Bronco Baseball Drops Double Header, Swept by Michigan State

Photos from the game (Credit Denis Concordel)

SANTA CLARA, Calif. – In the last series before West Coast Conference play, Santa Clara baseball dropped both games of a doubleheader to Michigan State by finals of 7-5 and 9-1. With these losses the Broncos are now 8-12 on the season while the Spartans move to 9-7.

The Broncos next play on Sat., March 23 at 11 a.m. in the first game of a double header at Pepperdine to open West Coast Conference play.

Game 1

Tommy Nance (2-2, 2.74) made the start for the Broncos and tossed just 2.0 innings while picking up a loss. Nance allowed four runs on seven hits with one walk and one strikeout. Chris Mendoza (2-1, 4.26) pitched 5.0-plus innings of one-run relief to save the bullpen for the second game of the doubleheader. Santa Clara's offense was led by Matt Ozanne who was 2-4 with a double and a run scored. Casey Munoz went 1-3 with a walk, a double and a RBI while Stephen Takahashi was 1-3 with a walk, a run scored and a RBI.

David Garner (4-0, 3.31) started for the Spartans and picked up a win in 6.1 innings. Garner surrendered three runs, two earned, on six hits with one walk and six strikeouts. Justin Alleman (0-0, 4.50) picked up his second save of the season. The Michigan State offense banged out 18 hits. The Spartans were led by a trio of players with four hits each. Cam Gibson was 4-4 with a double, a walk and a run scored. While Ryan Krill was 4-5 with a double, a RBI and two runs scored. Blaise Salter was 4-5 with a run scored, a double, a home run and three RBI. 

For the second consecutive inning the Spartans got their lead off man on to start the second, this time on a single to center by Krill. Krill moved to second on a pitch in the dirt and Salter followed with a two-run home run to left field to give Michigan State the early 2-0 lead. After two outs were recorded, Gibson hit a bloop over third for a single and Cheky doubled to right center to bring in another run. The fourth run came across on a RBI single to right center by Keur. The inning stayed alive on an infield single to second by Richardson but a pop out to shortstop ended the frame.

T.J. Braff singled back up the middle on a 3-2 pitch to start the bottom of the second and M. Ozanne followed with his own single up the middle. Peter Summerville moved Braff to third with a fly out to right field. With runners on the corners Drew Ozanne hit into an inning-ending 6-4-3 double play.

After two quick outs in the top of the fifth, the Spartans loaded the bases on back-to-back singles and a walk. Mendoza escaped on a check swing foul out to first.

M. Ozanne one-hopped the left field fence for a stand up double to start the home half of the fifth. M. Ozanne moved to third on a fly ball to right and came in to score the first Santa Clara run on a groundout to short by Drew Ozanne.

Takahashi started the bottom of the sixth by reaching on an error and stealing second. DeMerritt grounded out to short to move Takahashi to third with only one out. Munoz hit a sharp chopper over third base for a RBI double to cut the Bronco deficit to two at 4-2. Munoz moved to third on a balk but Braff went down looking for the third out.

Summerville hit a one out single and was lifted for a pinch runner. D. Ozanne singled to left to put two on for the Broncos and get Garner out of the game. Jeff Kinley entered the game and got C.J. Jacobe to foul out to the catcher. Takahashi flared one over the shortstop to get Santa Clara within one.

Hovis got the Spartans going in the top of the eighth with a sharp single back up the middle that ended the day for Mendoza. Max Deering entered the game and Gibson laid down a sacrifice bunt. Cheky singled to shortstop to put runners on the corners with just one out. Keur knocked in a run with a single to center to close the book on Mendoza. On the next pitch Richardson hit into a 4-3 inning-ending double play.

Leading off the top of the ninth, Jimmy Pickens doubled down the right field line and Krill double down the first base line past a diving Braff to add an insurance run for Michigan State. Salter followed with a RBI double of his own to right center. Deering was taken out for Kenny Treadwell who got out of the inning without another run coming across.

Zach Looney doubled to start the bottom of the ninth and went to third on a wild pitch with no one out.  D. Ozanne and Jacobe both went down on strikes and Takahashi walked to extend the game. Justin Viele followed with a two-run double to bring the tying run to the plate. DeMerritt grounded out to second to close out the game.

Game 2

Jake Steffens (0-1, 11.57) made the start for the Broncos and tossed 2.2 innings while picking up a loss. Steffens allowed six runs on five hits with no walks and no strikeouts. Santa Clara's offense was led by Takahashi who was 1-3 with a walk and a run scored and T.J. Braff who was 1-3. M. Ozanne was 1-3 and Peter Summerville had a RBI.

Mick Van Vossen (1-1, 4.37) started for the Spartans and picked up a win in 7.0 innings. Van Vossen surrendered one run on three hits with two walks and one strikeout. The offense was led by Joel Fisher who was 3-4 with a double, a home run, a run scored and four RBI. Keur was 3-5 with three runs scored whole Pickens added two runs scored, a RBI and two doubles. Krill also had three hits, going 3-1 with two RBI.

Pickens hit a booming doubled to right center in the top of the second. Salter got hit by a pitch and a fielder's choice to advance Pickens to third and allow Ryan Krill to get on base. Joel Fisher hit a three run homerun to give Michigan State the early lead in the top of the second.

Keur bunted to third base for a single leading off the third. Pickens grounded up the middle for a single followed by a sharp single to right for Salter to drive Keur home and knock Steffens out of the game. Evan Brisentine came in and gave up a RBI single to the first batter he faced, bringing the score to 5-0. Fisher was awarded first base after getting hit by a pitch to load the bases. Goergen walked to force a run in and O'Brien made his second pitching change of the inning. Reece Karalus got called on to pitch with the bases loaded and escaped the jam.

T.J. Braff led off in the bottom of the fifth and singled up the middle to get on base and get the first Bronco hit of the game. Braff moved to second on a wild pitch but was unable to advance any further.

In the top of the sixth Fisher doubled to left field, putting him in scoring position. O'Brien came out to the mound and made his third pitching change of the game, bringing in Max Deering. Cheky grounded a base hit to left and Fisher rounded the bases heading for home, but a strong throw from Takahashi got Fisher as he slid home for out number three of the inning.

Takahashi singled up the middle, then Matt Ozanne followed suit to put them both on base. Munoz laid down a sacrifice bunt to advance the runners to second and third. Summerville grounded to second, allowing Takahashi to come home and advance M. Ozanne to third to get the Broncos on the board.

Richardson singled to right field to start the top of the seventh inning but then got picked off and caught in a pickle. Keur got a base hit to center field. Salter singled out to left center field and allowed Keur to advance to third. Krill nearly hit Deering on a single up the middle to bring Keur home and advance Salter to second, making the score 7-1. Fisher singled to left field, bringing Salter home to score. O'Brien made his fourth pitching change of the game and brought in Nick Medeiros.

Keur got the ninth started with a single up the middle and Pickens brought him home with a deep double to left center. Medeiros was lifted for Kenny Treadwell who got a pinch hitter to go down swinging but Krill singled to right to put runners on the corners.

Joe Zwierzynski came in to pitch the bottom of the ninth and was able to seal the win for Michigan State. 

Game Notes: First pitch of Game 1 was at 1:02 … Time of Game 1 was 2:59 … Attendance for the double header was 477 … Casey Munoz was picked off at first for the final out in the bottom of the first inning after drawing a two-out walk … Chris Mendoza came in to start the top of the third for Santa Clara … T.J. Braff made a diving catch and stepped on first to turn an unassisted inning-ending double play in the top of the third …  First pitch of Game 2 was at 4:43 … Time of Game 2 was 2:46 …  Jordan Keur was picked off in the top of the first … Defensive change for Michigan State, Anthony Cheky came in to play outfield. … D.J. Zapata came in to pitch in top of the eighth and went three up three down … Anthony Misiewicz came in to pitch in bottom of the eighth.