SANTA CLARA, Calif. – After falling behind early, Santa Clara baseball dropped the series-opener to Michigan State by a final of 6-1. With the loss Santa Clara moves to 8-10 while Michigan State evens its record at 7-7.
The two teams play again tomorrow in a double header with the first game starting at 1 p.m.
"[Waszak] was mixing his pitches well tonight," said Bronco senior shortstop Justin Viele. "His fastball was jumping out of his hand and he took a lot off his off speed stuff so it was hard to adjust. We just need to stick to our approach in the batter's box and not stray away from it. We had a lot of competitive at bats tonight and we worked their pitchers."
Mike Couch (3-2, 3.00) started for Santa Clara and got a loss in 8.0 innings while allowing five runs on six hits with four walks and five strikeouts. Viele led the offense by going 2-3 with a walk and a run scored. Matt Ozanne was 1-3 with a RBI and Kyle DeMerritt was 1-3.
Andrew Waszak (2-1, 1.72) made the start for Michigan State and picked up the win in 7.0 shutout innings. He allowed three hits with three walks and five strikeouts. On offense Blaise Salter was 2-4 with a run scored while Justin Hovis was 2-3 with a walk, a double, a RBI and two runs scored. The top three batters in the Spartans' lineup each had one RBI.
Anthony Cheky was hit by a pitch attempting to lay down a bunt with one out in the top of the first and stole second. Jordan Keur followed with a double over Stephen Takahashi's head in left field to give the Spartans the early lead. A passed ball moved Keur to third and Ryan Richardson walked to put runners on the corners but Couch induced a 3-6-3 double play off the bat of Jimmy Pickens to get out of the inning with just one run coming across.
With one out in the bottom of the first, Drew Ozanne drew a walk and M. Ozanne followed with a single. Casey Munoz grounded out to move both runners up but Peter Summerville grounded out to end the inning.
Salter led off the second with an infield single to third. After a fly out, Kevin Georgen walked and Hovis doubled in the second Michigan State run of the game and put two in scoring position for the top of the order. Cam Gibson hit a sac fly and Cheky flared a single over shortstop to extend the lead to four.
Viele collected the second Bronco hit on a grounder past the third baseman with two down in the fifth but was unable to advance.
After two quick outs in the bottom of the seventh, DeMerritt solidly singled back up the middle. Kert Woods jumped ahead 3-0 but Waszak came back to get Woods looking to end the inning.
Couch's second pitch of the eighth inning hit Keur and pitching coach Gabe Ribas made his way out to the mound to settle down his starter. Couch followed with a walk Richardson but got Pickens to ground into a fielder's choice for the first out. With runners now on the corners, Salter bunted for a single to load the bases. Ryan Krill hit a sacrifice fly to left to make the Spartan lead 5-0. M. Ozanne ended the inning with a headlong dive to save at least a run.
With the top of the order coming to the plate in the bottom of the eighth against the new Michigan State pitcher Justin Alleman, Viele led off with a single to right. A wild pitch moved Viele to second with one out and he went to third on a balk. M. Ozanne brought in the first Santa Clara run with a sacrifice fly to right.
Hovis singled up the middle to lead off the ninth against new Bronco pitcher Nick Medeiros. Cam Gibson laid down a sacrifice bunt and Cheky grounded out to short to put a runner on third with two down. Medeiros uncorked a wild pitch to bring in another Michigan State run and push the lead back out to five runs at 6-1.
Alleman came back out for the ninth and struck out Peter Summerville before being lifted for Trey Popp. Popp got groundouts from T.J. Braff and Takahashi to close out the Michigan State win.
Game Notes: First pitch was 6:01 … Time of game was 2:21 … Attendance was 284 … Andrew Waszak retired 14 of 15 Broncos from the third inning through the seventh inning.