STOCKTON, Calif. - Behind a six-run fifth inning, Santa Clara baseball took down Pacific by a score of 8-5. The win moves Santa Clara back above the .500 mark at 24-23 and drops Pacific to 12-38.
RHP James Smith (3-0; 4.79) went 5.0 innings and picked up his third win of the season. Smith allowed two runs on four hits with five walks and a strikeout. Freshman 1B T.J. Braff had a huge day with the bat by going 2-4 with a run scored and four RBI.
Santa Clara travels to BYU for a three game series starting Thu., May 17 at 5 p.m.
RF Greg Harisis led off the game with a single through the left side and DH Lucas Herbst singled to third base to put two on with no out. After a fly out, both runners advanced on a ground out to first by LF Pat Stover. Braff came up and knocked a single into left field to give the Broncos the early 2-0 lead. 2B Kyle DeMerritt singled to right to put runners on the corners but C Zach Looney flied out to left to end the inning.
Pacific got a run back in the bottom of the first when LF Brett Christopher led off the inning with a walk and stole second. He moved to third on a groundout and came in to score on a single to right by 1B Erik Lockwood.
In the bottom of the third 2B Robby Mansfield walked and stole second before Christopher walked for the second time. With runners on first and second, Smith got a strike out before surrendering a game-tying single to left field by Lockwood. Christopher was caught attempting to steal third and after another walk, DH Taylor Murphy flied out for the third out of the inning.
The Broncos blew the game open in the top of the fifth when Harisis laid down a bunt single to start things off. Herbst followed with a single through the right side and CF Matt Ozanne sacrificed the runners to second and third. Stover was intentionally walked to load the bases and Braff came through with another two-RBI single to put Santa Clara back on top by a score of 4-2. DeMerritt smacked a double to center field to bring in two more runs and moved to third on a fly out by Looney. 3B Evan Peters came up and cracked his second homer of the season to extend the lead to 8-2. After a pitching change, SS Justin Viele popped out to second to end the inning.
RHP Kenny Treadwell came in to pitch the bottom of the eighth and loaded the bases on a double and two walks before being lifted for LHP Max Deering. Deering gave up a single to C Riley Drongesen to bring in a run. 3B Curtis Gomez followed with a 4-6-3 double play that brought the score to 8-4. Deering got pinch hitter Daniel Johnston to fly out to right to keep Santa Clara up four.
In the bottom of the ninth Christopher led off with a single to left and after pinch hitter Jacob Goulder field out to right, RHP Paul Twining came in to pitch. He struck out Lockwood swining but gave up a double to SS Josh Simms to make the score 8-5. Twining settled down and got Murphy to go down swinging to end the game.