Baseball Loses to San Francisco, 4-1

Baseball Loses to San Francisco, 4-1
SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Defensive miscues proved costly for Santa Clara baseball which lost, 4-1 to San Francisco in the finale of the West Coast Conference home opening series on Sunday.  
Defensive lapses led to two and possibly three runs in the game which proved to be the difference in the game.  
San Francisco (16-11, 6-3 WCC) and Santa Clara (4-21, 0-6 WCC) exchanged solo home runs in the fourth inning off the bats of Robert Emery and Jake MacNichols for the first runs of the game for each team.  MacNichols' home run was the only run allowed by Dons starter Grant Nechak, who was replaced in the fifth by Alex Pham.  
In the fifth, Tyler Villaroman and Riley Helland led off the inning with back-to-back singles off Santa Clara starter Holden Bernhardt.  With the runners at the corners, the Bronco left-hander struck out the Dons leading hitter, Jack Winkler, for the first out before inducing a tailor made grounder to Jason Dicochea for a double play but the ball was mishandled by the Bronco second baseman.  Dicochea was able to recover and throw out Jonathan Allen at first but Villaroman scored to put the Dons up, 2-1.
Travis Howard came in relief of Bernhardt and needed one pitch to get Emery to fly out, leaving Helland stranded at second.
The Broncos still trailed 2-1 in the seventh when reliever Eric Lex was brought in for Howard.  The Santa Clara co-closer quickly got two outs before giving up a single to Helland.  A fielding error by Bronco shortstop Dawson Brigman on Winkler's ground ball kept the inning alive for the Dons.  After Allen drew a walk to load the bases, Emery singled home Helland and Winkler for some insurance runs.
Pham (2-1) pitched the final five innings to pick up the win in relief.  The right-hander tossed five innings, allowed three hits, walked two and struck out five.
Bernhardt was saddled with the loss going 4 2/3 innings, scattering six hits, two runs and striking out three.
Santa Clara travels to Cal Poly to play the Mustangs on Tuesday at 6 p.m.  
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