May 3, 2014

Baseball Routs Dons 12-6

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. — The Santa Clara Broncos scored three runs in the first inning on their way to a wire-to-wire victory 12-6 Saturday over the San Francisco Dons at Benedetti Diamond. The Broncos posted multiple runs in four of their first six innings and had three batters record three hits to even up the series at one game apiece.

Starting pitcher Peter Hendron (W, 6-3) threw 5.0 innings and allowed five earned runs on nine hits with two walks and six strikeouts for the Broncos (21-25, 11-9 WCC). The sophomore's six strikeouts were one short of his career-high seven set back on March 2 vs. Manhattan in his third start of the 2014 season. Hendron struck out batters to end each of Saturday afternoon's first four innings.

San Francisco starter Christian Cecilio (L, 4-7) allowed seven earned runs on six hits with three walks and three strikeouts in 3.1 innings for the Dons (21-24, 9-14 WCC). Senior left fielder Casey Munoz hit a one-out single to left to drive in the game's first run in the first and senior designated hitter Quinton Perry made the lead 3-0 on a two-out, two-run double two batters later.

"It was big to get ahead early and have the guys stay focused at the plate throughout the game," head coach Dan O'Brien said. "That's not easy to do, but they stayed consistent all day. That says a lot about their continued development as an offense."

San Francisco junior designated hitter Brendan Hendriks answered back with an RBI double as part of his team-best two-RBI night to make the score 3-1 in the first.

After freshman catcher Stevie Berman's one-out double in the third, Munoz hit an RBI triple and junior first baseman T.J. Braff followed with an RBI sacrifice fly to give the Broncos a 5-1 lead. Senior second baseman Zach Looney led off the fourth with a double and sophomore third baseman Kyle Cortopassi walked with no outs to put a pair of baserunners aboard for Santa Clara. Senior center fielder Greg Harisis hit an RBI single and sophomore shortstop Jose Vizcaino, Jr. followed with an RBI sacrifice fly to put Santa Clara ahead 7-3.

San Francisco got a pair of singles to start the fifth, and the Broncos called on Jason Seever out of the bullpen to slow the Dons offense. After allowing an RBI double to the first batter he faced, the freshman retired seven in a row and finished the afternoon by allowing just one hit with three strikeouts in 3.0 innings.

"Seever, once again, gave us a great effort today," O'Brien said. "He continues to come in and keep hitters off balance in key innings and situations. His outings have quietly been among the most important for us all season." 

In the sixth, Santa Clara had five consecutive batters reach with two outs, including RBIs from Braff, Perry, Cortopassi, and sophomore right fielder Kert Woods. The Broncos sent 10 to the plate overall, and came away with four runs on five hits. In the first two games of the series, they have recorded 30 hits and 12 extra-base hits. 

"Guys are not trying to do too much at the plate, they're keeping it simple and being rewarded for it," O'Brien said.

Vizcaino, Jr. recorded his third straight hit in the ninth on an RBI single to score Woods and increase the lead to 12-5. He tied Munoz and Perry with a team-best three hits on the afternoon and Perry led the Broncos with three RBIs. Six Bronco starters recorded a hit, an RBI and a run scored in the victory.

GAME NOTES: First pitch was at 1:02 p.m. … time of game was 3:41 … attendance was 215.