San José State Falls Short In Back-And-Forth Affair

Ozzy Braff recorded his second three-RBI game of the season.
March 30, 2016

Box Score

SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Crosstown rival Santa Clara used a four-run seventh inning to come back and deny San José State its third consecutive win in an 8-5 ballgame Wednesday night at Stephen Schott Stadium.

San José State (8-16) couldn’t pull off some late-game magic for a third time this week, as Santa Clara (11-12) completes the season sweep of the Spartans.

Monday’s contest had the makings of a pitcher’s duel in the early going. Logan Handzlik, making his first midweek start of the season, held the Broncos scoreless in a 3.0-inning tuneup. Graham Gomez worked the fourth and retired Santa Clara in order. On the other side, Broncos starter Travis Howard faced the minimum in 4.0 innings on the bump.

It wouldn’t stay that way all night, however, as Santa Clara drew first blood with a two-run fifth inning against newly-entered reliever Eric Anderson. The Broncos clubbed out three hits and took advantage of a walk and hit batter to take a 2-0 lead.

In the top of the sixth, the Spartans continued the week’s trend of battling back. After Corey Olivet and Dillan Smith drew walks to lead off the inning, prompting a call to the Bronco bullpen, Aaron Pleschner laced a double down the left field line to score Olivet and cut the lead in half. The next hitter, Joe Stefanki, singled back up the box to drive in the tying run, but center fielder Kert Woods scooped up the ball and threw a strike to Stevie Berman at the plate to nab Pleschner. After another call to the ‘pen, Ozzy Braff greeted Luke Martin-Resnick with a two-run homer over the left field fence – his team-leading fourth of the season.

The 4-2 lead last just one full inning, however, as the Broncos put together a four-run inning of their own in the seventh to pull ahead 6-4. Jake Swiech took over for Jonathan Hernandez to start the frame and retired two of the first three men he faced, but a dropped third strike allowed Berman to reach first and Swiech hit the next batter to load the bases. Josh Goldberg entered out of the Spartan bullpen yielded a two-run single and two-run double to the first two hitters he faced.

Braff cut the deficit in half in the top of the eighth with an RBI double – his third RBI of the night – but that’s as close as the Spartans would get. Santa Clara tacked on two more runs in the home half and closer Max Kuhns wrapped up his eighth save of the season in the ninth.

San José State travels to Cal Poly to take on the Mustangs in non-conference action this weekend.

Santa Clara 8, San Jose State 5 (Mar 30, 2016 at Santa Clara, Calif.)
San Jose State...... 000 004 010 - 5 8 0 (8-16)
Santa Clara......... 000 020 42X - 8 11 0 (11-12)
Pitchers: San Jose State - Handzlik, Logan; GOMEZ, Graham(4); ANDERSON, Eric(5);
HERNANDEZ, Jonathan(5); SWIECH, Jake(7); GOLDBERG, Josh(7); WALLACE, Zach(8) and Stefanki, Joe.
Santa Clara - HOWARD, Travis; BONO, Michael(5); MARTIN-RESNICK, Luke(6); MEDEIROS, Nick(6);
ERLANDSON, Freddie(7); STEFFENS, Jacob(8); KUHNS, Max(9) and BERMAN, Stevie.
Win-ERLANDSON, Freddie(1-0) Save-KUHNS, Max(8) Loss-SWIECH, Jake(0-2) T-2:46 A-379
HR SJ - Braff, Ozzy (4).
Weather: 61, Sunny, NW 13 mph
BONO faced 2 batters in the 6th.