Santa Clara Evens Series With 3-1 Win Over Pepperdine Sunday Afternoon
March 21, 2004
Junior right hander Kellan McConnell struck out a career-high 10 batters and limited Pepperdine to four hits over eight innings to help Santa Clara register a 3-1 victory Sunday afternoon at Eddy D. Field Stadium and even the West Coast Conference (WCC) series at a game apiece.
The two teams will play the rubber game of the series on Monday beginning at 2 p.m.
The win snapped a five-game losing streak for the Broncos, who improved to 12-12 on the season and 1-1 in WCC play, while Pepperdine fell to 7-13 on the year and 1-1 in conference action.
Santa Clara broke a 1-1 tie in the seventh inning when it scored the go-ahead run on a passed ball with two outs.
With one out, Broncos shortstop Eric Newton singled to left field against Pepperdine starter Kea Kometani (1-4). That marked the end of the day for Kometani, who was relieved by sophomore left-hander Paul Coleman.
Coleman hit the first batter he faced in center fielder Robert Perry. He then wild-pitched Newton and Perry to third and second, respectively, before striking out designated hitter Shawn Epidendio for the second out of the inning.
Newton scored the go-ahead run a passed ball by freshman catcher Chad Tracy before Coleman struck out right fielder Nic Crosta for the third out of the inning.
The frustration continued in the bottom half of the inning for the Waves, who got a lead-off double from junior designated hitter Steve Kleen, but stranded him there after McConnell got a strikeout and two fly balls to end the inning.
Pepperdine again put the leadoff batter on in the eighth inning as sophomore third baseman Nick Kliebert doubled inside the third base bag. However, the Waves' rally was thwarted when Kliebert was forced at third on a sacrifice attempt, and after freshman Luke Salas walked to put runners at first and second, McConnell struck out the next two batters to end the inning.
Santa Clara added an insurance run in the ninth inning on back-to-back doubles by catcher Matt McClogan and Newton.
McConnell improved his record to 2-3 on the season after pitching eight innings, allowing four hits, one run, walking three and striking out 10.
Kometani and Coleman combined to strike out 11 Santa Clara batters, and combined with senior right hander Jacob Barrack's career-high 13 strikeouts on Saturday, brought total of Bronco hitters fanned in the first two games to 23.
Pepperdine scored its lone run of the game on a sacrifice fly by junior shortstop Patrick Rooney in the sixth inning.
Freshman center fielder Luke Salas extended his hitting streak to a career and team-high 11 games with a first-inning single. Kliebert had a career-high tying two hits to lead the Waves.