Baseball Bests San Jose State 7-4

SAN JOSE, Calif. — The Santa Clara Broncos notched 12 hits, including five doubles, and had four pitchers combine to limit the San Jose State offense in a 7-4 win Tuesday night at Municipal Stadium. Nick Medeiros recorded his second win in his first start of the season and two Broncos put up three-hit nights in the victory.

Medeiros (W, 2-0) made his first start of the season after 17 relief appearances, and earned the win by throwing 3.2 innings and allowing an unearned run on three hits with three walks. The sophomore retired six in a row in the early part of the game, including a 1-2-3 second inning for Santa Clara.

"Nicky did a great job throwing three outstanding innings and setting the tone for us tonight," head coach Dan O'Brien said. "He's such a hard worker, great teammate and all around solid person. Everyone was pulling for him tonight."

San Jose State starter Johnny Melero (L, 2-6) threw 5.0 innings and allowed four runs (two earned) on seven hits with one walk and two strikeouts. 

The Broncos (20-24) brought in their first runs on the game in the second inning. Senior left fielder Casey Munoz led off the frame with a double and senior second baseman Zach Looney was hit by a pitch to put a pair of runners on with two outs. In his first start in the field since March 13, freshman third baseman Max Kuhns hit a two-run double to drive Munoz and Looney home for a 2-0 Bronco lead.

The Spartans (13-32) got their first run of the game on an error in the third inning to make the score 2-1. Senior first baseman Quinton Perry fielded a ground ball and threw wide of the covering pitcher Medeiros, allowing sophomore second baseman Tyler Olivet to score from second.

Munoz led off the fourth with a single, and was thrown out trying to score by a 7-6-2 Spartan relay on a double off the bat of junior right fielder T.J. Braff. Santa Clara had its first four batters reach in the inning, and drove in runs on an RBI squeeze bunt by Looney up the first base line and a two-out RBI single from sophomore catcher Kyle Cortopassi to make the score 4-1. Santa Clara got its leadoff hitter aboard in each of the first four innings. 

"Guys are staying relaxed at the plate, being patient to their pitch and not trying to do too much with it," O'Brien said. "That's been the key to our quality at-bats lately."

Medeiros recorded two outs on four pitches in the bottom half of the inning before the Spartans loaded the bases with a single, a walk and another single. Jason Seever came in with the potential go-ahead run at the plate, and got junior center fielder Andre Mercurio to fly out for the last out of the inning. The freshman allowed a two-run homer with no outs to senior first baseman Matt Carroll in the sixth, and retired three of the next four batters he faced to protect a 4-3 Bronco lead.

"Seever has been steady, very composed and confident in those big situations," O'Brien said. "He's really been huge for this ballclub."

Santa Clara followed with three consecutive RBI hits — singles from freshman pinch-hitter Kyle Czaplak and Munoz and a double from Braff — to make the score 7-3 in the seventh. Braff and Munoz tied for a team-best three hits in the victory, while Kuhns led the Broncos with two RBIs.

Junior Evan Brisentine retired four Spartans in a row to begin his outing and got freshman shortstop Alec de Watteville to line into an inning-ending double play in the eighth. Sophomore closer Reece Karalus (SV, 9) struck out the first two batters he faced in a 1-2-3 ninth to earn his ninth save of the season.

The Broncos return to action for a West Coast Conference weekend series at San Francisco, beginning Friday, May 3 at 3 p.m. First pitch times for the rest of the weekend are at 3 p.m. May 4 and 1 p.m. May 5. 

Game Notes: First pitch was at 6:03 p.m. … time of the game was 2:34 … attendance was 256 ... Mercurio went 0-for-5, bringing his 20-game on-base streak to an end.