SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Santa Clara baseball led by runs five after three innings but could not maintain the lead and fell to Gonzaga by a score of 13-7 on Friday night. The Bulldogs were able to score on the Bronco bullpen, including nine of their 13 runs coming in the seventh and ninth innings. Whereas Santa Clara scored early on Gonzaga but put just one run on the board in the final four innings and were unable to match the Bulldog offense.
Gonzaga (19-14, 10-4 WCC) earned a comeback victory over Santa Clara (7-27, 3-8 WCC) for the second straight game. Freshman right-handed pitcher Alex Waldsmith (0-1) was handed the loss as he gave up two earned runs in one inning pitched. Calvin LeBrun (1-1) earned the win as he threw two innings and allowed just one unearned run. Sam Hellinger (2) recorded the save.
Sophomore third baseman John Cresto homered to left center on the first pitch of the game by the Bulldogs. It was the seventh home run of the season for Cresto. The Broncos added two more runs as senior left fielder Tyler Meditz hit a two-RBI double to score juniors Niko Holm and Jake Brodt (unearned, reached on error). Redshirt freshman Ryan McCarthy also hit a two-RBI double to score Meditz and junior second baseman Evan Haberle to give SCU a 5-0 lead.
Freshman right-handed pitcher Grant Nechak threw three scoreless innings but ran into trouble in the top of the fourth inning and allowed four runs. The Bulldogs recorded a walk and then a single, a double, a single and a triple to score four runs and cut the SCU lead to 5-4. Daniel Fredrickson finished the game with four runs batted in on two hits to lead the Bulldogs.
Santa Clara responded with another solo home run, this time off the bat of McCarthy. His second bomb of the season gave the Broncos a 6-4 lead through four innings.
SCU extended the lead to 7-4 in the bottom of the sixth inning as Cresto doubled to right center to score junior catcher Lucas Eliason. Eliason was on first base and advanced to third and then scored on a fielding error by the right fielder.
Gonzaga loaded the bases in the top of the seventh inning with no outs and proceeded to score five runs and take a 9-7 lead. The Bulldogs walked in a run, scored on a sac fly and then hit a two-RBI single and a RBI single to lead for the first time on the night.
The Bulldogs added four runs in the top of the ninth to extend the lead to 13-7.
Up Next: Santa Clara will play the series finale on Saturday at 1 p.m. PT.
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