Broncos lose first game of series but win final two over Notre Dame
THE SANTA CLARA
February 25, 2016
Santa Clara’s baseball team was unfazed by their home opener loss to Notre Dame, coming back to win the last two games of the series on Saturday and Sunday.
Friday night, an eager crowd was on hand to watch the start of the Broncos season, but unfortunately witnessed a 0-5 loss.
Two MLB greats were in town to watch their sons play for the Irish. Baseball Hall of Famer Craig Biggio was on hand to watch his son Cavan Biggio, along with potential Hall of Famer Torii Hunter, watching his son Torii Hunter Jr.
The Irish’s Friday night starter Ryan Smoyer outmatched the Broncos’ hitters, pitching a perfect game until the sixth inning.
Smoyer finished his first win of the season with seven innings pitched, two hits and zero runs allowed.
Cavan Biggio had a big night for the Irish, hitting an inside the park homerun and an RBI single.
The Broncos Friday night starter Mitchell White pitched well and racked up seven strikeouts, yet four errors by the Broncos hampered his efforts. White used his curveball to keep the Irish guessing, despite picking up his first loss.
The Broncos enter a new era of double play duos, with freshmen John Cresto starting at shortstop and Austin Reyes at second base. Both seemed nervous in their college debuts–Cresto had an error while Reyes had two.
The Broncos offensive was limited to only three hits on Friday. Cresto and junior Stevie Berman both hit doubles. Grant Meylan singled.
“I think a lot of the credit has to go to Smoyer,” Berman said. “He is a really good pitcher and had some of his best stuff that day. Obviously there are going to be opening day jitters, but I believe Smoyer really had a plan and executed very well.”
A dominant Steven Wilson propelled the Broncos on Saturday, leading to a 2-0 win. Wilson pitched six innings and struck out seven with help from his dazzling curveball.
Nick Medeiros provided a scoreless inning of relief. Max Kuhns pitched two innings to grab his first save of the season.
Wilson’s performance earned him the Rawlings West Coast Conference Pitcher of the Week honor.
The Irish turned to Peter Solomon on Saturday. Despite a solid fastball, sitting in the low to mid 90s, Solomon was ineffective against the Broncos.
Solomon’s night was done after three innings after getting four hits, two earned runs and two walks.
The Broncos’ offensive was more lively on Saturday, compiling seven hits. Cresto had a big day for the Broncos, adding both runs and his first multi-hit game.
Back to back singles by Cresto and Berman presented a promising opportunity. Solomon followed up by walking Matt Smithwick.
With the bases loaded, Cresto scored on a wild pitch, giving the Broncos an early 1-0 lead.
The Broncos were back in business in the third, when Cresto and Berman started the inning off with another set of back to back singles.
With runners on second and third, Jake Brodt hit a sacrifice fly to centerfield, deep enough to score the fleet footed Cresto for a 2-0 lead.
Grant Meylan displayed his cannon in the 7th inning. Notre Dame had a runner on third when Lane Richards hit a fly ball to right field.
The Irish runner tagged from third, but was gunned down at the plate by Meylan to preserve the shutout.
In Sunday’s rubber match, both teams resorted to lefty pitchers. The Broncos jumped ahead early to a 4-0 lead, however the Irish chipped away for a 4-2 final.
Jason Seever had a solid outing for the Broncos, pitching 5.2 innings, allowing one earned run, while striking out seven.
Seever provided the play of the series in the second at bat of the game.
In the first, Meylan reached on an error by the pitcher, Guenther, and stole second base. Berman walked. Smithwick reached on an error by Biggio, scoring Meylan as Berman advanced to third.
The Broncos squeezed home Berman on a sacrifice bunt by Brodt, giving the Broncos a 2-0 lead. The team added two more runs in the third and fourth.
The Broncos employed a shift on Biggio, the entire series leaving the shortstop the closest to third. Biggio attempted to bunt for a single, however, he popped it up long enough for a diving Seever to make the highlight catch.
Peter Hendron provided two innings of relief, allowing an earned run. Kuhns picked up his second save of the young season, adding two strikeouts in 1.1 innings.
“I think the most important thing that went well for Wilson and Seever was that they stuck to their games,” Berman said. “Our coaches did a great job of studying the Notre Dame hitters and understanding what they were trying to do on offense, so they put us in a great spot to succeed.
On Thursday the Broncos host the Jack Gifford Memorial Tournament.
The Broncos will play the University of California Davis on Feb. 25 at 6 p.m., Utah Valley on Feb. 26 at 6 p.m., Saint Joseph’s on Feb. 27 at 5 p.m. and Michigan on Feb. 28 at 6 p.m.
Contact Brent Hanower at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (408) 554-4852.