MORAGA, Calif. - The Saint Mary's baseball team scored five runs in the first inning and used a sixth inning rally to defeat Chicago State 7-5 on Friday afternoon in the 2013 home opener at the new Louis Guisto Field.
With the win, Saint Mary's improves to 2-3 while Chicago State falls to 0-4.
"I'm proud of the guys today," said head coach Jedd Soto. "We were able to push some runs across late in the game to get the win. Mark Anderson is a work in progress and I liked his effort. Both of the relief pitchers did well."
Anderson was on the mound to start the game and was spotted a 5-0 lead after the first inning. He pitched three innings, but got into trouble in the third by allowing four walks and exited the game with the score tied up at 5-5.
Kelsey Outram (1-0) followed with four scoreless innings to earn the win, while Patrick Keane tallied the save (2) with two scoreless frames.
Offensively, Anthony Villa provided the big bat, going 2-for-4 with two doubles and four RBI. He keyed a five-run first inning with a two-out bases loaded double which cleared the bases. Villa also had an RBI in the go-ahead sixth inning for the Gaels.
"Villa is a mature offensive guy," said Soto. "He does a good job staying with his pitches. Our defense was great today as well, led by (Darian) Ramage's catch."
With potential go-ahead runs on base, Ramage drifted back and made an over the shoulder catch with his back toward home plate, ending a potential Chicago State rally.
In SMC's five-run first, Collin Ferguson singled with two outs and would later score after three consecutive walks. Villa hit his 3-RBI double, followed by an RBI single by Riley Heinzer and the Gaels led 5-0 after one.
Tied up in the sixth, Markus Melgosa singled and stole second base. He would score on Cole Norton's RBI single through the right side to give SMC the lead. Villa came through again with another double to score Norton and SMC led 7-5.
Outram and Keane closed out the victory for the Gaels.
Dylan Sterrett took the loss for the Cougars, going 7.2 innings and allowing seven runs, throwing 119 pitches.
Saint Mary's hosts Chicago State at 11:30 a.m. on Saturday at the new Louis Guisto Field.