Posted: Feb 27, 2020
SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Santa Clara baseball had four two-out RBIs including Connor Henriques' game-winner in the top of the ninth that gave the Broncos a 6-5 series opening win over Sacramento State on Thursday night.
With momentum on Sacramento State's (5-3) side after the Hornets scored two runs in the bottom of the eighth to knot the game at 5-all, the resilient Broncos (7-3) reclaimed the lead in the ninth.
Against the Hornets reliever Travis, Martizia, Matt Jew tripled down the right field line with one out but on the next play, he was thrown out at home on Austin Reyes' grounder to first. Dawson Brigman was hit by a pitch to put runners at first and second when Henriques delivered the RBI single to put the Broncos up 6-5.
Broncos reliever Travis Howard, who allowed the tying runs in the previous inning on a hit, a walk, an error and three wild pitches, came out to close the game in the ninth. The Hornets put runners at the corners when Keith Torres and Chris Gonzalez singled but unlike the Broncos did all night, the Hornets could not come through with two outs when Dawsen Bacho flew out to deep center for the final out.
Howard (3-1) picked up the win while Martizia (0-1) took the loss.
Trailing 2-0 in the top of the third, Jake MacNichols hit a two-run home run off Hornets starter Carter Morris to tie the game. After the Hornets reclaimed the lead in the home half of the third on Bronco starter Matthew McGarry's wild pitch to go up 3-2, MacNichols tied it up again drawing a two out, bases loaded walk in the fourth.
In the fifth, Brigman laced a double off reliever Jack Zalasky with two outs to score Jew to put Santa Clara ahead 4-3. The Broncos added another run in the fifth on a two out rally when Dicochea doubled, followed by an intentional walk to MacNichols and Ryan McCarthy hit an RBI single.
Locke Bernhardt, who came in relief in the fifth, tossed three scoreless innings before giving way to Howard in the eighth.
Santa Clara pounded out 13 hits including multi-hit games by Henriques, McCarthy, Jew and the Brigman brothers, Dawson and Coleman. MacNichols drove in a game-high three runs. Torres and Bacho each had two hits for the Hornets while Walstad homered in the second inning for the first run of the game.
-Jake MacNichols' home run was his fifth of the season and moved him into a tie for second on the Broncos career home run list alongside Troy Buckley.
The Broncos and the Hornets continue with the second game of the four-game series on Friday. First pitch at 5 p.m.