Broncos beat Cardinal for third consecutive meeting
THE SANTA CLARA
April 28, 2016
The Broncos bested their cross-town rivals Tuesday night, beating Stanford University 4-2. Freshman Travis Howard took the hill for Santa Clara, and pitched well, allowing one run over four innings of work.
Howard was given the luxury of pitching with the lead, as Santa Clara jumped on the scoreboard in the bottom of the first with a TC Florentine RBI double.
Stanford evened the score in the third and was threatening the next inning with a lead-off double. But Howard settled down and retired the next three batters.
“I thought Travis was great tonight,” said Manager Dan O’Brien. “He continues to get better and better.”
The score remained tied at 1-1 until the bottom of the fifth.
Kyle Cortopassi led the attack with a single and reached third on a Stevie Berman double down the left field line. The Broncos’ bats continued to produce as Kert Woods drove in Cortopassi with an RBI single, with runners still on 1st and 3rd with no outs. TC Florentine then hit into a double play, but still earned his second RBI of the game.
Three runs was all Santa Clara needed, as its bullpen was dominant. Senior Jake Steffens came in as relief for Howard, and gave the Broncos three innings of one run baseball.
Steffens was in line for the win as he walked off the mound in the seventh inning with a 3-2 lead. Austin Fisher all but sealed the victory when he blasted his first career home run in the bottom half of the inning.
“Honestly, I didn’t know it was out because I’ve never hit a home run in my life,” Fisher said. “I looked up, heard the dugout going crazy, and it went out.”
Recently Fisher has been on an absolute tear, hitting .500 in his last four games.
“Austin is a great ballplayer,” O’Brien said. “We needed somebody to step up and make plays defensively and give us quality at-bats and he’s done just that.”
With a 4-2 lead, the Broncos turned the ball over to the backend of their bullpen with Nick Medeiros and Max Kuhns. The two have been great all year, and Tuesday night was no different. Medeiros pitched a scoreless eighth, and Kuhns racked up two strikeouts and he shut down the Stanford offense in the ninth, earning his twelfth save of the season.
“These guys know they can beat anybody,” O’Brien said. “I think the challenge is that really we’ve been beating ourselves. We’re getting wins because we’re taking care of the baseball on defense and we’re throwing strikes and not giving away free bags.”
With the win, the Broncos are on a two game win streak. This is the time for Santa Clara to be playing their best baseball, since they have little room to spare if they hope to reach the playoffs.
“This team is going to roll,” O’Brien said. “We’ve been waiting to break out all year and I think the time is now.”
The Broncos will look to extend the winning streak as they host Loyola Marymount University this weekend at Stephen Schott Stadium.
Contact Andrew Slap at email@example.com or call (408) 554-4852.