Bronco Baseball Falls to No. 14 Stanford

Check out photos from the game! (Credit Denis Concordel)

SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Playing its first ranked opponent of the season with the wind howling through Schott Stadium, Santa Clara baseball lost 6-3 Tuesday night to No. 14 Stanford.  The loss puts Santa Clara at 6-7 while Stanford is now 10-2. It was the ninth consecutive win for the Cardinal.

The Broncos return to the field for their first road games of the season this week at San Jose State with the opener on Fri., March 9 at 6 p.m.

"We definitely competed throughout the whole game," said Bronco head coach Dan O'Brien. "As proud as I am of them for doing that, we still didn't play Bronco baseball, good solid baseball. We essentially gave them enough runs to win the game. When a team scores six runs on six hits you know you're just giving them things. We don't care if it's the New York Yankees or the worst team in the history of baseball, we have to play better baseball if we expect to be a championship caliber team."

Reece Karalus (0-2, 9.24) started for Santa Clara and picked up a loss. Karalus threw 3.2 innings while allowing five runs, three earned, on four hits with three walks and five strikeouts. The Bronco offense was led by Justin Viele, who went 2-4 with a double and a run scored and Kyle DeMerritt, who was 2-3 with a walk and two runs scored. Greg Harisis went 1-5 with a RBI while Drew Ozanne added one RBI as well. Casey Munoz and Peter Summerville added one hit each.

Stanford starter Dean McArdle (1-0, 2.00) picked up a win while allowing one run on three hits in 4.0 innings with no walks and six strikeouts. Sam Lindquist (0-0, ) picked up his third save of the year in 2.1 innings of relief with a strikeout, a walk a hit and one run allowed. Danny Diekroeger  led the way on offense by going 2-4 with a walk, a run scored and a RBI. Jonny Locher was 1-3 with two RBI. Austin Slater, Alex Blandino and Brant Whiting each added one RBI.

Viele led off the bottom of the first with a solid single right back up the middle. Ozanne laid down a perfect sac bunt to move Viele into scoring positioning for Harisis. Harisis hit a 1-1 pitch back up the middle for a RBI single to give the Broncos the early 1-0 lead.

Blandino walked with one out in the second and Dominic Jose reached on an error by Quinton Perry who missed a grounder and DeMerritt threw the ball away to put runners on second and third with two down. Locher followed with a bloop single to center that put Stanford on top 2-1.

Lonnie Kauppila and Dominic Jose both walked to get things started in the fourth. Locher advanced both runners with a sacrifice bunt and Whiting hit a sacrifice fly to left to extend the Cardinal lead to 3-1. Slater singled up the middle for a RBI and moved to second when M. Ozanne's throw airmailed the cutoff man. Karalus was lifted for Evan Brisentine who gave up a RBI single to Diekroeger to make it a three-run inning.

Summerville singled to start the home half of the fifth but he was gunned down trying to steal. Stephen Takahashi followed with a walk and DeMerritt singled up the middle. Both runners moved up on a ground out to third and scored on a two-RBI error by the third baseman.

Santa Clara put together a two out rally in the bottom of the seventh. DeMerritt singled to right and Viele doubled to right center to put the tying run in scoring position. D. Ozanne was unable to get the runs in when he fouled out to first base.

Mike Couch came in to pitch in the top of the ninth. It was his first appearance out of the bullpen in 2013. After he recorded two quick outs, Diekroeger walked, Ragira was hit by a pitch in the head and Ringo reached on an error by Harisis. Blandino worked a full count and drew a walk to bring in an insurance run for Stanford.

After two were down in the bottom of the ninth, DeMerritt walked and Viele was hit by a pitch to bring the tying run to the plate. D. Ozanne singled back up the middle to bring in a run and cut the deficit to two. Lindquist balked the tying runs into scoring position for Harisis who went down swinging to end the game.

Game Notes: First pitch was 6:00 … Time of game was ???? .... Attendance was 413 … Santa Clara scored in the first inning for the fourth consecutive game … Of the 18 outs recorded in the first three innings, nine were via strikeout … Dean McArdle retired 10 Broncos in a row from the first through the fourth … Peter Summerville was run over on a play at the play by Lonnie Kaupilla who was thrown out for the contact at home plate … Justin Viele made a sliding catch on the infield grass on the second base side of second base when the wind took a hold of a popup … David Schmidt struck out the side in the bottom of the sixth.