Baseball team cools off in Dons series over the weekend
THE SANTA CLARA
April 9, 2015
Over the course of a long season of more than 50 games, almost every team faces its ups and downs. After winning six of their last seven, Santa Clara could not escape this harsh reality, dropping all three games against the University of San Francisco last weekend.
“We just don’t handle adversity well,” said Head Coach Dan O’Brien. “We’re a front-running team right now. When we’re playing good and when it feels good, we play well, then as soon as we hit adversity the whole team falls apart.”
Starter Steven Wilson was superb in the series opener. He pitched six innings and allowed just one earned run. But errors allowed the Dons to score two more unearned runs against Wilson.
As good as Wilson was, San Francisco’s Anthony Shew was even better, only giving up one run in eight innings of work. Second baseman Austin Fisher drove in the Broncos’ lone run in the bottom of the second.
There were a few other bright spots for the Broncos’ offense, especially near the bottom of the order. Designated hitter Tyler Meditz went 3-3 on the day, while center fielder T.C. Florentine was 1-2 with a walk.
The Broncos trailed 3-1 heading into the eighth inning. But the Dons padded their lead with six more runs in the final two innings to secure the win.
Following the tough loss, Santa Clara looked determined to right the ship the next day. Center fielder Grant Meylan led the game off with a double down the left field line, and eventually came around to score on a T.J. Braff sacrifice.
San Francisco tied things up during the next inning, but the Broncos immediately responded with another run on an RBI single by Fisher. Both teams added another run in the fourth, and the Broncos held their lead at 3-2 heading into the seventh.
Starter Kevin George was in line for the win, giving the Broncos six strong innings. But the bullpen couldn’t hold the lead. The Dons managed one run off of pitcher Mitchell White in the top of the seventh to tie the game.
San Francisco’s bats then exploded the following inning and the Dons scored nine runs.
Much like the first game, Santa Clara was competitive for the first seven innings, but then saw the game spiral out of control.
Freshman Eric Lex got the start for the Broncos in game series finale, and gave up five runs in 4.2 innings. Lex had no run support to work with, however, as Santa Clara couldn’t plate a single run against San Francisco lefty Sam Granoff, who entered the game with a 1.63 ERA. Granoff went all nine innings to earn the complete game shutout.
“It’s critical that we stay positive,” O’Brien said. “These guys are going to have to go through as much adversity as they need to make a difference. But for the coaching staff, we just need to point those things out and stay positive.”
On Tuesday, the Broncos bounced back with a 2-1 win over local rivals, the San Jose State University Spartans.
Evan Brisentine pitched a career-best seven innings and only allowed one unearned run.
Contact Andrew Slap at email@example.com or call (408) 554-4852.