SAN JOSE, Calif. - Playing for the Jack Gifford Memorial Tournament title, Santa Clara baseball lost at heartbreaker at San Jose State in the bottom of the ninth by a score of 6-5. It was the second time San Jose State has come from behind to beat the Broncos in the bottom of the ninth at Municipal Stadium.
RHP Mike Couch (1-1; 3.21) pitched 8.0 innings in his start for the Broncos. He allowed four runs on 12 hits while striking out two and walking none, picking up a no-decision. RHP Paul Twining (2-2; 3.95) came in to pitch the ninth but was unable to protect the lead and gave up two runs in 0.1 innings to pick up the loss. RF Lucas Herbst went 2-3 with two doubles, two walks, two runs scored and a RBI to lead the offense.
The Broncos will have two weeks off before playing at San Diego to open its conference schedule on Fri., Mar. 24 at 1 p.m.
LF Pat Stover led off the top of the second with a single to right center and C Peter Summerville followed with a single of his own. DH Drew Ozanne singled to the pitcher to load the bases with just one out. A wild pitch advanced the runners and scored the first run of the game. 2B Evan Peters drew a walk to load the bases again. SS Justin Viele drew another walk to knock in a run. CF Matt Ozanne grounded into a double play to end the inning.
Santa Clara added another run in the top of the third when RF Lucas Herbst drew a one out walk and went to third on a Stover single through the left side. A run came in on another Spartan wild pitch to make the score 3-0 in favor of the Broncos.
San Jose State put a dent in the scoreboard in the bottom of the fourth. 2B Jacob Valdez led off with a single to right center. After two outs were recorded, SS Ricky Acosta singled to center and C Kyle Gallegos singled to knock in a run. He advanced to second on the throw. The next batter, CF Andre Mercurio, singled to the pitcher, making the score 3-2.
M. Ozanne led off the top of the fifth with a walk on a 3-2 count. 1B Andrew Biancardi advanced M. Ozanne with a groundout and Herbst doubled to right center to bring in the run. Herbst advanced to third on a wild pitch with two outs an Summerville walked but 2B Kyle DeMerritt struck out looking to end the frame.
The Spartans answered with two runs in the home half of the fifth when 3B CalebNatov lead off with a double to right field. DH Matt Lopez singled to center and Valdez tripled down the right field line to bring in two runs to knot the score at 4-4. San Jose State got another single but was unable to score again.
With the score tied in the top of the seventh, M. Ozanne smacked a lead off double to right center but was thrown out trying to get to third. Biancardi followed with a single down the left field line. Herbst followed with a double that put runners on second and third. Stover grounded out as Biancardi was thrown out at home. A wild pitch allowed the Broncos to take the lead 5-4. Summerville grounded out to end the inning.
Santa Clara had a chance to extend its lead in the ninth when Viele singled to center to lead off the frame. M. Ozanne sacrificed him over to second and after a Biancardi fly out, Herbst was intentionally walked. Stover struck out swinging to keep the lead at one.
Twining came in for the fourth consecutive day in the bottom of the ninth. He allowed a four-pitch walk, a double to right center and an intentional walk to load the bases with no one out. Valdez hit into a fielder's choice to keep the score tied but LF Kalei Contrades singled through the right side to tie the score. With the bases still loaded 1B Matt Carroll was hit by a pitch to give San Jose State the 6-5 walk-off win.