SANTA CLARA, Calif. - In an offensive explosion, including six runs in the fifth inning, Santa Clara defeated San Diego State 12-3 on Tuesday at Schott Stadium. The Broncos are now 4-4 while the Aztecs are 3-5, having swept a three-game series at the preseason WCC favorite, San Diego, to start the season.
Santa Clara returns to the field on Wed., Feb. 27 for a 3 p.m. matinee vs. San Diego State at Schott Stadium to close out the two game set.
"I thought our guys did a great job. They showed up ready to play. They did a good job of setting the tone early. Tommy came in throwing strikes, and our guys never let up," said head coach Dan O'Brien.
Tommy Nance (1-0) made his second start of the year for Santa Clara and picked up the win. Nance's line in four innings pitched: two hits, two walks, a wild pitch and four strikeouts. In his first start on Feb. 18 vs. Cal Poly he pitched four innings, struck out two and allowed only three hits with zero runs, but got the no decision.
"We are talking about how we're going to come out and be the same club every single day. We are striving to be consistant this year, and so far we've done a great job at that," said O'Brien.
The Broncos were led on offense by preseason All-WCC team-member Greg Harisis with one hit and three RBI while Justin Viele picked up two hits and knocked in two runs. Quinton Perry, Matt Ozanne, Casey Munoz, Peter Summerville, Drew Ozanne and Kyle DeMerrit all recorded one RBI.
T.J. Kendzora (0-1) was pasted with the loss for the Aztecs. He threw 1.1 innings while allowing four earned runs.
Nance struck out Greg Allen to start the game and then caught the come-backer for an out at first for the second out. Brad Haynal picked up a two-out double before Quinton Perry knocked the ball down and made the out at first unassisted to end the top of the first.
Kert Woods started the bottom half of the first with an infield single. Justin Viele smacked it in the hole between short and third for a single. Greg Harisis' sacrifice bunt pushed the runners to second and third. Woods scored on a bloop single by Quinton Perry with runners at first and third. Viele scored the Broncos' second run on Matt Ozane's deep sacrifice fly to right for the second out. Casey Munez hit the first pitch straight to the ready rightfielder for the third out. The Broncos scored two runs and left one on base.
Woods caught Munoz's pop out in left to start the top half of the second. Nance walked Jake Romanski, but Avondre Bollar struck out swinging for the second out. After Nance's wild pitch saw Romanski advance to second, Nance struck out Mitch Bluman looking for the final out.
Peter Summerville led off the bottom of the second by hitting a blazing ball past the shortstop for a single. Summerville stole second and then Drew Ozanne reached safely on an error by Tyler France at third. Kyle DeMerritt sacrificed the runners to second and third for the first out. Woods was walked after running it to a full count. Tony Gwynn had seen enough and pulled the starter, Kendzora, for lefthander Brandon Thomas. Viele was walked with a full count, pushing Summerville across the plate with the bags remaining full. D. Ozanne scored on Harisis' fielder's choice to make it 4-0 Broncos with two outs. Perry hit it just about as far as he could to deep center without it going out for the third out with the Broncos stranding two runners.
Evan Potter started the top of the third with an infield single. Viele made a fantastic off-balance catch for the first out. After Harisis threw the ball to first for the second out, Haynal struck out swinging for Nance's fourth strikeout of the game.
M. Ozanne received a lead off walk to start the bottom of the third, but the Broncos stranded him at second after he stole the base with two outs.
Nance walked France on four straight pitches to start the top of the fourth. DeMerritt to Viele to Perry for a double play after Bronco head coach Dan O'Brien visited the mound.
The Broncos were scoreless in the bottom of the fourth.
Evan Brisentine took over for Nance at the top of the fifth.
"Last year, Evan had a hard time throwing a strike. This year, he is showing maturity and it's been really impressive," said O'Brien.
Quinton started the fifth inning with a single and M. Ozanne took first on a bunt single. Munoz poked the ball through the infield to load the bases with no outs. Summerville walked on a full count to push Perry across the plate with the bases remaining loaded, still with zero outs. D. Ozanne became the third Bronco to be walked with the bases loaded, scoring M. Ozanne. Gwynn had seen enough with and brought in his second relief pitcher of the day, righthander Bryan Crabb, a sidearm pitcher. DeMerritt's RBI single scored Munoz to put SCU up 7-0. Woods struck out in his second straight at bat for the first out. Viele scored Summerville with an RBI single. Harisis' single scored two runs and the Broncos led 10-0 with still just one out. The Aztecs got out of the fifth inning on a 6-4-3 double play after SCU scored six runs, stranding one runner.
The fourth pitcher of the day for the Aztecs was Mark Seyler and he took over in the bottom of the sixth. After the Broncos scored another run, SDSU brought in its fifth pitcher of the game, Mark Robards. Munoz scored on a passed ball and the Broncos led 12-0. The Aztecs finished off the Broncos in the sixth inning with a double play.
The Aztecs loaded the bases with no outs in the top of the seventh. Brisentine struck out two in the inning to score his career-best fourth strikeout in his three innings of relief. Matt Munoz scored SDSU's first run on a fielder's choice.
The Broncos went down in order in the bottom of the seventh for the first time in the game. The Broncos pitched Reece Karalus in the top of the eighth and he rewarded them with two strikeouts.
San Diego State rallied in the top of the ninth, scoring two runs but the surge was halted by Kyle Cortopassi fielding a grounder and tossing it to first base for the final out of the game.
Games Notes: First pitch was 5:59 ... Attendance was 251 … Time of game was 2:55 … The Broncos made a few moves to start the seventh: DeMerritt moved to third in the top of the seventh, Zach Looney took over behind the plate, Woods moved to second, Stephen Takahashi came in to play left.