SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Jake Brodt provided all the offense and freshman Grant Nechak had the best pitching performance of his young career to send Santa Clara baseball to a 5-3 series-opening win against Pacific on Friday in a West Coast Conference matchup.
Brodt drove in all five runs, a career high, on a 3-for-4 effort from the plate, which included a pair of home runs, and Nechak (2-6) went a career-long eight innings, surrendering just four hits and three runs, all unearned, for the Broncos (12-35, 8-14).
Freshman Alonzo Billups pitched a scoreless ninth to record his first-career save.
Justin Giovannoni (0-3) suffered the loss for the Tigers (16-31, 4-18) after lasting only 3 1/3 innings, yielding four hits and three earned runs, all courtesy of Brodt's first-inning blast over the left field fence.
Matt Tarantino provided the offense for Pacific going 3-for-4 with three RBIs. His two-run homer in the third inning cut the deficit to 3-2.
Nechak, who threw 104 pitches, set down eight in a row between the third and sixth innings, and Brodt gave him some more cushion in the fifth when he smashed a two-out solo home run off Ryan Shreve over the left center field fence. Brodt added an RBI single in the seventh off Shreve who pitched the final four innings.
Nechak pitched his way out of trouble in the eighth. Tarantino scored Kevin Sandri with an RBI single to cut the lead to 5-3, but Nechak got out of a first-and-second, two-out jam by inducing a fly out from Schalak.
Billups needed just 10 pitches to set down the Tigers in the ninth.
"It's exciting to have two freshmen throw quality ballgames," Santa Clara head coach Dan O'Brien said.
Brodt, a junior, had the first multi-homer game of his career.
"Jake has really found himself at the plate and has been a team leader for us on and off the field the last three weeks," O'Brien said.
In their final home series of the season, the Broncos go for the series win Saturday. First pitch is set for 7 p.m. in Stephen Schott Stadium.
"I'm thrilled the way the guys are playing," O'Brien said. "They continue to play hard and get better every day."
The teams finish the series on Sunday with a 1 p.m. start.
Sub Hub Saturdays: If the Broncos win on Saturday, all fans leave with a buy one, get one 1/2 off Sub Hub coupon. Sub Hub is located across from campus in the shopping center on the corner of El Camino and Railroad Ave.
Baseball Bingo: Pick up a baseball bingo card at the marketing table and follow along while the Broncos are at-bat for your chance to win a prize.
Senior Day: Bronco baseball seniors will be honored in a pregame ceremony.
Enter to Win: Stop by the marketing table to enter to win a pair of tickets to see Brad Paisley, Dustin Lynch, and Chase Bryant at Shoreline Amphitheater on Saturday, June 17th. All fans that stop by the marketing table will receive one entry into the raffle.
Ruff Riders Promotions: The first 25 Ruff Riders receive a neon green RR sunglasses.
Ruff Rider Rewards App Redemption Game: Redeem you RR Rewards points for sweet Ruff Riders swag at the marketing table located in the entrance plaza.
Parking: Parking is now available in the Guadalupe lot, adjacent to 455 El Camino Real. The Guadalupe lot is reserved beginning 60 minutes before game time through the end of the event for free parking. Baseball parking is no longer allowed in the lot behind Schott Stadium's left field wall. Overflow parking is available in the Leavey Center lot. Spectators that plan to arrive more than an hour prior to game time on weekdays are encouraged to purchase a parking permit for the Leavey lot. All SCU lot parking is free on weekends. ADA parking is available in the lot directly in front of the main gates; there is no general public parking in this lot. Follow signs for parking instructions.
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