Comeback victory spurs Broncos to three straight wins
The Santa Clara
May 4, 2017
Santa Clara swept Pepperdine in a hard-fought three game series this past weekend. The Broncos hope to carry forward this momentum as they enter the final stretch of the season.
Santa Clara entered Friday night’s game on a three-game losing streak and it seemed like the streak would extend to four. After allowing two runs in the bottom of the eighth, the Broncos found themselves down 6-4; three outs away from defeat.
The Broncos started the top of the ninth with two walks and got the game within one run thanks to Jake Brodt’s single into center. Santa Clara’s fortune continued the very next play with Joe Becht coming around from second to score thanks to a sacrifice bunt and errant throw.
The Broncos tallied two more runs that inning to give themselves a 8-6 lead. A 1-2- 3 inning from Alonzo Billips gave Santa Clara the comeback victory.
The Broncos followed a similar pattern the next game, eeking out a victory in the final inning. Santa Clara got a dominant performance from Eric Lex, who went seven scoreless innings, while allowing just five hits. The bullpen continued the strong pitching and the score remained at 0-0 heading into extra innings.
Jake Brodt broke the scoring drought in the top of the 12th, driving in two on a single into left-center. Brodt was locked in at the plate all weekend, hitting .533 with a home run and seven RBIs. His effort earned him WCC Player of the Week.
“I feel like we fed off of our early success that not only I had this weekend but the rest of the team had as well,” Brodt said. “It was a great weekend for the team and we look to carry this confidence into the next few weeks.”
The Broncos allowed just one run in the next half inning to give them the 2-1 victory.
“We’ve always emphasized the importance of playing our best baseball in April and May,” said Head Coach Dan O’Brien. “They’re doing that; they continue to work hard, improve and compete and that paid off this weekend.”
Sunday’s game was far less dramatic than the first two. The Broncos took the lead right away in the top of the first and never relinquished it. Santa Clara again got a brilliant outing from the mound, as Jacob Steffens threw a complete game, allowing just two runs.
Brodt again led Santa Clara’s offense with four RBIs on the day and catcher Lucas Eliason had two RBIs of his own.
Despite the three wins, the Broncos stand in sixth place in the West Coast Conference.
“We’ve had some tough times but there’s a lot of baseball left,” said Coach O’Brien. “And in our minds anything can happen as long as we’re mathematically still in it.”
And while the record for Santa Clara isn’t exactly impressive, it doesn’t tell the whole story of this team. The Broncos proved yet again this weekend that they’re a team of resiliency—they’re going to fight till the very end.
“If you watch us practice, or hang in the dugout, you’d never know it’s been a tough season,” said Coach O’Brien. “There’s no quit in these guys, and that says everything you need to know about them and their character.”
The Broncos will host Brigham Young for a three game series at Stephen Schott Stadium starting on Thursday, May 6 at 6 p.m.
Contact Andrew Slap at email@example.com or call (408) 554-4852.