Bronco Baseball Drops Two Games at Pepperdine in WCC Opener
MALIBU, Calif. – Opening West Coast Conference play, Santa Clara baseball lost both games of a doubleheader at Pepperdine by finals of 4-3 and 7-5. The Broncos are now 8-14 overall and 0-2 in WCC play while Pepperdine is 12-9 and 4-1 in conference action.
Santa Clara and Pepperdine return to the field to wrap up the series tomorrow Sun., March 14 at 1 p.m.
Mike Couch (3-3, 3.26) started for the Broncos and threw 8.0 innings in the loss. Couch allowed four runs on eight hits with one walk and three strikeouts. The offense was led by T.J. Braff who was 2-4 with a run scored. Stephen Takahashi was 1-4 while Quinton Perry returned to the lineup and went 1-2 with a pair of walks. Greg Harisis also returned to the lineup and scored a run.
Scott Frazier (2-3, 4.35) picked up the win for the Waves while throwing 8.0 innings in the start. He allowed three runs, one earned, on five hits with four walks and five strikeouts. Michael Swanner (0-0, 2.08) earned his third save by pitching a shutout ninth. Austin Davidson was 3-4 with a run scored and a RBI to lead the offense while Sam Meyer was 2-4 with a RBI. Bryan Langlois added a hit and a RBI while Drew Hacker was 1-3 with a run and a RBI.
Santa Clara jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the top of the third. Braff led off the inning with a single through the left side and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Peter Summerville. Kyle DeMerritt single to left to put runners on the corners and a run came in on a balk. Frazier escaped the inning without allowing another run to come across.
In the bottom of the fourth Pepperdine used a pair of hits to even the score. Davidson doubled with one out and moved to third on a deep fly ball to right. With two down, Langlois singled up the middle to bring in Davidson and tie the game at 1-1.
The Waves put up a three spot in the home half of the fifth to go ahead for good. Ranny Lowe was hit by a pitch with one down and stole second before the second out was recorded. Hacker doubled down the line to bring in the first run of the inning and Chris Amezquita followed with a walk to put two on with two out. Davidson followed with a single to knock in another run and Meyer made it three hits in a row with a RBI single of his own.
Harisis led off the top of the ninth by reaching on an error and Perry walked to give the Broncos life. Matt Ozanne went down swinging and Casey Munoz grounded out to the pitcher for the second out of the inning but moved both runners up in the process. Braff reached on an error and Harisis scored to cut the deficit to two. A passed ball brought in another run and Santa Clara put two more runners on but was unable to score again.
Chris Mendoza (2-2, 5.33) started the second game of the day for Santa Clara but lasted just 1.2 innings while getting the loss. Mendoza allowed three runs on four hits with a strikeout. The Bronco offense was led by a trio of players with two hits. Takahashi was 2-5 with two runs scored, Harisis was 2-4 and T.J. Braff was 2-4 with two RBI. Viele added two runs scored with a walk and a hit in four at-bats.
Corey Miller (4-2, 2.97) started for the Waves and picked up a win. Miller threw 6.0 innings while allowing four runs on seven hits with three walks and nine strikeouts. Swanner (0-0, 1.86) picked up his second save of the day and fourth of the season with a clean ninth inning. Davidson led the Waves on offense by going 4-5 with a run scored while Kolten Yamaguchi was 3-4 with a run scored and a RBI. Cody Nulph added three RBI in three at-bats.
Viele led off the game with a walk after fouling off four consecutive pitches. After a sacrifice bunt by Takahashi, Harisis drew a one out walk as well and Munoz singled through the left side to give Santa Clara the early 1-0 lead.
Pepperdine answered in the bottom of the first. Davidson and Meyer hit back-to-back doubles with one out to even the score. After a line out, Yamaguchi hit the third double of the inning to put the Waves up 2-1.
After two quick groundouts in the bottom of the second, Amezquita blasted a home run to left field to end the day for Mendoza. Chris Heckert came in and ended the inning.
The Broncos retook the lead in the top of third with a three spot. Viele and Takahashi hit back-to-back singles to get things started and put runners on the corners. After a strikeout to Harisis, Perry singled in a run. Perry and Takahashi pulled off a double steal to put two runners in scoring position with just one out and Braff came through with two outs when he singled up the middle to score both runners.
The Waves answered with three runs of their own in the bottom of the frame. Langlois doubled to left with one down to chase Heckert. Nick Medeiros came in and Yamaguchi followed with a single to put runners on the corners. A run came in to score on a throwing error by new Bronco second baseman Kyle Cortopassi. After James Grandpre was hit by a pitch, Nulph doubled to center to knock in two more runs.
Santa Clara inched a run closer in the top of the seventh. Drew Ozanne and Harisis both singled through the right side with one out to put runners on the corners. Harisis swiped second and D. Ozanne stole home to get the Broncos within one at 6-5.
Yamaguchi got things going in the bottom of the seventh with a walk and Lowe singled to short to end the day for Kenny Treadwell. Max Deering came in and Grandpre laid down a sacrifice bunt but an error loaded the bases. Nulph knocked in a run with a sacrifice fly to put Pepperdine on top 7-5.
Swanner pitched a perfect ninth to give Pepperdine the sweep of the doubleheader.