March 24, 2012
SAN DIEGO, Calif - The University of San Diego men's baseball team got conference action off to a good start with a 6-5 victory in come-from-behind fashion.
It was all Santa Clara (13-5, 0-1 WCC) in the early innings, as Broncos starting pitcher Tommy Nance cruised through the Toreros lineup the first few times around. Santa Clara's offense struck first blood in the top of the second inning to take the 2-0 lead and added another run in the third to go ahead 3-0.
San Diego (19-6, 1-0 WCC) reached base during the first three innings via walks, but their first hit didn't come until the top of the fourth with Kris Bryant's infield single to shortstop to lead off the inning.
With the bases loaded full of Broncos in the top of the fifth and two outs, Broncos first baseman Andrew Biancardi singled up the middle two score two more and extend the Santa Clara lead to 5-0.
But the Toreros started to chip away in the fifth. Their second hit of the game came in the bottom of the fifth on Dillon Haupt's double to deep right center. Haupt advanced to third on a wild pitch and scored on Dillon Checkal's single to left field to cut the deficit to 5-1.
San Diego poured it on in the game-changing seventh inning, starting with Austin Bailey's four-pitch leadoff walk and Bryan Haar's single to left field. AJ Robinson's sacrifice bunt caused an error by Broncos second baseman Kyle DeMerritt, allowing Bailey to score from second base to cut the lead to 5-2. Dillon Haupt followed with a laced single to left field to load the bases, which put an end to Nance's afternoon. Andrew Daniel then provided a huge two-run single up the middle to score both Robinson and Haar to trim the lead to 5-4. After a balk by relief pitcher Max Deering advanced Daniel and Haupt to second and third, Corey LaVier singled up the middle to even the score 5-5. Kris Bryant then followed with a sacrifice fly to left field to give the Toreros the 6-5 lead in a huge five-run inning.
James Pazos came on in relief for Calvin Drummond in the eighth and pitched two near-perfect innings, allowing no hits and two strikeouts for his first save of the season and the Toreros first win in the West Coast Conference.
Drummond (5-1) got the win in his seven innings of work, allowing four earned runs and eight hits while striking out two. Deering was saddled with the loss in his two innings of relief, allowing two hits and no earned runs.
The Toreros were led offensively by Haupt, who went 2-for-2 with two runs scored and a walk, reaching base in all three plate appearances. Daniel went 1-for-4 with two RBI, while Checkal, LaVier, Bryant and Haar each added a hit.
The Toreros and Broncos face off again Sunday morning at 10 a.m. at Cunningham Stadium.
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