Broncos find win column after opening weekend losses
THE SANTA CLARA
February 20, 2014
Santa Clara took to the field for its opening slate of games and finished the weekend winning once and falling victim to defeat three times.
“We had a great weekend,” said Head Coach Dan O’Brien. “For our program, for our team and for where we were, it was an awesome weekend for us.”
The highlight of Santa Clara’s weekend came in the second game of action on Sunday in walk-off fashion.
With the score tied after nine innings, Santa Clara and the University of Nevada, Reno pushed the game into extras.
In the home half of the 10th inning, Santa Clara had runners on first and second base. Junior C.J. Jacobe stepped up to the plate, knocked the ball into left field and sophomore Kert Woods ran home to secure the victory.
“Winning the last game of the weekend after some tough, close games was awesome,” said senior Kenny Treadwell. “Last year, we struggled in extra-inning games, but (Jacobe) came through for us. Our coach is big on everyone contributing and so many people played a part in that win.”
Senior Peter Summerville was also pleased with how the fourth game of the season turned out.
“The walk-off win was great,” he said. “It was a hard-fought weekend and to come out on top after that game was pretty special.”
Prior to that win, the Broncos suffered three losses.
Santa Clara hosted its opening day game against UNR on Valentine’s Day for a game that was anything but romantic. The Broncos fell to Nevada by a score of 4-1.
The Broncos came out strong. Freshman Rory Graf-Brennen scored the first run while his teammate, Zach Looney, was stealing second base in the bottom of the first inning. However, Santa Clara couldn’t keep its momentum going and Nevada scored in three separate innings to walk away victorious.
Saturday’s game against Boston College proved tough for the Broncos as well.
The Eagles scored twice in the first and once more in the third to go up by three runs in the early going. Santa Clara cut into the lead in spectacular fashion after senior Greg Harisis hit a homerun, but the Broncos couldn’t muster any more runs and Boston would eventually score one more to win 4-1.
Santa Clara got another chance against Boston College on Sunday, its first game of two on the day.
Looney reached on an infield single that scored Harisis, putting the Broncos on the board after the first inning.
The Broncos’ offense put together a run in the second inning to extend their early lead. With the bases loaded, freshman Seaver Whalen was hit by a pitch and Casey Munoz came home to score. Moments later, freshman Stevie Berman scored after a wild pitch got away from the catcher. The Broncos scored two more runs and drove up the score to 5-0.
However, Santa Clara cooled down in the later innings while Boston College heated up its offensive output. The Eagles scored all eight of their runs between innings four and nine. They went on to shut down the Broncos, winning 8-6.
The Broncos wrapped up their first full week of play on Tuesday against California Polytechnic State University, falling 8-0. The loss puts Santa Clara at 1-4 on the year.
Santa Clara will work on the fundamentals in order to improve their play going forward.
“We want to be more consistent in all areas — offensively, defensively, on the mound and on the bases,” said O’Brien, “but we also want to focus on remaining positive regardless of the situation.”
In addition to focusing on their technical skills, the players aim to keep their attitudes and mindsets in line as well.
“Baseball’s a game where you can’t control everything, so we’re focusing on what we can control,” said Zapata. “We got to keep up with our energy and keep putting pressure on our opponents.”
The Broncos now turn their attention to the Irish Baseball Classic hosted by the University of Notre Dame. Santa Clara will kick off its first game today in San Antonio, Texas. Competition continues throughout the weekend.
“In order to be a good team you have to stay positive and work as a unit,” said Berman. “If you look at all the negatives, it can pile up and affect your season as a whole, but our good attitude puts a light on our season and shows that this team can do something special.”
Contact Sydney Sanchez at email@example.com or call (408) 554-4852.