SANTA CLARA, Calif. - With LHP Powell Fansler, the West Coast Conference Pitcher of the Month for February, on the hill Santa Clara baseball took on Lehigh in its second game of the third Annual Jack Gifford Memorial Tournament. The Broncos came away with a 5-3 win to move to 2-0 in the tournament and 12-3 on the season. With the loss Lehigh falls to 2-9.
Fansler (4-1; 3.52) went 5.1 innings, picking up a no-decision, and allowed three runs on seven hits with two strikeouts and one walk. LHP Max Deering (2-0; 2.35) got the win by pitching 2.2 shutout innings in relief and RHP Paul Twining (2-1; 3.64 4.38) picked up his second save in as many days. The Broncos' offensive charge was led by 1B Andrew Biancardi who went 3-4 with a go-ahead two-run, inside-the-park home run. CF Matt Ozanne, RF Lucas Herbst and C Peter Summerville all had multi-hit games as well.
Santa Clara returns to the field to continue the Jack Gifford Memorial Tournament tomorrow Sat., Mar. 10 vs. Columbia at 6 p.m.
"I knew there was a runner in scoring position and I was just trying to look for something to drive," said Biancardi about his inside-the-park home run. "Once I made contact and saw the ball get over his head I was thinking four. The only thing that was going to stop me was the ball and luckily it didn't."
Ozanne hit the first pitch of the night from Mountain Hawks' starter RHP Cory Kent to center for a single. Biancardi followed with a line out to left, also on the first pitch he saw. Herbst executed a hit and run with a chopper through the right side to put runners on the corners with just one out for LF Pat Stover. Stover hit a fly ball to right for a sac fly that gave Santa Clara a 1-0 lead. Summerville stayed hot with a single to left but 3B Matt Glomb struck out swinging to end the inning.
1B Joe Conoway hit a lead off double to right center in the top of the second that was just out of the reach of a leaping 2B Kyle DeMerritt. Fansler retired the next two batters but C Chad Warga singled up the middle to tie the game. SS Ryan Gajdos grounded into a fielder's choice for the third out.
A one-out walk to DH T.J. Braff and a two-out Ozanne single to center gave the Broncos a scoring chance. Biancardi roped a single to left but it was it too hard to score Braff from second. With the bases loaded the Broncos hottest hitter, Herbst, came to the plate but he popped out to short to end the threat with the score still tied at 1-1.
Santa Clara took the lead in the bottom of the fourth. Justin Viele drew a one out walk and stole second. Ozanne singled over the shortstop to bring in the lead run. With the score now 2-1, Ozanne stole second and Biancardi reached on an infield single to shortstop but the runner couldn't advance. Kent balked the runners to second and third and after battling from an 0-2 hole to a full count Stover popped out to shortstop to end the threat.
Fansler got in trouble in the sixth when he gave up back-to-back one-out singles to DH Tyler Brong and Conoway. He fell behind RF Brandon Wilt 2-0 and ultimately gave up a game-tying single on a 3-2 pitch. Fansler was lifted for Deering who got a fielder's choice for the second out of the inning but gave up a RBI single to Warga to give the Mountain Hawks a 3-2 lead. Gajdos struck out swinging to end the top of the sixth.
Summerville led off the bottom of the seventh by reaching second on a wild throw by the third baseman. Evan Peters pinch hit for Glomb and laid down a sacrifice bunt to put the tying run on third with just one away. DeMerritt went down looking and Braff struck out swinging to strand the runner on third.
Lehigh put together a scoring threat in the top of the eighth when Conway led off with a single to right field and wilt got a bunt single to third to put two on with no one out. 2B Brandon Sady sacrificed the runners to second and third but a grounder to third didn't allow the run to come home. Gajdos came up with two outs and flew out to left to keep the score 3-2 Lehigh.
After Viele drew his second walk of the game to lead off the home half of the eighth, Ozanne laid down a perfect sacrifice bunt to put the tying run in scoring position. Biancardi thrilled the crown with a two-run, inside-the-park home run to center field to give the Broncos the lead at 4-3. Herbst followed with a smash past first base that got into the right field corner for a triple. Stover came through and drove in the insurance run with a deep fly ball to right field.
Twining gave up a lead off walk to 3B Brendad McGaheran in the top of the ninth. 1B Alex Jacquez singled to right center to give Lehigh runners on the corners to start the ninth. Twining got LF Casey Turner looking for the first out. Pinch runner Tim O'Malley stole second to put the tying run in scoring position. Pinch hitter John Elson struck out swinging for the second out of the inning. CF Justin Pacchioli grounded out to shortstop to end the 5-3 Bronco victory.
Game Notes: Matt Ozanne made a diving catch in center for the second out of the game ... Justin Viele flashed the leather in the top of the third when he slid to his right to snag a grounder and made the throw to first to end the inning ... Viele also drew his 11th and 12th walks of the season which is just six less than his total of 17 in 2011.