White and Haley Not Enough in Loss to Broncos
SANTA CLARA, Calif.; March 14, 2014 - J.J. White (Landsowne, Va.) hit his second three-run bomb of the west coast swing in the fifth inning to highlight a Penn State five-run fifth inning to take a 5-1 lead. Unfortunately for the Nittany Lions, Santa Clara mounted a comeback, scoring nine runs between the fifth and seventh innings on its way to a 10-5 win.
White's home run was his second of the week and his career. The junior now has both of the team's two home runs in 2014. White finished the game 2-for-5 at the plate with a run and three RBIs.
The other Nittany Lion to drive in runs on the evening was freshman Jim Haley (Upper Darby, Pa.). The shortstop recorded a career-high three hits, including a two-out single up the middle to drive in his two runs of the game.
After a perfect first inning from both pitchers, the Nittany Lions had a golden scoring opportunity in the top of the second frame. Penn State's White led off with a single and moved to second off a one-out walk to Tyler Kendall (Boynton Beach, Fla.). Zach Ell (Plains, Pa.) followed with a single up the middle, creating a play at the plate in which White was thrown out by the Bronco centerfielder.
In the bottom of the second stanza Santa Clara scored the game's first run off a Penn State error. With two outs and a runner on second, T.J. Jann (Westford, Mass.) struck out the Santa Clara batter with a pitch in the dirt. The PSU catcher's throw down to first was high and wide, sailing into right field and allowing the Bronco on second to come around to score.
Neither team scored in the third or fourth innings, as the Blue and White stranded a combined four runners in the two frames.
The Nittany Lions got the breakthrough hit they needed in the fifth to capitalize on their many scoring opportunities. With two runners on and one out, White turned on a Bronco offering and belted a towering home run over the left field wall to put Penn State on top 3-1. PSU then loaded the bases later in the fifth and got a big two-out single up the middle off the bat of Haley to extend its lead to 5-1.
The hosts responded with three runs of their own in the bottom of the fifth, to trim Penn State's lead to one run at 5-4. Santa Clara recorded a two-out RBI single from Kyle Cortopassi and then followed with a two-run home run from Greg Harisis to make it a one-run game.
Santa Clara then retook the lead in the bottom of the sixth at 6-5, with two runs in the inning. The Broncos big hit of the inning was a two-out single down the left field line from Jose Vizcaino Jr. to score their two runs.
The Lions were then held scoreless in the top of the seventh and Santa Clara managed to extend its lead in the bottom of the inning to five runs. The Broncos used back-to-back triples to start the inning and then took advantage of Penn State error to take the 10-5 lead.
The Santa Clara bullpen shut down the Nittany Lion offense in the remaining two innings on its way to the 10-5 win.
Penn State wraps up its west coast swing tomorrow with the third and final game of the series against the Broncos. The game is scheduled to start at 3 p.m. ET.