Santa Clara Surprises No. 1 Baseball, 13-9, Ending 20-Game Losing Streak To Cardinal

Feb. 23, 2002

Santa Clara, Calif. - Santa Clara (5-7) ended a 20-game losing streak to Stanford (8-4) by surprising the top-ranked Cardinal, 13-9, in a non-conference NCAA baseball game at Buck Shaw Stadium on Saturday. The Broncos spotted Stanford six runs in the top of the first inning before roaring back with 10 runs of their own in the first three innings to take a 10-7 lead after three frames in a game that lasted 3:31. The middle of the Bronco lineup combined for 11 RBI. Joey Gomes (2-4, HR, 3 RBI) and Pat Peavey (2-4, 2B, 3 RBI) both had a pair of hits and three RBI, while Jack Headley had a double and four RBI. Shawn Epidendio (2-5, HR, 2 RBI) also homered for Santa Clara.

Andy Topham (3-3), Ryan Garko (2-3, 2B, 2 RBI), Scott Dragicevich (2B, 2 RBI) and Brian Hall (2 RBI) paced the Cardinal offense.

Santa Clara cut into Stanford's early 6-0 lead by scoring twice in the bottom of the first inning on an RBI-double by Peavey and a fielders choice RBI by Headley.

After the Cardinal scored a run in the top of the second inning on an RBI double by Garko to extend its lead to 7-2, the Broncos tied the score by plating five runs in the bottom of the second frame. Santa Clara capitalized on two walks and a hit batsmen in the inning by Cardinal starter Ryan McCally, who was removed after he walked Peavey with the bases loaded for Santa Clara's first run of the inning. Stanford reliever Drew Ehrlich then walked Gomes to score another Bronco run and Headley tied the score at 7-7 by clearing the bases with a three-RBI double.

Santa Clara took a 10-7 lead with three runs in the bottom of the third inning. Ehrlich walked Bobby Wiginton to lead off the inning and Epidendio followed with a two-run homer to leftcenter field. Peavey drove home Ryan Chiarelli with an RBI single to score the third run of the inning and chase Ehrlich.

The Broncos extended their lead to 13-7 with two runs in the fifth and one more in the sixth. Gomes blasted a two-run homer to center field in the fifth inning and Santa Clara picked up an unearned run in the sixth when Dragicevich threw away Peavey's two-out groundball to shortstop at first base.

Stanford rallied for a pair of unearned runs in the top of the eighth inning to cut the Bronco lead to 13-9, scoring both runs when Bronco shortstop A.J. LaBarbera made two errors on the same play. With two outs and the bases loaded, LaBarbera bobbled a groundball hit by Garko for the first error and then was charged with another error when he threw the ball away in a late attempt to get Garko at first base. Santa Clara reliever Grant Feichtmeir retired Carlos Quentin on a fly ball to left field to end the Cardinal threat and A.J. Ampi pitched a scoreless ninth to secure the Santa Clara win.

Stanford sent 11 batters to the plate in its six-run first inning. Garko drove home the first run with an RBI-single before Donny Lucy drove in his team-leading 17th run with a sacrifice fly. Dragicevich and Hall both had two-RBI singles later in the inning.

Santa Clara starter John Redmond (3-1) settled in after the rocky first inning to record the victory, scattering nine hits and seven runs over 6.1 innings. Redmond retired 14 of 17 batters he faced at one point between the second and sixth innings.

Ehrlich (0-1) suffered the first loss of his career, allowing three runs and two hits in 0.2 innings as the second of five Stanford pitchers.

Chris O'Riordan extended his season-high hitting streak to nine games for the Cardinal.

The teams will conclude their current three-game series with a rubber game on Sunday at Sunken Diamond (1 pm). Stanford will be attempting to win two-of-three games for the fourth consecutive series this season and extend its series winning streak to six in a row dating back to last year.

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