SANTA CLARA, Calif. - In its last home game for over three weeks, Santa Clara baseball picked up a 9-4 win vs. Saint Mary's in the series-finale. The Broncos are now 20-20 overall and 3-12 in conference games while the Gaels are 21-20 and 5-10 in the WCC. The Broncos hit two four-baggers to total five homeruns this weekend.
RHP Brock Simon (2-1; 3.76) made his first start since Mar. 25 at San Diego and went 6.0 innings while picking up a win. Simon allowed three runs, two earned, on five hits with three walks and two strikeouts. RHP Paul Twining (3-4; 3.09) picked up his team-leading seventh save by pitching the final three innings for Santa Clara. The Broncos' bats came alive as DH Lucas Herbst and LF Pat Stover each had a home run but it was CF Matt Ozanne who went 3-4 with a RBI and a run scored while also adding a sacrifice bunt.
Santa Clara has a quick turnaround as it will travel to Seattle, Wash. to take on Seattle University on Tue., May 1 and Wed., May 2 before continuing conference play at San Francisco Fri., May 11-Sun., May 13.
"It was good to get back out there after a couple weeks and get a win for the team" said Simon. "The rehab is pretty brutal because you want to be out there pitching. Luckily Powell (Fansler) stepped in and we didn't drop off. We pick each other up but it's still tough to sit there and watch. Everyone played well today. We scored runs, pitched well and played defense so this gives us some confidence going into Seattle."
Herbst was hit by a pitch with one out in front Ozanne who hit into a fielder's choice. With Ozanne now on first and two outs, Stover came to the plate and hit an opposite-field two-run home run to give Santa Clara the early 2-0 lead. RF Stephen Takahashi drew a walk but 1B Andrew Biancardi lined out to right to end the inning.
C Quinton Perry worked a lead-off walk in the bottom of the second and went first to third on a perfectly executed hit and run by 3B Evan Peters. SS Justin Viele came through with a single through the left side to bring in another Santa Clara run. 2B Greg Harisis came up with the third straight single to load the bases, still with no outs. The Gaels made a pitching change, bringing in LHP Jordan Mills who got the first out on a sacrifice fly hit by Herbst. Ozanne singled to left for a RBI that made the score 5-0 Santa Clara. Stover grounded into a fielder's choice to put runners on the corners with two outs for Takahashi. Takahashi struck the ball well but it hung up for a fly out to left for the third out.
C Toby DeMello singled on a spectacular diving stop by Viele at short with one out. After a fly out to center, LF Cole Norton crushed a ball into the right-center field gap for a triple to make the score 5-1. After a walk to 1B Collin Ferguson, 3B Patrick Wisdom singled up the middle to bring in the second run of the inning. A high fly out to center ended the inning.
Simon walked DH Nick Rosso to start the top of the fourth and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by 2B Chris Murphy. After a fly out to center, SS Ricky Boas reached on an error by Peters that allowed a run to come across. A groundout to short ended the inning with the score now 5-3.
Harisis singled up the middle and Herbst followed with a laser shot over the right field wall for his second home run in as many days. With the score now 7-3, Ozanne singled through the left side to keep the rally going. Stover followed with a walk and Saint Mary's made a pitching change. With LHP Ryan Brockett in to face Takahashi, the Gaels got a fielder's choice for the second out with runners now on the corners. Biancardi popped out to end the inning.
Herbst got hit by a pitch for the second time in the game leading off the home half of the eighth and was pinch-run for by Drew Ozanne. M. Ozanne sacrificed the runner to second for Stover who singled to right field to put runners on first and third. Takahashi flipped a ball over the head of the shortstop to bring in D. Ozanne from third. T.J. Braff came up to pinch-hit for Biancardi and hit a RBI single to left. Perry flied out to left and Glomb went down looking to end the eighth.
CF David Collins singled to center to lead-off the top of the ninth but Norton and Ferguson were both caught looking for the first two outs of the inning. Wisdom came to plate and walked. RF Brenden Kalfus doubled in a run to keep the Gaels alive. Rosso flied out to center to end the game and five Santa Clara the 9-4 victory.
Game Notes: First pitch was at 1:03 ... attendance was 438 ... Paul Twining replaced Brock Simon to start the top of the seventh ... Matt Glomb came in to play third in the top of the seventh ... Santa Clara hit five home runs in the series.