Broncos Fall at Home to Stanford
Stanford rallies late for road win at Stephen Schott
Published: Thursday, May 24, 2012
Updated: Thursday, May 24, 2012 10:05
From the first pitch it was clear that it would be tough for the Broncos to beat the Cardinal, a perennial national championship contender.
Stanford’s Jake Stewart sent Santa Clara starting pitcher Tommy Nance’s first pitch of the game over the left field wall, giving the Cardinal a 1-0 lead right off the bat.
“We come out expecting to win each night. We had a good chance tonight, and the final score just didn’t end up the way we wanted,” said Quinton Perry. “We’ll still bring that same mentality each night, whether we’re in first place or last place.”
Although Nance settled down and retired the next three batters to end the first, he was replaced by James Smith to start the second.
The Broncos saved one run in the top of the third with a play at the plate, but an errant throw and two walks allowed Danny Diekroeger to score.
In the bottom half of the third, the Broncos were able to score their first run of the night after Stanford’s Austin Wilson dropped a deep fly ball off of the bat of Lucas Herbst. Justin Viele came in to score, cutting their deficit to 2-1.
In the top of the fifth, the hot hitting Stewart, who finished the game with two home runs, a double, a single, and a walk, led off the inning with a base hit for the Cardinal. After a much-needed double play for the Broncos, the Cardinal got three more hits and, after capitalizing on an overthrow on a steal attempt, led 5-1. The fifth would be Smith’s last inning of work on the mound.
The Broncos got one run back in the bottom half of the inning by way of small ball, as Greg Harisis’ sacrifice bunt put Viele in scoring position. Viele later scored on designated hitter Pat Stover’s single.
In the bottom of the sixth, Quinton Perry hit a ball that careened off the yellow line on the top of the fence for a solo home run. His fourth home run of the season closed the gap to 5-3. “It felt good,” Perry said. “We try to take each at-bat the same, no matter which pitching staff we are facing.”
After allowing Stanford’s Stewart to score again in the top of the seventh, the Broncos scored two runs of their own in the bottom half of the inning. Pinch-runner Justin Gisch scored on a passed ball, and Andrew Biancardi drove in Stover, who reached after being hit by a pitch. After seven innings, the Broncos trailed by just one, 6-5.
The top of the eighth once again brought Stewart to the plate. After a 2-out single, he belted his second home run of the night, once again putting the Cardinal on top by three. Stanford would also go on to score two more runs in the top of the ninth.
After getting two men to reach base in the bottom half of the inning, Biancardi flew out to right to end the threat and the game.
Santa Clara hung tough with highly ranked Stanford, who currently is in a three-way tie for third in the Pac-12 and is a near lock for a NCAA Tournament birth.
The loss drops the Broncos one game under .500 on the season. They will head into their final series of the year this weekend at home against Loyola Marymount sporting a 4-17 conference record. LMU is 12-9 in conference.
Contact Ryan Mahoney at email@example.com.