May 12, 2012

Santa Clara Loses to San Francisco On Walk-Off Hit-by-Pitch

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. - Looking to improve its fortunes against conference opponents, Santa Clara baseball dropped a game to San Francisco 6-5 on a walk-off hit-by-pitch. The Broncos move to 23-22 with the loss and 3-14 in conference while the Dons are now 26-28 overall and 11-9 in WCC play.

LHP Powell Fansler (5-4; 3.82) went 6.2 innings in the start and allowed five runs on eight hits with one walk and one strikeout while picking up a no-decision. RHP Paul Twining (5-5; 2.68) got the loss in 1.1 innings of relief by allowing one unearned run in the bottom of the ninth. 2B Kyle DeMerritt went 1-2 with two RBI and DH Pat Stover was 1-4 with a pair of RBI as well and a stolen base.

Santa Clara will look to avoid the sweep tomorrow in San Francisco at 1 p.m.

For the second game in a row Santa Clara got out to an early 1-0 lead. In the top of the first RF Lucas Herbst singled with one out and stole second after a CF Matt Ozanne fly out. Stover came to the plate and singled to left to bring in the run. Stover stole second but C Quinton Perry flied out to end the inning.

In the bottom of the fourth LF Tom Barry tripled to center field with one out and 3B Jourdan Weiks singled to left field to tie the score at 1-1. After RF Bradley Zimmer walked, CF Justin Maffei doubled to left field to score another run and advance Zimmer to third. 2B Jason Mahood was hit by a pitch to load the bases before SS Adam Clear flied out to right field for the second out. 1B Nik Balog came through with a two-out double to right that knocked in two more runs before DH Matt Chavez flied out for the third out.

SS Justin Viele led off the top of the third with a double to left field and moved the third on a sacrifice bunt by 2B Greg Harisis. After Herbst popped out, DeMerritt came in to pinch hit for Ozanne and singled to right to knock in the run. Stover flied out to end the inning with the score 4-2 in favor of San Francisco.

Perry led off the top of the fourth with a walk and stole second when LF Stephen Takahashi struck out swinging. Perry moved to third on a wild pitch and scored on a single to center by 1B Andrew Biancardi. After a pitching change, two fly outs ended the inning for Santa Clara.

The Broncos tied the game in the fifth when Harisis led off with a walk and Herbst followed with a single. DeMerritt put down a sac bunt and Stover grounded out to bring in the tying run.

Santa Clara took the lead 5-4 in the top of the seventh by playing small ball. Harisis doubled to left to start things and Herbst hit a ground ball to second that advanced the runner to third. DeMerritt came up and hit a sacrifice fly to center to bring in the fifth Bronco run.

The lead didn't last long as Mahood doubled to left field with one out in the bottom of the seventh. After a pop out, Fansler was lifted for Twining who surrendered a game-tying double to Balog before getting out of the inning.

Zimmer reached second on an error by DeMerritt to lead of the top of the ninth. Maffei doubled to right but Zimmer was only able to reach third. After an intentional walk to Mahood, Clear was hit by a pitch to bring in the winning run.