt Glomb went flying into the San Jose State dugout to catch a pop up and end the top of the seventh inning with runners on the corners for San Jose State in a 3-1 Bronco victory. With the win, Santa Clara's record is at 8-2 and the Spartans sit at 2-6.
RHP Tommy Nance (2-0; 3.04) made the start for the Broncos and scattered six hits over 8.0 innings. He struck out two and walked one while giving up one run. RHP Paul Twining picked up his third save of the year by pitching a scoreless ninth. C Zach Looney led the offense with two hits, two RBI and a run scored. 2B Kyle DeMerritt and Glomb added a hit each.
Santa Clara will return to the diamond tomorrow, Mar. 3 at San Jose State at 1 p.m. and again on Sun., Mar. 4 at Stephen Schott against San Jose State at 1 p.m.
"I thought the whole night was an example of how we want to play the game every night," said Bronco baseball head coach Dan O'Brien. "The Glomb catch and a few of our at-bats where we fought showed what we're all about. We didn't have a great night at the plate but we found a way to score some runs. We were grinding it out and if you can do those kinds of things, good things will happen for you."
Nance struggled in the top of the first, giving up a single to the lead off batter CF Andre Mercurio, but he was caught stealing. After getting the second out, Nance hit 2B Jacob Valdez and on a perfectly executed hit-and-run by 1B Caleb Natov, the Spartans had runners on first and second. Nance induced a groundout from DH Anthony Bona to end the inning.
A one-out walk to Looney in the bottom of the third was the first base runner of the night for Santa Clara. He advanced to second on a wild pitch and SS Justin Viele was hit by a pitch to put runners on first and second with one out and the top of the order coming up. CF Matt Ozanne hit a comebacker that was misplayed and loaded the bases. Herbst followed with his ninth RBI on the season. LF Pat Stover walked to load the bases but DH T.J. Braff flew out to deep right-center to end the inning.
1B Andrew Biancardi drew a lead off walk and a throwing error on the second baseman gave the Broncos two on with one out. Biancardi got caught in a run-down on a pitch in the dirt but DeMerritt advanced to second and scored on the next pitch when Looney went back up the middle for a RBI single to make the score 2-0 Santa Clara. Viele improved his on-base percentage by drawing a walk. RHP Sean Martin came in to relieve starter LHP Johnny Malero with two outs and two on in the bottom of the fourth. Martin got Ozanne to strike out to end the inning.
A lead off single to LF Tim Quiery and a sacrifice bunt put a runner on second of San Jose State. 3B Tyler Christian whacked a double past third to bring in the first Spartan run of the night. Mercurio hit a sinking liner to center that Ozanne was able to come in and catch to end the inning with the score 2-1 Santa Clara.
Glomb led off the bottom of the sixth with a double and was advanced to third on a balk with DeMerritt at the plate. DeMerritt was hit by a pitch to put runners on the corners with no outs. Looney singled to left put the Broncos back up by two runs, 3-1. Viele advance the runners to second and third on a swinging bunt. Ozanne and Herbst both struck out swinging to end the inning.
Twining came in the top of the ninth and got the lead off batter to ground out to third. He followed with a hard-hit grounder to first and a strike out to seal the 3-1 Bronco win.
Game Notes: First pitch was 6:02 ... two Bronco batters were hit by pitches but did not advance to first because the umpire ruled they did not attempt to get out of the way ... a lead off single in the top of the fourth was erased when Kyle DeMerritt picked a grounder, touched second and threw across his body to turn a double play ... Pat Stover stole his team-leading fourth base in the fifth inning ... Greg Harisis pinch ran for Kyle DeMerritt in the bottom of the eighth.